Tonight, Victor Menaldo sleeps happy in Seattle. Not because he cares who won the Canadian election. Victor is from Queens and lives in Washington State; he is not entirely clear that Canada is a country. No, Victor sleeps happy because Canadian voters, in their infinite wisdom, upheld Duverger’s law, which is, in the words of Prof. Menaldo, the “one insightful rule” that political science has given to the world.
To recap, Duverger’s law states that democracies that vote by geographical district where the biggest vote-getter wins will have two-party systems. The reason is that voters won’t want to waste their votes on no-hopers, so third parties will struggle. If, for example, voters really hate one particular party, then they will vote for whatever second party looks most likely to defeat the hated one. They won’t want to risk having the evil ones win by wasting their vote on a no-hoper party, even if that party most closely fits their preferences.
And that is what seems to have happened in Canada! Defying the polls, left-leaning Canadians did not split their votes between the Liberals and the New Democrats. Rather, they broke Liberal at the last minute, handing an outright majority to that party.
So now my friend Victor can sleep easy, knowing the Duverger has regained ground in England and seems to have proven itself in Canada. As a political scientist, his job is secure.
At least until some damn bloody voters somewhere else decide once again to ignore the law. Man, political science would be easy if it weren’t for all those, you know, voters!