If you'd like to know where you'd find a political home if the United States had six political parties, take the 20-question quiz in a New York Times opinion piece, "Quiz: If America Had Six Parties, Which Would You Belong To?"
Based on a survey of 5,000 voters who answered the same 20 questions, here's the estimate of where the American electorate would end up if we had these six parties. The first three are left-leaning. The next three are right-leaning.
Progressive Party -- 14%
New Liberal Party -- 26%
American Labor Party -- 12%
Growth and Opportunity Party -- 14%
Patriot Party -- 14%
Christian Conservative Party -- 20%
The three left-leaning parties total 52% of the electorate and the three right-leaning parties total 48% of the electorate. That comes close to what polls and national election results generally show the balance of American voters to be.
I like how the quiz shows me as almost equidistant between the three left-leaning parties, though I'm closest to the New Liberal Party.
The New Liberal Party is the professional-class establishment wing of the Democratic Party. Members are cosmopolitan in their social and racial views but more pro-business and more likely to see the wealthy as innovators.
Its potential leaders include Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Eric Garcetti and Beto O’Rourke. Based on data from the Democracy Fund’s VOTER survey, this party would be the best fit for about 26 percent of the electorate.
The polar opposites are the Progressive Party and the Patriot Party. Here's their descriptions. It's interesting that each is estimated to attract 14% of the electorate.
The Progressive Party is focused on equity and racial justice, with a strong vision of inclusive social democracy. Its strongest support comes from politically engaged, highly educated younger people, especially women.
Its potential leaders include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren or Julián Castro. Based on data from the Democracy Fund’s VOTER survey, this party would be the best fit for about 14 percent of the electorate.
The Patriot Party is the party of Donald Trump’s 2016 primary campaign: the coalition of the small town, white working-class Americans who feel left behind by globalism and condescended to by cosmopolitanism. It is economically populist and strongly anti-immigration. Its strongest support among lower-income conservatives comes from exurban America.
Its potential leaders include Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton and Tucker Carlson. Based on data from the Democracy Fund’s VOTER survey, this party would be the best fit for about 14 percent of the electorate.
The opinion piece describes how six parties could come to be. It would require much larger proportional multimember congressional districts where voters would use ranked-choice voting to choose who represents them.
The result would be something much closer to a parliamentary system than our decidedly dysfunctional two-party system. Coalition building would be encouraged with six parties, sort of akin to how our current parties used to operate when there were a bunch of conservative Democrats in Congress and a bunch of liberal Republicans.
Those days are long gone, obviously.
Even if this six-party system never comes to pass, it's great that the idea has been put forward. The quiz reminds us that the labels of Democrat and Republican are too simplistic. Only 28% of the electorate identifies with the extremes of the Progressive Party and Patriot Party -- exemplified by Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump.