While Mr. Blog says the two-party system is dead, I think it's a bit more simplistic than that. We simply voted the in-party power out of office.
The fact is, the only parties 95% of the people know about or care about in the US are the two "major" parties: Republicans and Democrats. If they are lucky enough to see someone from a different party in a particular race, most don't even consider there might be a viable alternative. And, really, the two major parties look more and more similar as they polarize in opposite directions. Extremity either way just looks extreme.
When I actually try and read the voters pamphlet and understand what each candidate in each race stands for, my head spins. Almost all the candidates, with some exceptions, say at least one thing I agree with. And it's not just one race, it's lots of races. How can the average person be expected to sort through this quagmire to try and intelligently pick a candidate?
To try and simplify things, people pick or two issues to help put thecandidates in buckets. It's a label kind of like Republican andDemocrat. My voting strategy doesn't follow this methodology, but is still fairly simple:
1. Vote for a third party candidate, if available. Libertarians get priority mainly because my ideology fits theirs best.
2. Vote against the incumbent, regardless of party.
3. If no incumbent and no third-party candidate, read voters pamphlet and make one.
My strategy means I don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about voting. My main motivation: keep the door revolving so we get new people and fresh ideas infused into the process.
And really, that's what this past election was about. Not about killing the two-party process, though if it ultimately does kill the two-party process, I'm all for it.