Or are you seeing if orienteers can think outside the flag? Not sure that "democracy would work better", Lack of competition by having a one party state might lead to stale outcomes and it would not keep public servants like you on your toes trying to dream up new policy initiatives.
Hey I'm no public servant! Btw, I'm not suggesting one party - just parties better aligned to opinions. But yeah there could be issues if they're not kept on their toes somehow - I'm just not convinced having an opposing view from someone not all that different is necessarily the best way as we are seeing some unintended consequences.
You're missing out one important part of the equation, which is the mass media. I.e. Opinions are not formed in a vacuum and are not polarised by accident. Moderate views are transformed into mass hysteria around single issue politics--migration in our case. Bad news sells and it is in the interests of any media conglomerate to stoke the fires of discontent. Your compatriot and the power of his media empire have a lot to answer for.
Yes that's true. People are complicated aren't they?
I guess after allowing for evil Murdoch Australia finds itself 50/50 in the centre and the UK a bit to the right. So my solution might work here but you guys are buggered.
I'm glad you've solved politics Matt, what a relief!
I realise this is a ridiculously impractical suggestion but I reckon there should be certain core values/policies to which all parties over a certain size are obliged to subscribe...
The Constitution covers a bit of that ground.
You could think of it as something of a game theory problem - in isolation the rational option for a party which wants to win government is to position itself exactly at the centre (of course, thinking of this as a one-dimensional problem is an over-simplification), but at the same time you need to be able to differentiate yourself enough from other parties to have something worth choosing.
Another interesting dynamic is that the most enthusiastic supporters of most parties also tend to be towards their extremes. This creates a problem when it comes to internal democracy within a party - on the one hand it should be considered a Good Thing, on the other hand it can pull parties towards positions too radical to be palatable to the majority of voters. The US Republicans have suffered from this problem for a long time - to get through a primary election you have to take positions which make it hard to win a general election - and I think the UK Labour Party is also going through it at the moment.
For all the maligning that it gets, on balance the union influence on the ALP tends to pull it further towards the centre than would be the case from the influence of individuals alone; the Liberals don't really have any equivalent countervailing force, although plenty of people are currently doing some rewriting of history (and some ignoring of the poll in late June which said that if Tony Abbott had still been leader the Coalition would have been thumped) and arguing that if only the Coalition had implemented conservatism in its purest form the grateful public would have swept them back into power with an increased majority.