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A comparison of the party structure of the united states and great britain

Parties help taking control of the governments and shaping of the democracies. Every state has different type of party system. Even though these systems are the same, they can approve differently from each other in some countries. The purpose of this essay to compare the USA and the United Kingdom in terms of two party system and also discuss their differences and similarities.

Defining a party is hard and up until today many people have tried to define in a certain framework. If necessary to summarize meaning of the political party, the political parties are institutions that gather people under same ideological roots, people who have certain beliefs and believe same particular principles what government should be or should not be or how government behave.

The political parties want to have control of the government, to capture and use political office. They use legitimate means such as elections. By the help of the elections they can come to power or can stay in opposition side. Sometimes they may not want to join to the electionsthis situation is also legitimate. The political parties have interests and they can represent one or more interest in the society.

  • According to Florin Fesnic;
  • A US President is limited by the constitution to two four-year terms in office, whereas there is no limit to the time that a British Prime Minister can serve in the office;
  • In a parliamentary regime, a two-party system means that the party that has a majority in the legislature is also forming the government;
  • In Britain the name 'Conservative' means mainstream right-wing, especially on economic issues.

There are various party systems that bring together the political parties or promote one party and shape the regime of the 1 government. One of them is the two party system.

A two-party system is a system that is dominated by the two major parties and in the elections the voters make a choice among these political parties. The two parties have equal power for winning government. Actually there are a number of party but only two have sufficient electoral strength. The power alternates between them and these parties are electable.

There are both advantages and disadvantages about two- party system. The advantage of this system is that two-party system provides stability. It is also very easy for voters since they only have to choose between two runners; whereas, in a multi-party system voters must choose between many runners. Critics say that a two-party system limits representation and the range of policies considered for enactment. So, if he or she does not like the other option?

There will be a problem. This situation can be disadvantageous. This system may promote conflicts and argumentations. The two-party system is created in democracies such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

These parties are the largest parties of the UK. These countries are approving the same party system but British two-party system is different from American two-party system. This difference results from the British parliamentary system and American presidential system. The important feature of the two-party system is to be majoritarian. In British parliamentarian system there is a concert or union between legislative and executive powers. According to Florin Fesnic: The institutional context is crucial for how a two-party system actually works and for its effects on policymaking.

  1. For example the members of the parties can act in direction of their personal views. The power always changes hands among two parties.
  2. In Britain, it is assumed that anyone who wants to run for national office cares for his or her country. Several states, however, require that a special election be held with the governor certifying the winner as the Senate member.
  3. In the UK, as well as political parties that seek votes throughout the entire country, there are nationalist political parties that field candidates only in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. In the UK, red identifies the Labour Party, the more left-wing.
  4. It is also very easy for voters since they only have to choose between two runners; whereas, in a multi-party system voters must choose between many runners. In the UK, vacancies in the House of Commons are filled by a by-election in the relevant constituency which is usually held within three or four months.

The key distinction here is between America's presidential system and Britain's parliamentary system. Although the logic of a two-party system is inherently majoritarian, the existence of separation of powers opens the door for divided government. This can mitigate the winner-takes-all effect of the two-party system when, as it is often the case in the United States, one party is in control of Congress and the other party controls the White House.

  1. In the USA, there are only two parties represented in Congress and both are federal parties; there is no political party that only seeks votes in one state or a selection of states.
  2. The advantage of this system is that two-party system provides stability.
  3. In Britain, the middle-class is seen as a comfortable minority with the majority of the population perceiving themselves as working class. The size of the British Cabinet varies.
  4. Another difference proceeds from the party discipline.
  5. In America, the working class is seen as the poor and most citizens perceive themselves as middle-class or aspiring to be so. This system may promote conflicts and argumentations.

The British parliamentary system, with its fusion of legislative and executive powers, prevents such an occurrence. In a parliamentary regime, a two-party system means that the party that has a majority in the legislature is also forming the government. Such single-party governments have a higher life expectancy than multiparty governments. The power always changes hands among two parties. Another difference proceeds from the party discipline. In the USA the parties is not very different from each other in terms of sociological background and ideologies.

Party discipline and ideology is weaker than the UK. Therefore functioning of the two-party system is softer than the UK. This softness is beneficial in election of the president and functioning of the separation of powers principle. In relationship between the legislative and the executive the tie among the parties does not have any importance.

Also the president can appoint people who are members of the opposition party as a minister in his own cabinet. This situation prevents conflicts in terms of constituting a concert and color between two parties. In the United States, the Democratic and Republican Parties absolutely dominate federal and state elections with independents securing only small proportions of the vote. British parties on the other hand do have a long ideological tradition.

However, there has been a steady decline in party affiliation, too. Because there are hard sanctions for people who vote for ideas that are against the party view, there is a union within party. Therefore the government provide authority and efficiency.

Again according to Florin Fesnic: Those who follow the party line enhance their chances for being rewarded in the future with a better position in the government, and party dissidence is rare. In other words republican-democrat differentiation does not reflect opposition in the congresses.

For this reason American soft two-party system is more close to the multiple party system according to British strict two-party system.

Strict two-party system parliamentarian mechanism functions well with the executive. Britain two-party system has characteristic of this kind of two-party structure, parliamentarian regime functions well. But, in the USA there are problems in the functioning and the government is undecided and less efficient. The party systems brings 6 Felix Poetschke, 2002.

British system has more effective executive organ because there are no disputes between the powers. The reason of the differences in two-party system of the USA and the UK can be considered as their societies and geographies.

Congress in America and Parliament in Britain. Because people have only two options for making a choice. If there is a problem or conflict in one side, people focuses on the other.

Britain is more successful in policy positions because of its moderate actions. Currently, British politics is less polarized. At the same time, there is a widening policy gap between the positions endorsed by the Republicans and the Democrats in the United States. Even though they use the same party system, there are differences between in their functioning.

There can be a few reasons for this difference. The most important of them is that Britain has a strict two-party structure, the USA, on the contrary, has a soft two- party structure.

What is the difference between the British Parliament and the US Congress?

America varies from Britain in terms of relations between the powers. For example political parties in Britain are based on a powerful ideology therefore they are more disciplined and centralized. There are some sanctions for people who act against the general view. Therefore British parties are more disciplined and British two-party system is more strict. On the other hand American political parties are decentralized and less disciplined. Party discipline and ideology is more weaker than the Britain.

For example the members of the parties can act in direction of their personal views. If they want, they can act without consultation of their own parties.

This situation shows that there is an undisciplined part structure in America. On the other hand America is a larger country than Britain in terms of both population and geography. They differ from each other in some points.

  • The British constitution is unwritten, and so there;;;
  • The unelected House of Lords—the upper chamber in the UK Parliament—can certainly delay legislation and inflict defeats on the government of the day;
  • The British Cabinet is appointed by the Prime Minister who normally attends and chairs every meeting.

Handbook of Party Politics, London: