A two-party system is when a country's politics is dominated by two major parties. One party usually holds the majority in government while the opposition is called the minority party. Other parties do exist in most two-party systems, but there are only two major parties that dominate government. In the U.S., that would be the Republican and Democratic parties.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Two Party System
- In a two-party system, the parties involved compete to present information to their voters in a way that is easy to understand. With only two major parties that have a clear chance of winning the elections, it is also easier for voters to make a choice.
- Because the parties are so big, in a two party system, the parties have to represent the wide range of views and interests of the public in order to keep earning votes.
- Two party systems are more stable, with many loyal voters sticking to one of the two parties, which prevents a sudden shift in balance when political trends arise.
- Unlike one-party systems, two party systems are often more democratic, encouraging the public to take part in elections
- The disadvantage of having only two major parties in government is that the government will be subject to the weaknesses of those two parties. Candidates are self serving and often only represent certain special interests.