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The two-party system: Pandering and other sins

Wed, 2014-09-03 18:39
AMERICA'S two-party system is a creaking monstrosity that has helped bring its politics to a grinding halt. The country urgently needs a nationally competitive third party (if not a fourth and a fifth) to crack up its frozen ideological landscape, and to shift incentives away from the politics of total resistance and towards deal-making and compromise. That said, it is not entirely clear just how big a role the two-party system plays in creating America's policy paralysis. Many factors have combined to hobble American governance. How important is the two-party system, specifically?Salomon Orellana, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, thinks it plays a big role. In a post at the Monkey Cage, Mr Orellana argues that in two-party systems, politicians tend to "pander", promising voters easy material gains without corresponding costs. He applies this theory to the issue of climate change. In two-party systems, when one party panders on material comfort (e.g., “gasoline prices have risen under the current government”) or even survival (e.g., “carbon taxes will cost jobs”) versus doing something about climate change, the other party feels great pressure to follow suit. This dynamic also tends to reduce dissent on issues like carbon taxes....In multiparty systems, smaller parties can take the risk of promoting dissenting ideas, including suggestions that ...

Green Column: Interest in Solar Water Heating Spreads Globally

Wed, 2014-09-03 08:57
Many developing countries, which struggle with high energy prices relative to income, have embraced the technology.

Vice premier expects Chinese, Russian energy giants to expand co-op

Mon, 2014-09-01 07:11
Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli expressed the hope here Saturday that oil and gas giants from China and Russia will further expand bilateral energy cooperation for even greater successes on the basis of achievements already made.

System on way to cap carbon output

Sun, 2014-08-31 21:09
China will gradually set up a mechanism for limiting its overall carbon emissions and accelerate development of a national carbon market, according to the country's chief climate change negotiator.