Why does America only have two choices for president ?

either republican or Democrat, but not communist or fascist 

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    A couple of reasons.  America has a first past the post electoral system where the candidate who gets the most votes wins.  This tends to limit choices to one or two options.  Of course, that's not the case everywhere.  Britain also has a first past the post system and they've got multiple parties.  (An alternative to a first past the post system is one where parties get allocated seats based on their share of the overall vote). 

    One reason that America doesn't have a strong set of minor parties, like exists in the UK, is because the Democrats and Republicans have traditionally been very good at coopting the ideas of any minor party which might be a threat.  If any minor party begins to get some serious traction then what they'll find is that one or both of the major parties adopts some of its ideas and siphons its support away. 

    But the other reason, and probably the main one, is that the US has traditionally had very weak party discipline.  This may be hard to remember in today's political climate where Democrats and Republicans mostly vote along party lines.  But in the past legislators tended to have a lot more independence to vote as they saw fit, even if this crossed the party leadership.  This is in contrast to the Westminster system which exists in the UK and many of its former colonies.  In those systems, party discipline is extraordinarily strong.  Back benchers are expected to vote in lockstep with the party leadership and breaking from the leadership is rare.  In a Westminster system you really need multiple parties because serious policy disagreements aren't really allowed within the party.  In the US, you could have a lot of policy disagreement and still be members of the same party.  For example, in the early 1960s, both the strongest advocates of segregation and it's strongest opponents were members of the Democratic party.  In a Westminster system you just wouldn't have that.  The segregationists, who made up the minority of the party, would have to go off and form their own party (as Strom Thurmond tried to do when he ran as a Dixiecrat in 1948 in protest of Truman's desegregation of the armed forces).  That's why Britain, although dominated by perennial contest between Labour and the Tories, also has a slew of minor parties like the Lib-Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Sinn Fein.  In America those aren't necessary because the ideas which they represent would just be subsumed in the big tent of one of the parties or the other. 

    I'd also like to add that people who think that multiple parties are a panacea need to look at how they actually function in other countries.  I think that people who clamor for a third party have a romanticized view of things would work that doesn't mesh with reality.  They envisage a scenario where there would be a genuine contest between three or more parties and where power would genuinely change hands between them.  But if we look at most other functioning stable democracies that's not what we see.  Instead we see two major parties handing off power to one another for extended periods.  In Britain for example, it's basically been a century since a politician from a party other than Labour or the Tories has been PM.   The existence of minor parties can also cause a lot of trouble.  Look at Israel, which has had three elections in a little over a year.  A big reason for this is because neither of their two major parties could win an outright majority and neither could convince enough minor parties to join them in coalition to actually form a government.  It was chaos.  Our system wouldn't work like that because we don't have multiple elections like a parliamentary system does, but imagine an America where Congress is split between three or more parties, all of whom are voting the party line.  It would be gridlock even worse than we have now.   Minor parties can even skew the outcomes of races in a first past the post system.  Take a look at the 2019 general election in the UK.  This was widely seen as a referendum on "Brexit", the UK's controversial decision to leave the European Union.   In the 2019 election nearly 60% of Britons voted for a political party which was officially opposed to Brexit.  But the Tories, who were the only major party supporting Brexit, won a smashing victory and gained lots of seats.  How was this possible?  Because the 57% of Britons who didn't vote for the Tories split their votes among a number of different parties, allowing Tory candidates to get the most votes in many constituencies.  The same thing could happen here.  After all, it already has.  Donald Trump is President today because the non-Trump voters in several crucial states didn't all vote for Hillary Clinton.  In a first past the post system a genuine multi candidate race runs the real risk of electing people who the majority of the population disagrees with.

  • 1 month ago

    cause thats what theyve decided to do

  • Zack
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    There are technically more than two choices. In addition to Democrats and Republicans, there's the Libertarian Party and the Green party and there are also write-in candidates, but only Democrats and Republicans have a chance of winning presidential elections. Other parties and write-ins only have a chance of winning midterm elections.

  • 1 month ago

    there are 4 but the others really don`t count

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  • Jerome
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    You must not understand masks.🤔

    This is exactly what the 2 parties have transformed into.

    The nazis and Commies.🎭

    Got US out the way.

    The true Americans.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The liberal would be the communist option, as they are pushing for socialism, which is the short road to communism.

  • 1 month ago

    Cause then we might elect someone who's not a neoliberal

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