Third Party Essay

1305 words - 5 pages

Effects of Political Parties Introduction Since the last of the Whig party left office in 1852, the American political system has been primarily a two party system. The Democrats and the Republicans have been the two parties fighting for the Presidency since that time. There have been many other parties since that time, but mainly, these two have gone unopposed against each other. However, how much good do these parties actually do? Would our country be run as effectively if the presence of political parties was no longer a factor? It is the opinion of the authors that the U.S.

Government would exist without political parties and may, in fact be stronger. The concept of political parties seems to go against what it means to be a politician: to represent his or her constituents. More time, money and effort, it seems is put into getting elected to an office than actually doing work for the people in that office. One fairly recent example is seen in the case of the proposed federal Balanced Budget Amendment.

Mark Hatfield, Republican Oregon Senator, went against his parties wishes and voted against the amendment. His party nearly abandoned him for choosing the people over his party. Many senators are faced with the same decision every day, but instead stick with party beliefs and not what they feel would be the best for the people. In order for true democracy to be achieved in our government, we feel drastic changes need to occur. Review Of The Literature Since the mid 1850's, the Democrats and Republicans have had control of the nation government.

The only place where opposition was felt was at the state and local levels. However, in the early days of our country, third and fourth party candidates played important roles in politics. A few of these parties from our history are the: Democrat-Republicans, Jefferson Republicans, Whigs and Federalists. Many other lesser known or hardly known at all parties were the: Socialists, Unionists, Farmer-Laborists, Progressives, Communists, States' Rights, American Independents, Libertarians, New Alliance, Populists, Consumers, National Economic Recovery, Right to Life, Workers league, Socialist Workers, Peace and Freedom, Prohibitionists, Workers World, American, Grassroots, Independent and Third World Assembly. This immense list goes to show that not all American history has been two party. What we know today as Democrats and Republicans derived from some of these parties to be what they are today.

The emergence of the parties has come mainly as a reaction to history where most of the rulers have been dictators or kings. The people do not favor dictatorship and therefore created political parties to better represent the feelings of the voters (Madron, 1974). This is not a time of a dictatorship and we have achieved representative democracy. We have evolved as a nation and have grown out of the need for political parties. The 1992 Presidential election was a definite sign that the usefulness of...

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