What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Multiparty System?

Higher voter turnout represents the primary advantage of a multiparty system. On the other hand, the inability to reach a consensus between the different political parties is a big disadvantage of a multiparty system.

How a Two Party System Works Many political systems exist around the world and range from despotic regimes where one person, or group, controls everything to multiparty systems that exhibit the best that democracy has to offer. Countries, such as the United States, use a multiparty political system. While the Democratic and the Republican parties in the U.S. represent the two main parties in the country, voters actually have a choice of a variety of candidates across many political parties. Other popular political parties in the U.S. include the Libertarian Party, the Green Party and the Constitution Party.

In the U.S., the way the multiparty system works is that each party pursues its own political agenda by presenting bills to other members in the Congress, which is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. After the legislation has been presented, members of the House or Senate vote on whether to pass the measure into law. All bills begin in the House where they are sponsored by one of the elected representatives. Upon sponsorship, the bill is then sent to a committee for study. Once released by the committee, a date is set to either further debate, amend or vote on the bill. If passed, the bill moves on to the Senate where it goes through the same process. Finally, once the bill has passed both the House and Senate, it is reviewed by a group consisting of members from both the House and the Senate. After the bill attains final approval, it is sent to the desk of the President. The president either signs it into law or can veto it.

Advantages of a Two Party System A multiparty system has many advantages. The main advantage of a multiparty system is that the voters have a choice on who they elect. This depends in large part on what political beliefs each individual holds. This means that if a majority of the voting populace agrees with one political party, that party usually has more members in the House of Representatives and the Senate. In addition, a multiparty system holds political figures in power accountable for their actions through criticism and opposition to various bills that go against the interest of particular parties constituents. In this way, minority groups within a nation receive representation.

Disadvantages of a Two Party System On the other side of the coin, the disadvantages of a multiparty system are also many. First off, elections can get expensive, often running into the millions of dollars for nationwide elections. These expenses are most often seen in the various rallies that each political opponent puts on and the ads they create for the media to convince citizens to vote for them. The divisive nature of opposing political beliefs represents another disadvantage. Most often, the ideals of each political party differ from other parties in the system. This differing of ideals can sometimes divide the political landscape to the point to where smaller parties have little to no chance of winning an election.