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    Two-party system

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    A two-party system is a political party system in which two major political parties[1] consistently dominate the political landscape. At any point in time, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature and is usually referred to as the or while the other is the or . Around the world, the term has different meanings. For example, in the United States, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Malta, and Zimbabwe, the sense of describes an arrangement in which all or nearly all elected officials belong to either of the two major parties, and third parties rarely win any seats in the legislature. In such arrangements, two-party systems are thought to result from several factors, like "winner takes all" or "first past the post" election systems.[2][3][4][5][6][7] In such systems, while chances for third-party candidates winning election to major national office are remote, it is possible for groups within the larger parties, or in opposition to one or both of them, to exert influence on the two major parties.[8][9][10][11][12][13] In contrast, in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia and in other parliamentary systems and elsewhere, the term is sometimes used to indicate an arrangement in which two major parties dominate elections but in which there are viable third parties that do win some seats in the legislature, and in which the two major parties exert proportionately greater influence than their percentage of votes would suggest.

    Explanations for why a political system with free elections may evolve into a two-party system have been debated. A leading theory, referred to as Duverger's law, states that two parties are a natural result of a winner-take-all voting system.

    Contents

    1 Examples

    1.1 Commonwealth countries

    1.2 United States 1.3 Australia

    1.3.1 House of Representatives

    1.3.2 Senate 1.4 Latin America 1.5 Malta 1.6 South Korea 1.7 Taiwan 1.8 Lebanon 1.9 Brazil 1.10 Spain

    2 Comparisons with other party systems

    3 Causes 4 Third parties 5 Advantages 6 Disadvantages 7 History

    7.1 Beginnings of parties in Britain

    7.2 Emergence of the two-party system in Britain

    7.3 History of American political parties

    8 See also 9 References 10 External links

    Examples[edit]

    Commonwealth countries[edit]

    In countries such as Britain, two major parties emerge which have strong influence and tend to elect most of the candidates, but a multitude of lesser parties exist with varying degrees of influence, and sometimes these lesser parties are able to elect officials who participate in the legislature. Political systems based on the Westminster system, which is a particular style of parliamentary democracy based on the British model and found in many commonwealth countries, a majority party will form the government and the minority party will form the opposition, and coalitions of lesser parties are possible; in the rare circumstance in which neither party is the majority, a hung parliament arises. Sometimes these systems are described as but they are usually referred to as systems or a system. There is not always a sharp boundary between a two-party system and a multi-party system.

    Generally, a two-party system becomes a dichotomous division of the political spectrum with an ostensibly left-wing and right-wing party: the Democratic Party versus the Republican Party in the United States, the Labor Party versus the Liberal—National Coalition bloc in Australia, the Labour Party versus the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, and the Labour Party versus the Nationalist Party in Malta.

    Other parties in these countries may have seen candidates elected to local or subnational office, however.[14]

    In some governments, certain chambers may resemble a two-party system and others a multi-party system. For example, the politics of Australia are largely two-party (the Liberal/National Coalition is often considered[] a single party at a national level due to their long-standing alliance in forming governments;[] they also rarely compete for the same seats for the Australian House of Representatives, which is elected by instant-runoff voting, known within Australia as preferential voting. However, third parties are more common in the Australian Senate, which uses a proportional voting system more amenable to minor parties.

    In Canada, there is a multiparty system at the federal and provincial levels; however, some provinces have effectively become two-party systems in which only two parties regularly get members elected, while smaller parties largely fail to secure electoral representation, and two of the three territories are run under a non-partisan consensus government model rather than through a political party system. The provincial legislative assemblies of Alberta and Saskatchewan currently have only two parties; two-party representation has also historically been common in the legislative assemblies of British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, although all did elect some third-party members in their most recent provincial elections.

    स्रोत : en.wikipedia.org

    The Two

    The Two-Party System

    The Two-Party System The Two-Party System

    Two-party systems are prominent in various countries, such as the U.S., and contain both advantages and disadvantages.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    Discuss the historical origins of the two-party system in the United States and its advantages and disadvantages

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    Key Points

    The advantages of a two party system are that they tend to be less extreme, support policies that appeal to a broader segment of the population, and generally more stable.

    The disadvantages of a two party system are that they tend to ignore alternative views, stifle debate, and may not promote inter-party compromise but simply partisan appeals to the population.

    Third parties can and do exist in two-party system, however, they do not wield very much influence.

    Key Terms

    two-party system: A two-party system is a system in which two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government and, as a result, the majority of elected offices are members of one of the two major parties.Winner-Takes-All: The winner-takes-all voting system allows only a single winner for each possible legislative seat and is sometimes termed a plurality voting system or single-winner voting system.

    Two-party system

    A two-party system is a system in which two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government and the majority of elected offices are members of one of the two major parties. Under a two-party system, one party typically holds a majority in the legislature and is usually referred to as the majority party while the other is the minority party. The United States is an example of a two-party system in which the majority of elected officials are either Democrats or Republicans.

    The United States Two-Party System: Breakdown of political party representation in the United States House of Representatives during the 112th Congress. Blue: Democrat Red: Republican.

    The modern political party system in the U.S. is a two-party system dominated by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. These two parties have won every United States presidential election since 1852 and have controlled the United States Congress to some extent since at least 1856. However, the political party system did not develop until tax reform. The First Party System of the United States featured the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party (Anti-Federalist). In 1829, the Second Party System saw a split of the Democratic-Republican Party into the Jacksonian Democrats, who grew into the modern Democratic Party, led by Andrew Jackson, and the Whig Party, led by Henry Clay. The Third Party System stretched from 1854 to the mid-1890s, and was characterized by the emergence of the anti-slavery Republican Party, which adopted many of the economic policies of the Whigs, such as national banks, railroads, high tariffs, homesteads and aid to land grant colleges. The Fourth Party System, 1896 to 1932, retained the same primary parties as the Third Party System, but saw major shifts in the central issues of debate. This period also corresponded to the Progressive Era, and was dominated by the Republican Party. The Fifth Party System emerged with the New Deal Coalition beginning in 1933. The Republicans began losing support after the Great Depression, giving rise to Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the activist New Deal. Experts debate whether this era ended in the mid-1960s when the New Deal coalition did, the early 1980s when the Moral Majority and the Reagan coalition were formed, the mid-1990s during the Republican Revolution, or continues to the present. Since the 1930s, the Democrats positioned themselves more towards Liberalism while the Conservatives increasingly dominated the GOP.

    Causes

    There are several reason two major parties often dominate the political landscape in some systems. In the U.S., forty-eight states have a standard winner-takes-all electoral system for amassing presidential votes in the Electoral College system. The winner–takes–all principle applies in presidential elections, thus if a presidential candidate gets the most votes in any particular state, all of the electoral votes from that state are awarded to the candidate. In all but Maine and Nebraska, the presidential candidate must win a plurality of votes to wins all of the electoral votes; this practice is called the unit rule.

    There are two main reasons winner–takes–all systems lead to a two-party system. First, the weaker parties are pressured to form an alliance, sometimes called a fusion, attempting to become big enough to challenge a large dominant party and, in so doing, gain political clout in the legislature. Second, voters learn, over time, not to vote for candidates outside of one of the two large parties since their votes for third party candidates are usually ineffectual. Therefore, weaker parties are eliminated by the voters over time. The gravitation of voters towards one of the two main parties is called polarization.

    Advantages and Disadvantages

    One opinion in political science is that a two-party system promotes centrism, less extremism, and that a two-party system is generally more stable and easier to govern than multi-party systems which can become a hung parliament. However, two-party systems have been criticized for ignoring alternative views and putting a damper on debate within a nation. Multi-party governments tend to permit wider and more diverse viewpoints in government and encourage dominant parties to make deals with weaker parties to form winning coalitions. Compared to the United States’ two-party system, the most common form of democracy is the British multi-party model.

    स्रोत : courses.lumenlearning.com

    two

    two-party system, political system in which the electorate gives its votes largely to only two major parties and in which one or the other party can win a majority in the legislature. The United States is the classic example of a nation with a two-party system. The contrasts between two-party and multiparty systems are often exaggerated. Within each major party in the United States, the Republicans and the Democrats, many factions are struggling for power. The presence of divergent interests under a single party canopy masks a process of struggle and compromise that under a multiparty system is out in

    two-party system

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    By The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica • Edit History

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    two-party system, political system in which the electorate gives its votes largely to only two major parties and in which one or the other party can win a majority in the legislature. The United States is the classic example of a nation with a two-party system. The contrasts between two-party and multiparty systems are often exaggerated. Within each major party in the United States, the Republicans and the Democrats, many factions are struggling for power. The presence of divergent interests under a single party canopy masks a process of struggle and compromise that under a multiparty system is out in the open.

    Major influences favourable to the two-party system are the use of single-member districts for the election of representatives, the presidential system, and the absence of proportional representation. In Great Britain and the United States members of the national representative assemblies are chosen from single-member districts, and the candidate polling the largest number of votes is the winner. Such an electoral system compels a party to strive for a majority of the votes in a district or other electoral area. Usually only two fairly evenly matched parties may successfully compete for office in a single-member district, and a third party suffers recurring defeat unless it can swallow up one of the other parties. Parties do not thrive under the certainty of defeat. A third party may have a substantial popular following and yet capture few seats in the representative body. With, for instance, 20 percent of the popular vote spread evenly over an entire country, such a party would not win a single seat. (Under full proportional representation, it would be entitled to 20 percent of the seats in a legislative body.) The rise of the Labour Party in Great Britain, for example, virtually deprived the Liberal Party of parliamentary seats even when it had a substantial popular following.

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    political party: Two-party systems

    A fundamental distinction must be made between the two-party system as it is found in the United States and as it is found...

    In addition to the single-member-district system, in the United States the presidential system induces parties to seek majority support. No fractional party can elect its presidential candidate, and third parties in national politics have proved to be protest movements more than serious electoral enterprises.

    The two-party system is said to promote governmental stability because a single party can win a majority in the parliament and govern. In a multiparty country, on the other hand, the formation of a government depends on the maintenance of a coalition of parties with enough total strength to form a parliamentary majority. The weakness of the ties that bind the coalition may threaten the continuance of a cabinet in power. The stability shown by the government of the United States has not been entirely due to its party system, it has been argued, but has been promoted also by the fixed tenure and strong constitutional position of the president.

    The two-party system moderates the animosities of political strife. To appeal for the support of a majority of voters, a party must present a program sympathetic to the desires of most of the politically active elements of the population. In the formulation of such a program an effort must be made to reconcile the conflicting interests of different sectors of the population. This enables the party, if expedient, to resist demands that it commit itself without reservation to the policies urged by any particular extremist element. In effect, the party is a coalition for the purpose of campaigning for office. In Great Britain and Canada differences in program and in composition between the two major parties have been perhaps greater than in the United States. Nevertheless, in all of these countries a broad area of agreement exists among the leading parties. With two major parties of similar views and of approximately equal strength competing for control of a government, it is possible for governmental control to alternate between the parties without shifts in policy so radical as to incite minorities to resistance.

    The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaThis article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Zeidan.

    स्रोत : www.britannica.com

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