Classification of Party System

  • A traditional basis for the classification of party systems has been the quantitative one. According to this classification scheme three types of party systems are identified: i.e. one party system, bi-party system or two party system and multi-party system.
  • One party system is also called single party system. In such a system the political power is wielded by one political party which is continuously in power. During an election, in each constituency this single party fields several of its own candidates out of which one candidate is elected by people as their representative. Other political parties or groups exist only with the consent of this party.
  • A communist state always works with a one party system. Similar is the case of each totalitarian state.
  • Two party system or Bi-party system exists in a state where there are either only two nearly equally popular political parties or two main political parties with several minor or less influential political parties. Another feature is that the two main parties, gets the opportunity to rule from time to time. United Kingdom, USA, Belgium, Luxembourg and Ireland have bi-party systems.
  • Multi-party system has several equally active and influential political parties. Several parties are continuously and actively involved in the struggle for power. Sometimes these parties form government by forming coalition groups or fronts. In such a system, at times, no single party is in a position to get a clear majority in the elections. In this situation several parties form a coalition to form the government.
  • Multi-party system is always the product of the social, economic, cultural, regional and political environment of each society. It naturally comes into existence in a society characterised by diversities.


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