What would happen if, instead of a House of Representatives, the U.S. had a parliament with proportional representation? It's an interesting question to ponder, as a parliamentary system would have completely changed the political landscape throughout our history. But let's ground this hypothetical in the environment of 2012: What might have happened during that election?
Follow me below for one alternate narrative, then make your own chart and share your story!
In this alternate version of 2012, 378 official parties failed to meet the organizational threshold to appear on the ballot (224 on the left and 54 on the right). Many of these parties endorsed the candidate slates of parties which did meet the threshold. Approximately 145 million voters came to the polls. With turnout being greater than in a first-past-the-post system, and non-voters in such a hypothetical system being more liberal, the electorate was tilted slightly more to the left.
Left-leaning votes were split five ways, for a total of 240 seats. However, Greens and The People's Party, while (mostly) voting for the left's leadership, declined to join the governing coalition, leaving it with 197 seats.
The major upset was the rise of the new Tea Party, which makes up almost 40 percent of the seats on the right. The popularity of the Tea Party led many to suspect they would be the coalition leader on the right, and the Democratic Party was able to use this fear to siphon off some business-friendly moderate Republican votes.
So what do polls predict for 2016? Well, Donald Trump's new Make America Better Again Party (yeah, I know, I botched the name) has almost completely taken over the Tea Party. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is leading a resurgence of the Social Democrats.
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Now, make your own!
Have fun and share your alternate history, silly or serious! Make a chart of your parliament here.