By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
Hundreds of you have submitted very thoughtful questions for me through Facebook, Twitter and my blog. Over the next few days, I am going to post my text and video responses to some of the most common questions - and a few others that caught my eye - here on CNN.com/GPS.
One of you asked me: Why there aren't more serious third party candidates in the United States?
One very simple reason is the two parties have effectively created a duopoly. It is very, very difficult to get on the ballot in any state. There's a group called Americans Elect 2012 that has been trying to create a third party platform just to get on the ballot. And it takes hundreds of thousands of signatures - over a million in California - to do it. It's a scandal, really, because democracy should be about giving people alternatives and allowing peoples' voices to be heard. But the two parties collude to make sure that you don't get a third party.
The second piece of it is America just does not have a very broad ideological spectrum. If you look at America's two parties, they're actually very close together in terms of their ideological differences. Both American parties - the Democrats and the Republicans – would fit comfortably as center-right parties in Europe. You have no real social democratic party. You have no real hyper-nationalist parties. If you look at the width of the European political spectrum, the United States occupies a kind of narrow position on it. So it makes sense that we don't have ten competitive parties.
That may change, however, because one of the things that kept America ideologically narrow, if you will, was the fact that we had a big middle class society with big middle class politics that everyone agreed on.
I think that as we become a more unequal society with greater disparities and greater diversities, you could very well imagine different political movements, at the very least, starting up. The Ron Paul movement would represent a very different phenomenon than the Rick Santorum movement and that would be very different from the people who would want to vote for Barack Obama.
I don't know if this divergence translates into parties. It probably won't. But you'll have very, very distinct and incompatible political movements beginning to develop in the United States.
You can pose questions for me on Facebook, Twitter or on CNN.com/GPS. Come back throughout the week for more of my responses to questions on third party candidates in America, China's rise, oil prices and more.