By: Grant Piper
The United States has been locked into a rigid and unwavering two party system for most of its short life. There were people and places in history where such a system became unpopular and was questioned. Only once has there been a President chosen in the House of Representatives and the last third party candidate to run was Ross Perot, which went over poorly with many. Again, in the midst of party slog and ideological division people are starting to question the merits of the two party system and many are eyeing the growing libertarian party as an escape.
What are the Pros and Cons of our current system?
- Keeping the presidency out of the House of Representatives gives the people more say over presidential elections.
- Two parties create a neat division of issues which helps to clarify and classify issues based on separate and differing ideologies. More than two would muddy some cut and dry issues making elections confusing.
- Government is more effective with coalitions, that's why European governments are always trying to form them. When you can get a group of like minded people to agree and work together compromise and efficiency is born.
- Two parties make it easier to run for office. It's easier to stand out as one of two parties in stead of one of many.
- Encourages voter turn out by mobilizing the people to vote between two candidates. If there were more, confusion, lack of knowledge and conviction might cause voters to stay home.
- Creates division in government leading to quagmires on issues.
- Leaves some issues too cut and dry with no room in the middle.
- Limits the choice for voters. Perhaps you agree with some of the Democrat and some of the Republican stances; there's no middle man to choose.
- The two party system promotes the two party system making it hard to enact change in the governmental system.
While I don't fully agree with the two party system, it has its benefits. Can you imagine the House of Representatives picking a president out of 3 or 4 candidates today? What would an Independent or Libertarian party to do political efficiency and unity in government and in every day life? I do think some issues are taken too hard line and are made black and white when they are not because of the two party system but it's here and it's here to stay.