The first US Presidential primaries are coming up in the next week and the race for the Republican nomination is no more clear than it has been for months. The Democratic nomination is suddenly competitive.
The system was designed 200+ years ago to ensure that centrists would have tremendous advantages. In the years since, most of the electoral reforms at various times have only strengthened those advantages.
At this point in the 2016 campaign, it is possible that both parties will nominate people from outside the mainstream.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump probably doesn't fall too far out of the middle on a lot of economic issues, but he more than makes up for it with a personality and style that makes centrist elites uncomfortable.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is getting a lot of attention with his socialist message.
Throughout the primary season, I will be leading a discussion group that will explore the races and look at some of the issues that help Americans choose among a suddenly wide variety of candidates.
Join me at Vantaan Aikuisopisto, starting on 4 February, just after the first results come in from the Iowa caucus.
We have a few spots left and I'd love to hear your opinion too!