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Why are minor political parties important?

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Quick Answer

Minor political parties can play an important role in a county's politics by virtue of their ability to influence the controlling party to adopt some of their platforms. Because they are not guaranteed a good chance of winning a major election and becoming a controlling party, minor political parties can be inventive, take chances and promote a radical idea to a much greater degree than established major parties would. In this respect, minor political parties can introduce into the political spectrum new viewpoints and approaches that major parties may have never introduced on their own.

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In governments based on a multiparty system, minor parties have a chance of becoming part of a coalition when no single major party has the capacity to control the government on its own. In such multiparty systems, minor parties can help to provide a coalition with a better chance of developing a more effective power block in governing. Countries such as Brazil, Finland, Germany, Israel and Italy have made effective use of multiparty coalitions in their democratic processes.

In the United States, which is a two-party system, no minor political party has ever gained control of the government. There have, however, been notable instances of a minor party exerting enough influence to achieve its aims through legislation. The early 20th-century Progressive Party, for example, never won control of the U.S. government, but by exerting its influence and promoting its causes of a minimum wage and other economic and social reforms, the party eventually saw many of its aims achieved through the legislative process.

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Related Questions

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    What are some functions of political parties?

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    Some of the functions played by political parties include pre-selection of candidates for political office, providing organizational support for individual candidates and giving a structured channel to people with similar political ideas that allows them to meet and organize. Ultimately, political parties are responsible for the formation and operations of the government.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of a political party?

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    Examples of political parties include the Democratic Party (U.S.), the Conservative Party (U.K.), the Christian Democratic Union (Germany) and the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (Zimbabwe). According to Merriam-Webster, a political party is a group of people organized to gain and use political power.

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    What are the negatives and positives of the different political parties?

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    Having different political parties is advantageous in that it makes it possible for people with common ideas to join together and advocate for the rights and interests of the citizens they represent. Also, opposing political parties exert pressure on the leadership of a country to make laws and policies that benefit citizens. Different political parties, however, can cause divisions in a country by triggering disputes between special interest groups.

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    What is the main function of the two major political parties?

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