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What is a multi party system? Advantages and disadvantages of multi-party system?

A multi-party setup has the advantage of encouraging high voter turnout. This generally ensures greater transparency in governance. A country with a diverse population is better represented by a multi-party system. However, a multi-party system can also be a victim of party manipulations and political agendas of different groups. A multi-party system also encourages maximum participation from diverse political, ethnic and social groups.

This can be an advantage if there is a genuine desire to govern and legislate properly. Otherwise, little is done through governance and law, as interstellar strife and political strife prevent any real action from taking place. A multi-party system can also bring a lot of experience in administration, governance and law. It can help in promoting a sense of unity among followers of different political ideologies. It prevents a political ideology from becoming the dominant ideology.

However, it can be very difficult to reach consensus on important social and political issues in a multi-party system. A legislative body may lack credibility if political parties and politicians with questionable pasts are part of the legislative body. Party alliances don’t always work well, and this can often happen after elections in a multi-party system. In a multi-party system, a political party with a radical agenda can get elected to power, and this can prove disastrous.

Also read: Right to freedom as mentioned in the Indian Constitution.

What is a multiparty system?

When more than two political parties are important or there are many parties in a state and their position is generally of equality and more than 2 parties are in a position to form the government, then the system of that country is called multi-party system.

Can take the example of India where INC, BJP, AAP etc parties have the right to form the government after getting majority in the election, so the country in which multiple parties have the right to form the government can be called as multi party system.

What do you understand by multi-party system?

Also read: What is federalism? Main features of federalism.

merits of multiparty system

  1. In the multi-party system, citizens get the support of many political parties, so under this method, citizens get more opportunity to vote, thus different votes get the opportunity to represent it.
  2. Ideology has significantly diminished as a factor. Decision making is far more balanced. There is more scope to examine factors that a ruling party would consider irrelevant. In theory, the worst excesses of either party should be mitigated.
  3. In this method, due to the large number of political parties, citizens can get maximum representation in the legislature.
  4. In this system, citizens have contact with different parties, so the political outlook of the citizens remains more developed and comprehensive.
  5. In the multi-party system, many parties try to establish their own power, after getting power, the autocracy of any party is not established due to the remaining opposition parties.

Also read: What is Public Distribution System?

Disadvantages of multiparty system

  1. In India, after 1990, no party has got an absolute majority from the Lok Sabha, a coalition government has been formed, so the government is often weak and unstable.
  2. Due to the multi-party system, the reins of governance remain in the hands of a mixed cabinet of different parties, so there is a lack of uniformity of governance in the multi-party system.
  3. Getting anything done is more difficult. Everything is a compromise. There are frequent deals to be made between factions, which can result in highly unwanted decisions later on.
  4. In the multi-party system, the cabinets are not able to last for a long time, so they fail to make long-term plans in their short-term, so it is said that there is a lack of long-term plans in the multi-party system.
  5. In the multi-party system of governance, no party gets the opportunity to establish its dominance over the government on its behalf, different parties are engaged in fulfilling their interests and by distracting the public, they fulfill their interests, so in the multi-party system. Public welfare is neglected.
  6. Due to the presence of many political parties, the influence of a single efficient leader is not able to remain among the citizens because different parties are involved in protecting their interests, there is no one leader who is the source of unity of the citizens of the entire nation. Therefore, there is also a lack of influence of the leader in the multi-party system.

Who invented the multi-party system?

Nobody invented the multi-party system. However, the birth of modern political parties is usually traced back to 17th century England, during and after the English Civil War, and then through the Glorious Revolution to the Whigs and Tories. Simply put, the Whigs were anti-Catholic and constitutional monarchies (i.e. limited powers for the king), while the Tories favored a stronger monarch and were more conservative.

Also read: Why did the Tsar’s rule end in 1927?

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