Types of Party System in the world and in India

Types of Party system around the world

There are three types of party systems :

  • One-party system
  • Two-party system and
  • Multi-party system.

One-Party System:

  • In some countries only one party is allowed to control and run the government.
  • There is no competition in this system.
  • The mono party nominates the candidates and the voters have only two choices
  •  (a) Not to vote at all or (b) write ‘yes’ or ‘no’ against the name of the candidates nominated by the party.
  • This system has been popular in Communist countries and other authoritarian regime, e.g.,
    China, North Korea and Cuba.
  • This system was also prevalent in USSR till Communism collapsed.

Two-Party System:

  • Power changes between two major, dominant parties.
  • In this system, to win elections, the winner has to get maximum number of votes, but not necessarily a majority of votes.
  • The smaller parties usually merge with the bigger parties or they drop out of elections.
  • This parliamentary system prevails in Great Britain and the United States of America, in which only two parties hold significant numbers of seats.
  • Supporters of this system believe that this prevents dangers of fragmentation (too many parties winning seats from different constituencies) and the government ran run smoothly.

Multi-Party System :

  • It is the most common type of party system.
  • In this system, three or more parties have the capacity to gain control of the government separately or in coalition.
  • When no party gains a majority of the legislative seats in multi-party parliamentary system, then several parties join hands and form a coalition government.
  • Supporters of this system point out that it allows more points of views be represented in the government.
  • Critics of this system point out that multi-party system sometimes leads to political instability.

Key Words to note for

Mono-party system : Mono-party system is a political system in which only one party controls and runs the government.

Bi-party system : Bi-party system is a type of system in which power alternates between two parties only.
Parties that gets the majority forms the government and the other party forms opposition.

Multi-party system : It is a system in which several parties compete for power and more than two parties have
reasonable chance of coming into power either on their own or in alliance with others.

Coalition government : A coalition government is generally formed in a multi-party system, when no single
party wins a majority of seats then many parties get together based on compromise and tolerance.

An Alliance : When several parties in a multi-party system join hands for the purpose of contesting elections and winning power,
it is called an alliance or a front. India, in 2004 and 2009, had three such alliances for parliamentary elections
• National Democratic Alliance
• The United Progressive Alliance and
• Left Front.


Questions Asked from this Topic

1. What do you understand by the bi-party system? Write its one merit and one demerit.
                                                             [Board Term-II, (Set-68015) 2012)

Ans. Bi-party system:
(i) In some countries, power usually changes between two main parties. It is also known as two patty system,
(ii) In this system, the government is formed by one party and the other plays the role of opposition.
This system allows stability of government as no coalition is there.
In this system, only two main parties have a serious chance of winning majority seats to form the government.

2.What is a multi-party system? Explain merits and demerits of multi-party system.
[Board Term-II, Set (68008) 2012]

In Multi-party system, three or more parties are in the competition to gain control of the government separately or in coalition.
When not any single party gain majority votes then several parties join and form a coalition government. Example-India.
Supporters of this system point out that it allows more points of view to be presented in the government.
(i) This system allows a variety of interests and opinions to enjoy political representation.
(ii) People can make a choice between several candidates.
(i) No one party is likely to gain power alone. Therefore, it leads to difficulty in formation of government.
(ii) Leads to political instability and often appears to be very messy.

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