- Term Papers and Free Essays

Two Party System

Essay by   •  November 29, 2010  •  1,285 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,620 Views

Essay Preview: Two Party System

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

For hundreds of years, the two party system has dominated the American culture, but many people are confused by what a two party system actually means. Although a two party system is defined as two parties that are bigger than the rest, third parties have greatly impacted elections for over a hundred years. Minor parties still continuously voice their opinions in issues, causing other candidates of either major party to adopt their philosophies. Furthermore, some parties, such as the Reform have actually been successful in obtaining a position, such as governor. Finally, third party candidates have actually taken away votes from a number of nominees over the years.

Third parties have become a necessity in this modern age with their ability to promote their beliefs onto other parties who advocate those policies in later elections. Therefore, it is obvious that the viewpoints of the Democratic and Republican parties have been affected by minor parties. Throughout American history, minor parties have adjusted and formed new parties concerning the issues, so the two major parties must switch their position as the issues change, allowing for the acceptance of many third party ideas.

For example, the Socialist Party is supposed to be responsible for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, which greatly helped many Americans. This shows that many Presidents reflect on the ideas of other parties and adopt them during their tenure in office. In addition to the New Deal, minor parties Eugene Debs, who ran four times fighting for the factory workers, and Ross Perot, who endeavored to eradicate the national debt, both inspired Presidents to accept their policies. Warren G. Harding approved the ideas of Eugene Debs while Clinton actually turned the national debt into a surplus before leaving office. Factional parties, such as the Bull Moose Party have also influenced the major parties to change their views. The Bull Moose Party called for more attention to not only business regulations but also party reform. Theodore Roosevelt was nominated for President and the Republican Party was forced to make a strong reform in their usual policy. These various examples, throughout the years, prove how strong the minor parties were in impacting the presidential elections through other parties.

A third party has never seen the Oval Office, but they have held office a number of times as a senator, governor, and mayor. All of these positions influence the people to consider the presidential minor parties, thus having an impact on the presidential elections. When a party wins a local office as a minor party, the name of whatever the minor party is spreads around all the way around the United States. Not only does winning a local office help the victor, but it also helps the member of the same party who runs for President.

The most recent example of a third party winning an office is the Independent Senator, Jim Jeffords of Vermont. Jeffords, who was once a Republican, became an Independent because he felt he no longer supported the policies of George W. Bush's Republican Party. With Jeffords' transformation to the Independent Party, he has promoted the Independent Party over the last three years and continues to be a prominent figure in the modern Independent world. In terms of governor, Jesse Ventura was elected as the Reform Party's Governor of Minnesota where he advocated and endorsed the typical Reform beliefs. Ventura shocked the world with the exception of other minor party candidates, who believed any party could win with a strong campaign. Ventura has been credited with being one of the first few people to employ the Internet in a political campaign. The Green party in 2002 saw its greatest year of elections in its history with 71 new offices obtained. The Green Party then had a total of 170 officeholders around the United States, showing its continual growth as a political party. It has become less and less astonishing when a minor party wins nowadays, which causes more and more awareness of the party affecting the presidential elections.

It is very clear that minor parties have impacted elections in a positive matter, but they have also negatively hindered presidential elections in the past. The greatest example of this is the election of 2000, when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by a very slim margin. Ralph Nader, who represented the Green Party, got 2.74 percent of the vote and 2.8 million in total votes. These votes could have been exchanged with votes for Gore. In the past, those who voted for the Green Party, usually supported the Democratic Party when compared to the Republican Party. It is logical to say that Gore would have



Download as:   txt (7.6 Kb)   pdf (101.1 Kb)   docx (11.2 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). Two Party System. Retrieved 11, 2010, from

"Two Party System" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <>.

"Two Party System.", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <>.

"Two Party System." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.