Students of American government are faced with an enduring dilemma: Why two parties? Why has this system remained largely intact while around the world democracies support multiparty systems? Should our two-party system continue as we enter the new millennium? This newly revised and updated edition of Two Parties-Or More? answers these questions by placing the dilemma in the context of recent elections and the environment in which all parties must function. The text provides students with a historical overview of minor parties and their impact on politics. By focusing on Ross Perot's efforts in 1992 and 1996 and the difficulty the Reform party faced in 2000, Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial victory in Minnesota, and Ralph Nader's Green party campaign for the presidency in 2000, the text lays out the current dilemma regarding third parties and explores the extent and cause of the current dissatisfaction with the two major parties. The authors conclude with predictions about the future of third-party politics in the states and the nation. The text is enhanced with a glossary, discussion questions, and an appendix of important third parties in presidential elections and recent officeholders who were neither Democrats nor Republicans. The revised edition highlights the implications of recent successes (Angus King in Maine in 1994 and 1998, Ventura in Minnesota, Perot in 1992, and Nader in 2000) and failures (the Reform party in 2000 and fewer third party winners in the states) of third party efforts for the future of America's traditionally two-party system.
Table of Contents
Tables and Figures, Preface and Acknowledgments, Third Parties in American Politics, Varieties and Definitions of Third Parties, Subpresidential Politics, The Dilemma of the Two-Party System, Minor Parties in a Two-Party System: Historical Perspectives, The Emergence of a Party System, The Pre-Civil War Era: Two-Party Competition, in or Party Eruptions, The Post-Civil War Era: Republican Ascendancy, Sectionalism, Transient Third Parties, The 1896 Election: Electoral Realignment, Republican Resurgence, Progressivism and the Emergence of the New Deal Democratic Coalition, The Ascendancy of the New Deal Democratic Coalition, The Post-New Deal System: Divided Government, Candidate-Centered Politics, Continuing Third-Party and Independent Candidacies, Elections 2000: Reform Party Disintegration and Green Party Emergence, Minor Parties in State Politics, Lessons from Party History, Third Parties in the American Context: A Less Than Friendly Environment, Why Two Major Parties and Not a Multiparty System?, Institutional Barriers to Multiparty Politics, Assessing Public Support for the Republicans and Democrats, Fear of “Wasting” One’s Vote: Strategic Voting in Recent Presidential Elections, Multiparty Systems at the State Level: The Overwhelming Tides of National Politics, An Environment Hostile to Third Parties, The Public Demand for Alternatives, Discontent at the Ballot Box with Two-Party Alternatives, Public Opinion on the Performance of Our Two-Party Political System, Politicians' Responses to Public Discontent, Causes of the Dissatisfaction, Consequences of “Alternative” Governments, Political Parties in the Twenty-First Century, The Future of Two-Party Politics in America, A Defense of Two-Party Politics in America, Reforming the Two-Party System, Discussion Questions, Glossary, Appendix, Notes, References, Index