Friday, February 26, 2010

Arguments Against a Multiparty System

So, I've decided to play devil's advocate here and give the arguments against a multi-party system because I believe every good argument has an equally excellent counter-argument.

While I agree with Anya that only having two parties makes it harder for everyone to get along, I suppose I don't see how a multi-party system does this either? People and parties have differences and that's just a fact. In a multiparty system (let's take Britain's main parties) it would just be the labour and liberal parties against the conservatives because they all lean a certain way (more liberal or more conservative). In fact, one could argue there would be more sniping within these groups because of the opposite ideologies they have (if it's a type of coalition government). Or, even if it's just a generally "liberal" coalition there are still differences between them (let's say the liberal and labour parties) because they obviously different parties for a reason. I hope this makes sense, but essentially I'm saying there might be more issues/tribulations to argue about in a multiparty system.

I also agree with Anya that candidates in America have become more centrist, however they have because we want them to be. Many (but not all) don't really want a "radical" president to shake America up and would prefer a President who was less ideological and looked at things from different perspectives. However, I'm generalizing. My question: wouldn't finding common ground between multiple parties make the government more centrist? It seems logical to me that the more parties involved, the more diverse ideas there are, the harder it is to find common ground, and the more centrist/to the middle policies are adopted. I will illustrate with an example. If you are out with one friend and are deciding between seeing a horror movie and a romantic comedy, eventually one of you will give in and decide to agree with the other person. This is a "stronger" stance because it's not diluted by too much compromise. However, if you're out with five friends and everyone wants to see something different it's a real problem, you become indecisive and say (at least in my group of friends), "whichever you guys like the best." In the end you all might give up on the movie all together (aka nothing getting done in the world of politics) or spend a lot of time crafting a compromise: "If we see Avatar this week then next week we have to see A Single Man"...and so forth until everyone is pleased (like how centrist policies please everyone). So, my point: Not only is it harder to reach a conclusion in a multi-party system, it also will result in a down-the-middle policy because too many people and ideas are involved and everyone has to be included and say their piece.

My contention with the last point made: multiparty systems may give more "variety" however that won't encourage people to vote if they're apathetic. In fact, if one is apathetic, one would like to vote in the easiest way possible, which would be with the two party system, because there are only so many ways you can go. You're either Republican or Democrat and then use the "straight ticket" voting approach (vote all for one party). However, this doesn't foster an informed society and electorate (things are never perfect)

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