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What Is The Role Of Minor Parties Within The American Political System.

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WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MINOR PARTIES WITHIN THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM The American political system has always had minor political parties. However, the Republican Party is the only minor party that has ever achieved majority status. Minor parties in the USA have formed mainly to promote crucial issues that their followers believe are not being represented by either of the two major parties. This both strengthens and weakens the minor parties. A minor party must broaden its platform to increase its following. However, it risks the alienation of its original supporters in the hope of getting new supporters. Yet if it remains small, it cannot win elections and will consequently decline away. They play a significant role in the American political system by providing a haven for those with atypical views. ...read more.


For e.g. Ross Perot's 1992 candidacy was fueled by the widespread perception that Washington had lost touch with the interests of middle class. Historically, minor parties in the USA had formed in response to the emergence of a single controversial issue, out of a commitment of a certain ideology, or as a result of a rift within one of the major parties. Some minor parties within the American political system have been formed to represent a single issue of over riding concern to their supporters, e.g. the right to life party was formed to oppose the legalization of abortion. Some single-issue parties have seen their policies ratified into law. Single-issue parties usually disband when their issue is favourably resolved or fades in importance. ...read more.


Money and the media have increasingly shaped campaigns. This has enabled candidates to seek high-level offices without the backing of a major political party. An example of such a campaign is Ross Perot's 1992 presidential candidacy. He received 19% of the vote. Perot's campaign was based on middle-class discontent with the major parties and was conducted almost entirely on television. Perot ran again 1996 but as the nominee of the Reform Party, which he founded. He ran a media based campaign which only attracted 8% of the vote. Hence, I can say that overall minor political parties an important role within the American political system. They increase involvement of the general electorate in the political system and largely act as an outlet of atypical views. Javeria Masud 13 O 1 ...read more.

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