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Encyclopedia > Third political party

In any two-party system of politics, a third party is a party other than the two dominant ones. While technically the term is limited to the third largest party, it is often used as shorthand to describe any smaller party. For instance, in the United Kingdom a third party is a national political party other than the Conservatives and Labour which has a substantial presence in the House of Commons. It is currently generally used to refer to the Liberal Democrats. A two-party system is a type of party system where only two political parties have a realistic chance of winning an election. ... The Conservative Party is the largest political party on the centre-right in the United Kingdom. ... The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom (see British politics), and one of the United Kingdoms three main political parties. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems, are a social liberal political party based in the United Kingdom. ...


The term "third parties" is used in countries with first past the post electoral systems as these systems tend create a two-party system; meaning successful smaller parties are rare. The first-past-the-post electoral system is a voting system for single-member districts, variously called first-past-the-post (FPTP or FPP), winner-take-all, plurality voting, or relative majority. ...


Countries using proportional representation have less of a tendency to create a two-party system; meaning successful smaller parties are not rare. In fact coalitions including the smaller parties is the norm in such a country. Proportional representation (PR) is any election system which ensures a proportionally representative result of a democratic election, x% of votes should be represented by x% in the democratic institutions, parliament or congress. ...


A party needs to have a certain level of success to be generally considered a third party. Smaller parties that only win a small percentage of the vote and no seats in the legislature are often termed minor or fringe parties. In U.S. politics, for instance, a third party is a political party other than the Democrats or Republicans that also has national influence. Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about: United States Wikinews has news related to this article: United States United States government CIA World Factbook Entry for United States House. ... The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ...


Third parties are not usually true contenders for forming a government or winning the presidency. There are many reasons for third parties to run however. The platform of a national election campaign means that attention will be paid to the opinions of third parties. The larger parties will be forced to respond and adapt to these challenges, and often the larger parties copy ideas from smaller challengers. Some third parties also hope that the party can slowly build its support and eventually become one of the dominant parties, as the Labour Party in Britain did. In the Westminster system there is also the possibility of minority governments, that can give smaller parties strength disproportional to their size. The Westminster System is a democratic system of government modelled after that of the United Kingdom system, as used in the Palace of Westminster, the location of the UK parliament. ... For minority régime, see Apartheid. ...


Examples include the U.S. Republican Party when it ran Lincoln for the Presidency and the Irish Parliamentary Party that pushed for Home Rule in Ireland in the late nineteenth century. In 1882 Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Nationalist Party, formed the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), replacing the Home Rule League, as a parliamentary party with strict rules. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Third party (politics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (430 words)
For instance, in the United Kingdom a third party is a national political party other than the Conservatives and Labour which has a substantial presence in the House of Commons.
The term "third parties" is used in countries with first past the post electoral systems as these systems tend to create a two-party system; meaning successful smaller parties are rare.
In U.S. politics, for instance, a third party is a political party other than the Democrats or Republicans that also has national influence.
Third party (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2765 words)
Third parties in the United States are secondary political parties that participate in national and state elections.
Also a third party may be used by the voter to cast a protest vote as if in a referendum on an important issue.
And since the new party rarely seems to have the chance or prospect of electing its candidate for governor of a state or president of the country, the voter is inclined in advance to consider its entire ticket as hopeless.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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