Cover image for Two parties-or more? : the American party system
Title:
Two parties-or more? : the American party system
Author:
Bibby, John F.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Boulder, Co. : Westview Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xv, 152 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780813340302

9780813340319
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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.


Summary

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.


Author Notes

John F. Bibby is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee He was the 2001 recipient of the Samuel J. Eldersveld Lifetime Award and has held leadership positions in national, state, and local party organizations
L. Sandy Maisel is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government and chair of the Department of Government at Colby College


L. Sandy Maisel is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Government and chair of the department of political science at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The author and/or editor of a dozen books, he lives in Oakland, Maine.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Table of Contents

Tables and Figuresp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 Third Parties in American Politicsp. 1
Varieties and Definitions of Third Partiesp. 6
Subpresidential Politicsp. 15
The Dilemma of the Two-Party Systemp. 17
2 Minor Parties in a Two-Party System: Historical Perspectivesp. 19
The Emergence of a Party Systemp. 24
The Pre-Civil War Era: Two-Party Competition, Minor Party Eruptionsp. 25
The Post-Civil War Era: Republican Ascendancy, Sectionalism, Transient Third Partiesp. 29
The 1896 Election: Electoral Realignment, Republican Resurgencep. 32
Progressivism and the Emergence of the New Deal Democratic Coalitionp. 33
The Ascendancy of the New Deal Democratic Coalitionp. 35
The Post-New Deal System: Divided Government, Candidate-Centered Politics, Continuing Third-Party and Independent Candidaciesp. 38
Elections 2000: Reform Party Disintegration and Green Party Emergencep. 43
Minor Parties in State Politicsp. 47
Lessons from Party Historyp. 53
3 Third Parties in the American Context: A Less Than Friendly Environmentp. 55
Why Two Major Parties and Not a Multiparty System?p. 58
Institutional Barriers to Multiparty Politicsp. 60
Assessing Public Support for the Republicans and Democratsp. 72
Fear of "Wasting" One's Vote: Strategic Voting in Recent Presidential Electionsp. 74
Multiparty Systems at the State Level: The Overwhelming Tides of National Politicsp. 75
An Environment Hostile to Third Partiesp. 77
4 The Public Demand for Alternativesp. 79
Discontent at the Ballot Box with Two-Party Alternativesp. 81
Public Opinion on the Performance of Our Two-Party Political Systemp. 85
Politicians' Responses to Public Discontentp. 88
Causes of the Dissatisfactionp. 96
Consequences of "Alternative" Governmentsp. 100
5 Political Parties in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 105
The Future of Two-Party Politics in Americap. 107
A Defense of Two-Party Politics in Americap. 111
Reforming the Two-Party Systemp. 120
Discussion Questionsp. 125
Glossaryp. 127
Appendixp. 131
Notesp. 137
Referencep. 141
Indexp. 147
Tables and Figuresp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 Third Parties in American Politicsp. 1
Varieties and Definitions of Third Partiesp. 6
Subpresidential Politicsp. 15
The Dilemma of the Two-Party Systemp. 17
2 Minor Parties in a Two-Party System: Historical Perspectivesp. 19
The Emergence of a Party Systemp. 24
The Pre-Civil War Era: Two-Party Competition, Minor Party Eruptionsp. 25
The Post-Civil War Era: Republican Ascendancy, Sectionalism, Transient Third Partiesp. 29
The 1896 Election: Electoral Realignment, Republican Resurgencep. 32
Progressivism and the Emergence of the New Deal Democratic Coalitionp. 33
The Ascendancy of the New Deal Democratic Coalitionp. 35
The Post-New Deal System: Divided Government, Candidate-Centered Politics, Continuing Third-Party and Independent Candidaciesp. 38
Elections 2000: Reform Party Disintegration and Green Party Emergencep. 43
Minor Parties in State Politicsp. 47
Lessons from Party Historyp. 53
3 Third Parties in the American Context: A Less Than Friendly Environmentp. 55
Why Two Major Parties and Not a Multiparty System?p. 58
Institutional Barriers to Multiparty Politicsp. 60
Assessing Public Support for the Republicans and Democratsp. 72
Fear of "Wasting" One's Vote: Strategic Voting in Recent Presidential Electionsp. 74
Multiparty Systems at the State Level: The Overwhelming Tides of National Politicsp. 75
An Environment Hostile to Third Partiesp. 77
4 The Public Demand for Alternativesp. 79
Discontent at the Ballot Box with Two-Party Alternativesp. 81
Public Opinion on the Performance of Our Two-Party Political Systemp. 85
Politicians' Responses to Public Discontentp. 88
Causes of the Dissatisfactionp. 96
Consequences of "Alternative" Governmentsp. 100
5 Political Parties in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 105
The Future of Two-Party Politics in Americap. 107
A Defense of Two-Party Politics in Americap. 111
Reforming the Two-Party Systemp. 120
Discussion Questionsp. 125
Glossaryp. 127
Appendixp. 131
Notesp. 137
Referencep. 141
Indexp. 147