HOME

TheInfoList




In
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as ...
, a multi-party system is a
political system In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such ...
in which multiple
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
across the
political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one or more that represent independent political dimensions. The expressions political compass and political map are ...

political spectrum
run for national
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
s, and all have the capacity to gain control of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
offices, separately or in
coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
. Apart from one-party-dominant and
two-party system A two-party system is a Politics, political party system in which two major party, major political parties consistently dominate the political landscape. At any point in time, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature ...
s, multi-party systems tend to be more common in
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
s than
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (President (government title), president) leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch in s ...
s and far more common in countries that use
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
compared to countries that use
first-past-the-post In a first-past-the-post electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are org ...
elections. Several parties compete for power and all of them have reasonable chance of forming government. First-past-the-post requires concentrated areas of support for large representation in the
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
, whereas proportional representation better reflects the range of a population's views. Proportional systems may have multi-member districts with more than one representative elected from a given district to the same legislative body, and thus a greater number of viable parties.
Duverger's law#REDIRECT Duverger's law In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political thoughts, polit ...
states that the number of viable political parties is one, plus the number of seats in a district.
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
,
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...

Iceland
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
,
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
, and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
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 are compelled to form compromised
coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
s for the purpose of developing power blocks and attaining legitimate mandate.


History


Comparisons with other party systems

A system where only two parties have the possibility of winning an election is called a two-party system. A system where only three parties have a ''realistic possibility'' of winning an election or forming a
coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
is sometimes called a "Third-party system". But, in some cases the system is called a "Stalled Third-Party System," when there are three parties and all three parties win a large number of votes, but only two have a chance of winning an election. Usually, this is because the electoral system penalises the third party, e.g. as in Canadian or UK politics.
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wieder ...
between 1961 and 1983 was largely a stalled three party system, or "triopoly". For 22 years, only three parties - Christian Democratic Union and its
Bavarian
Bavarian
sister party Christian Social Union,
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
and
Free Democratic PartyFree Democratic Party is the name of several political parties around the world. It usually designates a party ideologically based on liberalism. Current parties with that name include: *Free Democratic Party (Germany), a liberal political party in ...
were represented in the
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal diet (assembly), Diet") is the Germany, German Federalism, federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the federal level. It can be compared to a lower house similar to the ...

Bundestag
, since to win seats in the Bundestag, a party must win at least 5% of the vote or win three constituency seats. The Free Democratic Party would not win a single constituency seat between 1957 and 1990, but always won party list seats. From 1961 to 1998, they were included in every government except for three years of Grand coalition in 1966-1969 and were largely considered to be the
kingmaker A kingmaker is a person or group that has great influence on a royal or political succession, without themselves being a viable candidate. Kingmakers may use political, monetary, religious, and military means to influence the succession. Origina ...
party. From 1969 to 1982, West Germany was governed by a SPD-FDP coalition and although in
1976 Events January * – The , the first commercially developed , is released by 's . * – , from Corporacion Venezolana del Petroleo (CVP) in . * – The enters into force. * – The regime proclaims a new constitution for . * – ...
and
1980 Events January * January 4 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter proclaims a United States grain embargo against the Soviet Union, grain embargo against the USSR with the support of the European Commission. * January 6 – Global Positioning Syst ...
CDU/CSU won a plurality of votes, they were unable to force out the SPD-FDP government. However, in 1982, FDP annulled the coalition pact with SPD and formed a new one with CDU/CSU, which would last until CDU/CSU's defeat in 1998 elections. 1983 elections ended the triopoly, with
The Greens The Greens or Greens may refer to: Current political parties *Australian Greens, also known as ''The Greens'' *Greens of Andorra *Greens of Bosnia and Herzegovina *Greens of Burkina *Greens (Greece) *Greens of Montenegro *Greens of Serbia *Greens ...
entering the parliament, and in
1990 Important events of 1990 include the Reunification of Germany German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of ...
, Party of Democratic Socialism entering the parliament. In the 2010 UK elections, the Liberal Democrats gained 23% of the total vote but won less than 10% of the seats due to the
first-past-the-post electoral system In a first-past-the-post (FPTP or FPP; sometimes formally called single-member plurality voting or SMP) electoral system, voters cast their vote for a candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins (irrespective ...
. Despite this, they still had enough seats (and enough public support) to form coalitions with one of the two major parties, or to make deals in order to gain their support. An example is the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition formed after the
2010 general election2010 general election may refer to: * 2010 Anguillan general election * 2010 Australian federal election * 2010 Bougainvillean general election * 2010 Brazilian general election * 2010 Burmese general election * 2010 Cook Islands general election * ...
. Another is the
Lib-Lab pact The Liberal–Labour movement refers to the practice of local Liberal Party (UK), Liberal associations accepting and supporting candidates who were financially maintained by trade unions. These candidates stood for the Parliament of the United King ...
during Prime Minister
James Callaghan Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, (; 27 March 191226 March 2005) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980. Callaghan is the only person to have held all fo ...

James Callaghan
's Minority
Labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves the uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. In 2015, there were about 13 ...
Government; when Labour lost its three-seat majority in 1977, the pact fell short of a full coalition. In Canada, there are three major federal political parties: the
Conservative Party of Canada The Conservative Party of Canada (french: Parti conservateur du Canada), colloquially known as the Tories, is a federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ...
, the
Liberal Party of Canada The Liberal Party of Canada (french: Parti libéral du Canada, region=CA) is the longest-serving and oldest active federal political party in Canada. The party has dominated federal politics of Canada The politics of Canada function within ...
, and the
New Democratic Party The New Democratic Party (NDP; french: Nouveau Parti démocratique, NPD) is a social democraticThe party is widely described as social democratic: * * * * * * * * * federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics Gener ...

New Democratic Party
. However, in recent Canadian history, the Liberals and Conservatives (and their predecessors) have been the only two parties to elect a Prime Minister in Canada, with the New Democratic Party, Bloc Quebecois and Green Party often winning seats in the House of Commons. The main exception was the 2011 Canadian election when the New Democrats were the Official Opposition and the Liberal Party was reduced to third party status. Unlike a
one-party system A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. Unitary st ...
(or a two-party system), a multi-party system encourages the general
constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state St ...
to form multiple distinct, officially recognized groups, generally called
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
. Each party competes for votes from the
enfranchised
enfranchised
constituents (those allowed to vote). A multi-party system prevents the leadership of a single party from controlling a single
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure ...
chamber without challenge. If the government includes an elected
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
or
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...

Parliament
, the parties may share power according to
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
or the first-past-the-post 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#REDIRECT Duverger's law In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political thoughts, polit ...
. Proportional representation, on the other hand, does not have this tendency, and allows multiple major parties to arise. But, recent coalition governments, such as that in the U.K., represent two-party systems rather than multi-party systems. This is regardless of the number of parties in government. A two-party system requires voters to align themselves in large blocks, sometimes so large that they cannot agree on any overarching principles. Some theories argue that this allows
centrist Centrism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, su ...
s to gain control, though this is disputed. 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.Basu, K., Dey Biswas, S., Harish, P., Dhar, S., & Lahiri, M. (2016). Is multi-party coalition government better for the protection of socially backward classes in India? UN-WIDER Working Paper, 2016 (109).


See also

* Polarized pluralism *
Political organisation A political organization is any organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Angl ...
*
Ingroups and outgroups In sociology and social psychology, an in-group is a social group to which a person self-categorization theory, psychologically identifies as being a member. By contrast, an out-group is a social group with which an individual does not identify. ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Multi-Party System Political systems Political party systems Elections Government Types of democracy