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Consider : S hould the United States consider adopting a “multiparty” model?. The Two-Party System: Democrats, Republicans, and GDIs.

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the two party system democrats republicans and gdis

Consider:Should the United States consider adopting a “multiparty” model?

The Two-Party System:Democrats, Republicans, and GDIs

“Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts.”

- Eugene McCarthy

Chapter 7: Wilson

AP Government and Politics

  • Homework:Assignment 4: Read and Take Notes
our two party system
Our Two-Party System

"A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life."John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

  • Relatively unique in the world, even among democracies
    • Both national parties have been relatively evenly balanced during most of modern history; but…
      • More recently…who owned the White House?
      • Who owns Congress?
    • And at state and local levels, parties dominate different areas
why 2 parties
Why 2 Parties?
  • Historical circumstance
    • Two ways of seeing the Constitution
    • It just so happened that two major factions emerged in our early years. However, once this happened, it became difficult for any third faction to survive. This is because a third group would “steal” votes from one of the other existing parties, thus splitting the votes and dooming both of them. Thus, new groups usually merged into one of the two existing factions.
  • Elections are slanted in favor of two party system
    • Plurality and winner-take-all in both state and federal elections.
    • Single-memberdistricts for MoCs
    • ElectoralCollege and WTA system – voters don’t want to “waste” their votes.
    • Electorallaws make it more difficult for third parties to get on the ballot in many states;
      • In addition, Dems often battle their ideological “brethren” Greens, and Reps battle Libertarians to keep them off the ballot.
  • Opinions of the voters
    • For some reason, voters seem to split with the two major parties on most of the important issues in our country
  • Alternative/Possible party coalitions have not formed or do not last
    • Churches or Aristocracy, Civil Rights or Anti-War, Economic system
the two party system democrats republicans and gdis1

Consider:What is the impact of minor parties on US elections?

The Two-Party System:Democrats, Republicans, and GDIs

Chapter 7: Wilson

AP Government and Politics

  • Homework:Assignment 4 for tomorrow: Read and Take Notes
beliefs of dems and reps a short quiz
Beliefs of Dems and Reps: A Short Quiz
  • Generally speaking, which party…
    • Supports gay marriage?
    • Supports gun ownership by individuals?
    • Is pro-life?
    • Favors government regulation of economy
    • Favors harsher penalties for illegal immigrants
    • Continue defense spending at current levels
    • Believe taxes on wealthy are “job killers”?
    • Believe health care should be available to all via a government-run system
    • Is anti-globalization
    • Calls for passage of Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
    • Favors repealing the 17th amendment
    • Full public financing of campaigns
    • Opposes compulsory government service
not invited minor parties
Not Invited: Minor Parties
  • Do they play a significant role in our 2-party system?
    • If so, how? If not, why not?
two party vs multiparty systems
Two party vs. Multiparty systems
  • Both systems, being democratic, rest on compromise.
    • – In a two party system, compromise takes place prior to elections as parties select moderate candidates who they believe can win a majority.
    • – In multiparty systems, ideologically pure parties are forced to compromiseafter elections in order to form a majority coalition to pass laws (and often select a prime minister).
two party vs multiparty systems1
Two party vs. Multiparty systems
  • Two party systems tend to be more stable.
  • Multi-party systems offer voters more choice.
    • Having only two choices may dampen voter turnout.
  • Two Party Systems narrow legislative debate:
    • – Even if outvoted, small parties if represented are likely to raise issues the other parties wouldn’t otherwise discuss.
  • Two Party Systems may be more polarizing:
    • – Parties in multiparty systems must work together and form coalitions which forces members to reach across party lines.