Two-Party System in the United States

A two-party system is a system where two main political parties dominate the voting in almost all the elections at every level of the government. This implies that most of the elected officials will be members of either the two parties. In such a scenario, the party that has most members in the legislature is referred to as the majority party while the other forms the minority party. In United States, the two parties involved are the Republicans and Democrats. 

One effect of the two-party system is the attainment of stability as opposed to the case multiparty systems. With just two parties dominating the political arena doesn’t encourage sudden shifts in political trends which may lead to government instability. The political stability resulting from this system provide suitable conditions necessary for economic growth (Abarca, 2016). In such a system, after an election only one party acquires the majority. This ensures that the majority party is able to move bills thereby attaining decisiveness in the government. This results to equilibrium properties of the American two-party system contributed to twin criteria of representation and restrains in multiparty cabinet coalitions (Mildlarsky, 1984). 

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The third parties come to play when the two parties together do not offer policy proposals that most voters want to see enacted. In such a scenario, the major parties are required to act by accommodating the third party’s policy proposal into their platforms. This makes the two-party system put strategies to keep third party candidates from successfully running for president. One strategy used by the two-party system to obstructs third parties and independents is by using their numbers to control the legislature and congress where they make laws that favor them. This implies that the candidates chosen from the third parties have limited influence in running the affairs of the nation as the parties shape the internal power structure. 


Abarca, G. (2016). The Effects of a Two-Party System. Retrieved from, M. I. (1984). Political stability of two-party and multiparty systems: Probabilistic bases for the comparison of party systems. American Political Science Review78(4), 929-951.

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