Posted: December 3rd, 2022

The two party system.

Please read the attached instruction document and answer to the question(highlighted).

deadline is 14 november, 9 p.m

The two-party system

Check out this list:


 That’s the 

official list 

(see this list by clicking on 

official list 
) of political parties receiving votes in the 2020 presidential election.

So don’t try to tell me the U.S. has a “two-party system.” 😀

Nevertheless, we know that lots of people are frustrated with politics in America today, and one common complaint is that the two-party system is at fault. While we have a lot of parties, it would be disingenuous to dismiss complaints about the two-party system, because realistically it’s mostly either Republicans or Democrats who have a realistic chance to be elected. That is, of course, not always true. There are currently two U.S. senators who are neither Republican nor Democratic, Angus King, from Maine, and Bernie Sanders, from Vermont. Both of these senators caucus with the Democrats, though, and are generally reliable Democratic votes. There have been numerous third party (or “minor party”) candidates who have won elections, including Jesse Ventura winning the race to be governor of Minnesota in 1998. The late Texas billionaire Ross Perot received 19% of the national vote for President of the United States in 1992.

Still, people complaining about the two-party system worry that because of the virtual lock on politics of the two main parties, political views not represented by the two parties – Republicans and Democrats – are excluded from political discourse. Or that having only two parties limits the choices available on election day, and if neither candidate is desirable, there’s no one left to choose.

But there is another view, as you’ve read. This other view is that blaming the two-party system for today’s problems is misguided. This argument says, among other things, that citizens of other countries with multi-party systems are no more satisfied with the state of their politics than Americans are with ours. We blame the two-party system, they say, because we think “the grass is always greener on the other side,” when really it’s not. It is also argued that people unhappy with the two parties think they want a “centrist” party, but when they see the policy platforms of those centrist parties they don’t like them as much as they thought they would, so they end up voting for a major party candidate.

There’s also the issue that our method of elections is the reason for the two-party system. There’s a general principle of political science known as 

Duverger’s Law

. It says that in a system with 


 (or first-past-the-post) voting (and that’s a pretty good video, by the way), coupled with single member districts, a two-party system is virtually inevitable. Simply declaring “I want a third party!” is almost certainly not going to get produce one that can win. To have successful third parties will require a change in the way we vote. 

This video

  advocates “approval voting.” “Ranked-choice voting” has already been adopted in numerous jurisdictions in the U.S., and could provide a way for third parties to start gaining influence. Since I’m linking to YouTube videos, here’s one more that talks about Duverger’s Law, but goes into an extended discussion of ”


” psychology in a way that relates to the dominance of our two main parties.

Given what you’ve read, what do you think about the two-party system? Should we do something to change it? If so, what?

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