Two Party System

Party Systems

The US is one of the few countries to have a majoritarian or 2-party system.
Most democracies have a proportional or multiparty system. (Europe, Israel).
A Two Party system is a system where only two major parties have a realistic chance of winning elections.

Here is a short history of America's Two Party System

Below is an explanation of why our electoral system creates our Two Party System.

Duverger's three laws of political party development

The following is a verbatim French→English translation of Duverger's own words (a 1980 statement by Maurice Duverger):
  1. The plurality (1 winner) voting system tends to lead to a 2-party system.
  2. The proportional representation (multiwinner) system tends to lead to many mutually independent parties.
Two Party
CoalitionsNo Coalitions
Proportional RepresentationWinner Take All/SMDP
More power to extremesMore Moderate
Minor Party=Some PowerMinor Party=Wasted Vote
Compromise after electionCompromise before election
Party CenteredCandidate Centered
Strong Party DisciplineWeak Party Discipline
More DemocraticLess Democratic
Proportional Not Proportional

Hey, let's try an Instant Runoff Voting system!

  1. Why don't Third (minor) parties win in the US?
  2. Should you vote for Third (minor) parties?
  3. Is a two party system democratic?

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