There are two major political parties in the United States: the Republicans and the Democrats. This two-party system has been practiced for years – for countless voting generations, even. While some people are continuously complaining that a two-party system is somehow creating walls and dividing America, others are quite comfortable with the decades-long system. In this article, we will tackle the advantages and disadvantages of the two-party system, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of its effect on people and countries.
The two-party system makes it easier for parties to distribute information, while voters have a more convenient way of understanding what is thrown at them. As there are only two parties, each can present their views on the most relevant political issues clearly, making it easier for voters to get the information they need.
The two-party system provides politicians better opportunities for focusing on long-term policies and goals. This is because the system does not encourage political trend shifts, which can often lead to stability problems for the government. Voters are not easily swayed, so they do not just switch parties in an instant.
In a two-party system, there is more balance because of its diverse members. Aside from individual members, parties are also home to several significant organizations and groups. This means diversity as they have different interests. Diversity in membership means the party’s leaders can discuss and explore more issues and interests because they need to hear out their members’ causes.
Since a two-party system has a fixed party number, it is easier to manage. There are fewer to no instances of situations like hung decisions and parliaments, or undisciplined members.
There are only two voting options in a two-party system. While some may view this a hindrance, many others believe that they can come up with better decisions when there are only two parties or candidates to choose from.
As previously stated, the two parties involved often clash, and their members end up fighting. Whenever there are discussions, the tendency is for the talk to sway to the opposite path so that it often turns into an argument or a fight. There is an unspoken rule in each party, one that urges each to instill in the minds of the people who the better or best is. In other words, the two-party system can create divisions between individuals and groups.
This is in relation to advantage number five. There are only two options to choose from in a two-party system. If you do not like both candidates, you have no choice but to choose the “lesser evil.” Thus, voters are made to feel helpless since they will be voting for a candidate they do not believe in; a candidate they do not want to win. Also, a lot of voters believe that with only two parties or candidates, not all of the major interests or issues will be given attention.
The two-party system does not encourage alternative choices, and the voices of these options are not heard. While there are often third parties, they are not given their time in the limelight and often, their voices and opinions are not valued because of the two-party system’s winner-takes-all concept when voting.
In a two-party political system, there are more opportunities for individuals and groups to embrace corruption. This is because of all the funding a party can receive. Most of the time, the candidates have political backers who each give a large amount to the campaign. These moneyed supporters are confident that once their candidate wins, it will be easy for them to request for something – and it doesn’t even have to involve money.
The two-party system adheres to regimented values. Each party has its set of values that its members – the politicians – follow (or are sometimes forced to follow) lest they lose the support of the rest of the members. This can lead to difficulties in compromising (for issues and interests a politician believes in) and can likewise affect a candidate’s opportunities for instilling change through his programs or platform.
Countries that follow the multi-party system often see their winning politicians work with their opponents who lost. They form a committee or a coalition and come up with projects and programs that are beneficial for the country. This is impossible to happen in a two-party system as both parties will be too busy bickering and throwing mud at each other, even long after the elections is over.