The United States' two-party political system is detrimental to the well-being of Americans.
Debate Rounds (3)
Two-party systems have been criticized for downplaying alternative views, being less competitive, encouraging voter apathy since there is a perception of fewer choices, and putting a damper on debate within a nation. In a proportional representation system, lesser parties can moderate policy since they are not usually eliminated from government. One analyst suggested the two-party approach may not promote inter-party compromise but may encourage partisanship. In The Tyranny of the Two"party system, Lisa Jane Disch criticizes two-party systems for failing to provide enough options since only two choices are permitted on the ballot. She wrote:
Herein lies the central tension of the two"party doctrine. It identifies popular sovereignty with choice, and then limits choice to one party or the other. If there is any truth to Schattschneider's analogy between elections and markets, America's faith in the two"party system begs the following question: Why do voters accept as the ultimate in political freedom a binary option they would surely protest as consumers? ... This is the tyranny of the two"party system, the construct that persuades United States citizens to accept two"party contests as a condition of electoral democracy.
"Lisa Jane Disch, 2002
There have been arguments that the winner-take-all mechanism discourages independent or third-party candidates from running for office or promulgating their views. Ross Perot's former campaign manager wrote that the problem with having only two parties is that the nation loses "the ability for things to bubble up from the body politic and give voice to things that aren"t being voiced by the major parties." One analyst suggested that parliamentary systems, which typically are multi-party in nature, lead to a better "centralization of policy expertise" in government. Multi-party governments permit wider and more diverse viewpoints in government, and encourage dominant parties to make deals with weaker parties to form winning coalitions. While there is considerable debate about the relative merits of a constitutional arrangement such as that of the United States versus a parliamentary arrangement such as Britain, analysts have noted that most democracies around the world have chosen the British multi-party model. Analyst Chris Weigant of the Huffington Post wrote that "the parliamentary system is inherently much more open to minority parties getting much better representation than third parties do in the American system." After an election in which the party changes, there can be a "polar shift in policy-making" when voters react to changes.
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