2-Party System Essay

1711 Words Jan 26th, 2014 7 Pages
2-Party System Essay

As we know, a two-party system is one in which two political parties have a clear electoral advantage. Other political parties may exist, but in two-party systems the vast majority of elected office positions are held by members of only those two parties. Multi-party systems also exist throughout the world; in those systems, coalition governments are quite common, while in two-party systems they are very rare. Single-party systems also exist, but these systems tend not to be democratic in a substantive sense, as elections exist only to re-elect the ruling party. China is perhaps the most prominent example of a single-party system. The United States is a highly visible example of a politically stable
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Once their leaders have assumed power, they are more easily tracked through party structures and well-publicized platforms. Global evidence suggests that the stability of two-party systems is even more profound than is reflected in the electoral or domestic policy arena. Two party states are less likely to experience revolutions, coups, or civil wars (Spiritus-Temporis). Recent research approaches this question somewhat differently, asking whether the number of parties is really the most important variable; instead, Dalton (2008) concludes that the polarization of the parties is more important for explaining electoral outcomes. New ideas and fledgling groups do not stand a chance in a two-party system. That is, ideas that fit within one or both of the existing parties may find their way to prominence, but single-issue or radical groups will have a very difficult time gaining any electoral traction. Many of those ideas that begin as radical or fringe ultimately become mainstream, but the two-party system slows down that process dramatically. Thus, progression away from long-held conservative principles, even if those principles are out-dated, becomes an uphill battle. People who support innovative thinking and don’t believe that conservative principles are right simply for their durability tend to find this delay in policy-making to be unacceptable. Opponents of

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