(6) What are two-party and multi-party systems?


A level People and Politics (Political Parties) Mind Map on (6) What are two-party and multi-party systems?, created by Marcus Danvers on 02/12/2014.
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Created by Marcus Danvers over 9 years ago

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(6) What are two-party and multi-party systems?
  1. Two-party system
    1. A two-party system, is a system that is dominated by two "major parties" that have a roughly equal prospect of winning government power
      1. The advantages are:
        1. It creates a strong but accountable government, based on competition between the government and opposition parties
          1. It creates a bias in favour of moderation. As they battle for the support of "floating" voters, drawn from the centre ground
        2. In its classical form, a two-party can be identified by three features:
          1. Although a number of "minor" parties may exist, two parties enjoy sufficient electoral and a parliamentary strength to have a realistic chance of winning government power
            1. The larger of the two parties is able to rule alone (usually on the basis of a parliamentary majority); the other party provides the opposition
              1. Power alternates regularly between these parties; both are "electable", the oppostion serving as a "government in the wings"
              2. Tradtional image of the UK politics is that it is dominated by Two-party system
                1. 19th century was characterized by a Conservative-Liberal two-party system
                  1. The archetype two-party system did exist between Labour-Conservative from 1945-1970
                    1. The average election gap being only 4%
                    2. By 1974-97 The UK had become a two-and-a-half-party systems. This occurred as a result of significant shift in voting behaviour associated with class dealignment and partisan dealignment
                      1. Conservative dominance of the 1980's and 1990's was largely a consequence of the divided nature of the non-conservative vote
                        1. The labour party in decline, not only losing the support of working class voters, but also being damaged by the shrinkage of the "traditional" working class
                    3. A multiparty system
                      1. A multiparty system is a party system in which more than two parties compete for power
                        1. Multiparty systems can be defined by three factors:
                          1. No single party enjoys sufficient electoral or parliamentary strength to have a realistic prospect of winning government power alone. This means that the distinction between "major" and "minor" parties oftern become irrelevant
                            1. Government tend to be either coaltion or minority administraction. This can either create a bias in favour of compromise and consensus-building or it can lead to fractures and unstable government
                              1. Government power can shift both following elections and between elections as coaltions partnerships break down or are renegotiated
                              2. Since 1997, two-partyism in the UK gave way to multiple or overlapping party systems
                                1. Two-partyism continued to operate within the Commons due to the election system
                                  1. Two-partyism neveretheless suffered a major blow with the 2010 GE led to a "hung" Parliament and the formaulaiton of a coalition government
                                    1. In 1974, there were 38 MPs from parties other than Labour and the Conservatives. In 2010 there were 85 MPs
                                      1. This has happened for a number of reasons
                                        1. Devolution has made nationalist parties more prominent, turning them from being "minor" westminster parties into "major" parties in scotland and wales
                                          1. The use of proportional electional systems for newly created bodies since 1997 has improved "third" and minor party representation, also underlining the extent to which two-partyism was maintained by "first-past-the-post" elections
                                            1. New issues have emerged that cut across traditional party-political battle lines, such as Europe, the environment and war. This has given impetus to parties such as UKIP, the Green Party aand especially in 2005, Respect
                                            2. Example of Mutipartyism
                                              1. European Parliament- 10 party elected
                                                1. Welsh assembly currently has a grand coalition bettween Plaid Cymru and Labour
                                                  1. Nothern Ireland, power sharing executive control of the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein
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