What is the multi-party system stands for ?
Political parties are often portrayed in the popular media and culture as corrupt or incompetent. This is the case not just in the United States, where citizens have generally been sceptical of political parties, but also in Europe, where parties have had higher levels of support and public trust. Such negative views, however, overlook the essential importance of political parties as representative institutions. In fact, political parties reflect the spectrum of the people's views and needs, from their highest ideals to their basest instincts. They act together to create a balance or compromise between extremes, as the 19th-century British philosopher John Stuart Mill suggests in the quote above. Political parties have also been the vehicle for inspiring voters to support fundamental political change when it is needed. Thus, even in jaded times, idealistic citizens seeking change turn to political parties to make a difference. It is evident from last two centuries of history that no democracy can survive without a multi party system in which the people are free to organize themselves politically. Absent the organization of free and independent political parties, power has been exploited by narrow cliques that pursue their own interests or monopolized by a single party that suppresses dissent and dispenses patronage to supporters.
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g. The Christian-Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CDU/CSU) in a Coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) set up after the 2009 Federal elections. The parties in a multi-party system are normally larger than two but lower than ten. It is a system where there are large amounts of major and minor political parties that all hold a serious chance of receiving office, and because they all compete, a majority may not come to be, forcing the creation of a coalition.
Some Multi-Party systems consist of only 2 or 3 parties that have a real chance of forming a Single Party Government or a Coalition, however there are many other parties within the system have a chance of winning seats in the Legislate however their support is too small; these are usually known as Minority parties, or they only run candidates in a region of the country as they are a party that representing that region of the country e.g. SNP only run candidates in Scotland; these are usually known as regional parties. These parties can't possibly win a majority in the Legislate (or win enough seats for a major party to bother forming a coalition with them), thereby only leaving 2 or 3 that could form a Single Party Government or Coalition. Systems when only 2 parties have a possibility of winning an election are sometimes called a Two-party system; however this is a wrong term as a real two-party system is like the one found in the U.S. political system. A system were only 3 parties have a realistic possibility of winning an election or forming a coalition is sometimes called a "Third-party system", however in some cases the system is called a "Stalled Third-Party System" when there are 3 parties in the system, and all 3 parties win a large number of votes, however only 2 have a chance of winning a general election; this is usually because the electoral system penalizes the third party e.g. UK politics, the Liberal Democrats gained 23% of the vote in 2010 elections but won less than 10% of the seats due to the First-Past-The-Post electoral system, however despite this they still have enough seats (and enough public support) for the other major 2 parties to form coalitions with them or make deals with the third party so to gain their support e.g. Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition formed after the 2010 general election and the Lib-Lab pact during Prime Minister James Callaghan's Minority Labour Government when Labour lost its 3 seat majority in 1977, the pact fell short of a full coalition.
Unlike a single-party system (or a two-party system), it encourages the general constituency to form multiple distinct, officially recognized groups, generally called political parties. Each party competes for votes from the enfranchised constituents (those allowed to vote). A multi-party system prevents the leadership of a single party from controlling a single legislative chamber without challenge.
If the government includes an elected Congress or Parliament the parties may share power according to proportional representation or the first system. In proportional representation, each party wins a number of seats proportional to the number of votes it receives. In first-past-the-post, the electorate is divided into a number of districts, each of which selects one person to fill one seat by a plurality of the vote. First-past-the-post is not conducive to a proliferation of parties, and naturally gravitates toward a two-party system, in which only two parties have a real chance of electing their candidates to office. This gravitation is known as Duverger's law. Proportional representation, on the other hand, does not have this tendency, and allows multiple major parties to arise.
A two-party system requires voters to align themselves in large blocs, sometimes so large that they cannot agree on any overarching principles. Along this line of thought, some theories argue that this allows centrists to gain control. On the other hand, if there are multiple major parties, each with less than a majority of the vote, the parties are strongly motivated to work together to form working governments. This also promotes centrism, as well as promoting coalition-building skills while discouraging polarization.
The two party systems is caused by a political science theory called Duverger's law. As such, recent collation governments, such as that in the U.K. are two-party systems not multi-party systems. This is regardless of the number of parties in government. Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy
Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan are examples of nations that have used a multi-party system effectively in their democracies. In these countries, usually no single party has a parliamentary majority by itself. Instead, multiple political parties form coalitions for the purpose of developing power blocs for governing.
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By: Abdirahman Ismail ( Buuni )