The knowledge of how large that hurdle is reduces the incentive to participate.
It's a shame that a country which wants to think of itself as the world's foremost democracy is so undemocratic in its electoral structure.
What if small parties' votes are inconvenient to every budding dictator? Why should a large party have even more representation and power than its fair share of votes? Isn't that deeply undemocratic, in principle?
You mean, people with different opinions than yours (and mine) can be represented in government? Isn't that great?
On the other hand, we do also have the British National Party - which probably does correspond to your ideas of what a "nationalist" party is like.
The point of having elections in America isn't because democracy is awesome. It's because elections serve as a check on government power.
Much to its own detriment, since Americans have never managed to agree on a coherent definition of "freedom" that results in a workable society.
There's something to be said for being inclusive, but there's also something to be said for not giving a platform and a voice to every nutjob out there, either.
It's a balancing act...
There is _nothing_ "to be said for not giving a platform and a voice to every nutjob out there." The balance must always lie with not restricting speech. If that means that a nutjob (as you call it), gets to say unpopular things, then so be it.
Once these kind of rules get put in place what politician is realistically going to ask for them to be repealed?
[Personally, I would leave these laws in place while there are people alive who suffered directly from the Nazis].
The ability of small political parties to gain representation in government is, I believe, a good thing, even (perhaps especially) when the views of those small parties are unpopular. Even those with extreme views have a right to express them.
Now, while I believe that all people have a right to speech, they do not have a right to be heard. There's an important distinction there. If someone cannot get elected due to extreme or unpopular views (I, for instance, will not vote anyone who holds various social stances that I consider detestable), that's acceptable. Not being able to get elected due to a mandated ban on your position is not something I can accept.
I'll grant you, the ability to gain office with extreme views has had some pretty dire consequences in the past, but I still cannot bring myself to believe that, even in the most extreme cases, limiting speech is acceptable.
What? No, this is ridiculous. The power to govern is the power to use organized violence to achieve your goals. Limiting the ability to gain and exercise political power is exactly the point of any kind of liberal form of government.
If someone is a nut, don't censor them, mock them. It's much more effective.
The concept is that, in a first past the post system, thanks to Hotelling's law, the trend is towards the center. That has both positive and negative aspects, and I was merely pointing out that there are some positive aspects.
I'm not saying that the system in the US is perfect, either - it clearly has drawbacks as well. Just that there is no one perfect system, and that the US system does have some advantages.
As for not wanting a democracy, what would you prefer?
No matter the voting or electoral system, somebody will be disenfranchised.
The United States is a Federal Republic that has become progressively more democratic over time. As originally set out in the United States Constitution (ratified in 1788), the only part of the federal government that was to be directly elected was the House of Representatives. The direct election of Senators did not become the law of the land until the 20th century while the Supreme Court and, technically, the Presidency are still not directly elected. These controls were put in place to buffer the entire system from popular fads and hysterias.
The fact that we're now trying to "spread democracy" abroad is anathema.
By the time the democrat party recovered from the war, they had changed significantly. By the early 20th century, both parties were de facto republicans, but they distinguished themselves along class barriers rather than government types.
So I think it would be a success if, for example, the Democrats took a stand against copyright abuses, rather than both parties being in the pockets of Disney, Microsoft, MPAA, etc., as they are currently.
Let me see if I can dig it up.
When you start to dig into this you realize that there is no clear definition of what constitutes "ones own work" and I think you are missing the point of what the pirate party is all about.
People never really got rewarded for their work. Instead people around the people doing the work did.
It's not as simple as you seem to suggest.
On a related note, I don't particularly begrudge the representatives from LA voting the way they did. Looking out for their constituents is their job.
These are all positions supported firmly by both the Republican and Democratic Party that have a large percentage of the population opposed to them.
In a proportional representation system, we would have people in government that supported the issues above. Not a majority, necessarily; but more than the 0% of support that exists now in government (well, Bernie Sanders).
Suppose the Occupy movement was running a slate of candidates for Congress, and that Congress was elected proportionally - your party gets 22% of the votes, you get 22% of the seats. What percentage of seats do you think would be occupied by Republicans and Democrats after the next election?
yes, there are internal issues, some of them are purely bureaucratic, some of them are caused by inbalance of (relatively) strong pirate parties in continental Europe and weak rest, some of them are ideological.
But in the end, we are all on the same boat and that's what counts.
* civil rights (in and out the net)
* copyright and patents reform
* open government and open data (transparency, accountability)
Disclaimer: I'm from Spain and we share these values, although we claim too for citizen participation in government through direct/liquid democracy, which is the current difference between some pirate parties and others, but they all tend now to this due PP-DE success.
Also, we keep working together in projects like PP-EU (European Pirate Party), aiming to be present around Europe in the next European elections: http://jay.lu/?p=2184
you can either become (I think) an observing member without the voting rights, or full member with voting rights.
What is wrong (in parent comments) is the meaning of being "registered". The map shows which parties are officially registered in their countries.
For example, PP-Sweden doesn't belong to PPI (oh, surprise!). Swedish representatives couldn't travel to Belgium because of eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull 
I think they chose that as a FU to the companies calling them Pirates, but I feel they played a bit into the MPAA's hands with that one; the name may end up hurting them more than helping them.
(The Tea Party on the other hand, chose the perfect name for their movement, even if the group itself has been co-opted by more powerful, malignant forces)