Account for the Failuree of 3rd Parties to Break the Monopoly of Power Held by Democrats and Republicans

Topics: President of the United States, United States presidential election, 1992, Electoral College Pages: 3 (1016 words) Published: January 29, 2013
Account for the failure of 3rd parties to break the monopoly of power held by the Democrats and Republicans In their most recent general election the 3rd parties of Britain and America experienced significantly different outcomes. While the Liberal Democrats are now in a coalition the American Libertarian party received 0.99% of the popular vote. The clear failure of 3rd parties to break the monopoly of power held by the Democrats and Republicans can be explained by the electoral system, costs involved and influence of the media. The United States has only two major political parties: the Democrats and the Republicans. These parties have a duopoly, meaning that they share almost all the political power in the country. In the United States, a candidate wins the election by gaining a plurality, or more votes than any other candidate. This is a winner-take-all system because there is no reward for the party or candidate that finishes second. Parties aim to be as large as possible, smoothing over differences among candidates and voters. There is no incentive to form a party that consistently gets votes but cannot win an election. As a result, two political parties usually dominate plurality electoral systems to the disadvantage of smaller third parties, just as the Democrats and the Republicans dominate the American political system. No one person or organization prevents third parties from forming, but the plurality system itself usually hinders their efforts to win votes. The United States also has mostly single-member districts, meaning that each legislative district sends only one member to the legislature. There is no benefit to finishing second. Some countries use multiple-member districts, which makes it easier for minor parties to succeed because there are more members winning seats in the legislature. Also the way the US electoral college system is set up discourages third-party candidates. The Electoral College exacerbates the winner-take-all system...
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