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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

It's Time to Look Beyond the Two-Party System Paradigm

Written by: Ariana Tsegai 🇪🇷


I voted sticker for the Gubernatorial Elections in Maryland on Nov 8. 2022 (Tomomi Hayashi)


As the 2024 election cycle unfolds, it’s becoming clear that we’re in for a rerun of the dilemmas voters face in 2020. Despite small-scale achievements that have restored the hopes of many, the political landscape continues to be dominated by Biden and Trump’s two-party system, leaving voters frustrated with their options. 


From rising inflation to the broken promises of student loan forgiveness and the ongoing genocide in Gaza, the pressing social issues that plague our country call for fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. Yet, with a society trapped within the confines of the two-party paradigm, how can we hope to break free from this cycle of disappointment? 


Among the electorate, one demographic that stands out for its potential to reshape the political landscape is Gen Z. Despite their growing numbers and increasing influence, Gen Z remains notably disengaged from the political process for various reasons, with the most influential one being the alienation from the political establishment.


 Relative to the 2020 presidential election, a recent Harvard poll of 18-29-year-olds found that the number of young Americans who plan on voting in 2024 has decreased from 57% to 49%.This decline in voter intention is concerning and reflects a broader trend of disillusionment towards traditional politics.


The absence of viable political alternatives leaves young voters feeling disconnected from a political system that is out of touch with their concerns and unresponsive to their needs. 


We’re seeing a greater trend this voting season from uncommitted voters, with people across the country protesting over the genocide in Gaza and the US government’s role in the perpetuation of violence. 


The growing anti-war movement landed on a strategy of telling Democratic voters to cast uncommitted ballots to demand a ceasefire from the Biden administration. 


Since the campaign began, efforts have earned around 101,000 (13%) uncommitted ballots in Michigan, and about 46,000 (19%) in Minnesota. These amounts could have decided who won each state in the 2016 presidential race. This surge in uncommitted voting displays a powerful shift in political participation, with voters finding creative methods to nationalize their message to send to candidates. 


The future of the two-party system is uncertain. While it remains a dominant force in American politics, its grip on power continues to weaken as demographics and attitudes shift towards more progressive policies and candidates, suggesting that the days of bipartisan dominance may be numbered. Community-based initiatives have also amplified the discontent of the political state; these movements mobilize local communities to advocate for change on issues ranging from social justice to community preservation. 


Grassroots movements are essential to reshaping the political landscape and challenging the political status quo, this allows voters to explore the issues occurring on smaller scales within their communities. 


The rise in uncommitted voting isn’t just a trend; it’s a movement. It’s a collective effort to challenge the status quo and push beyond moderate policies that have been pushed on to the public for long enough. 


As we continue to explore new methods of political participation, voters should embrace this momentum and come to an understanding of the power they hold in the policies that are implemented. If we advocate for more inclusive alternatives such as community organizing, we can shape a future that is reflective of our values and aspirations.


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