«Under the Jenkins proposals, even a Le Pen-sized vote for the BNP would not have brought it within shooting distance of winning a constituency seat. The alternative vote system (AV) proposed by Jenkins - in which voters rank candidates in order of preference - requires the winning candidate to get the support of at least half of those voting.
AV is a good way of stopping the far right winning constituency seats. In Australia in 1998, for example, Pauline Hanson - a far-right candidate - won 36% of the first preference votes in her Queensland constituency. But the AV system meant that that was not enough to win. The Liberals took the seat. Had AV been used in France Le Pen would have been defeated.»
The depressing part is that while other countries can talk about electoral system reform, in the US this is considered as inherently unrealistic as talking about changing the atomic weight of carbon. And this intertia is mostly self-fulfilling: These days, the chances of a substantial chance to the US federal constitution are zero, plus or minus zero, with a long-term projected increase of zero.
The only laws that would get the kind of necessary support are ones that are pushed by a massive corporation (and/or a TV priest), have "Patriot" in the title, or are named after a dead child. Compared to that, there's not much glamor in, say, instituting a "confusing" new electoral system that might have such upsetting potential effects as eroding the US's two-party bipolar system. God forbid.
Altho I am wary of the very American tendency to underestimate Americans and am aware of being subject to it myself, I do worry about the mental fitness of a country that couldn't even wrap its collective mind around the metric system, and whose reaction to all other countries' electoral systems is basically "they vote there? how cute!".