The party system is the system of all political parties and quasi-party organizations (associations, movements, trade unions). It is one of the three most essential systems in political science, along with political and electoral systems. In the political system, parties form a party system depending on various factors. The most important factor influencing the formation and development of the party system is the current electoral system.
Under a one-party system, only one legal political party has the right to form a government because all other parties are banned and held back by that party. The disadvantage is that one party has exclusive control over the country’s political power and socio-political life, and the advantage is the absence of political controversy (Bessen, 2020). An example of a one-party system is the Communist Party in the USSR.
A two-party system is a type of party system in which two parties dominate political life and compete to expand their representation and form a government. The countries that are most often associated with two-party systems are the United Kingdom and the United States. The positive aspect is competition as a motivation to make decisions that will benefit the country. A negative feature is that it is difficult for small parties to achieve representation and influence.
Multi-party systems are a type of party system characterized by proportional representation. More than two parties can effectively compete for the right to form a government and nominate their representatives to Parliament. This system shows the diversity of interests of the population and gives the people the opportunity to better and more fully represent their views in Parliament. However, it can also make it difficult to solve social issues, which leads to conflicts. Examples of such a party system can be considered Northern European countries, except Finland and Switzerland.
It is impossible to say which type of party system is better. The state party system determines how many political parties have a realistic chance of forming a government. The system function of the party system should, first of all, ensure the stability of the political system. In particular, it does this by making the necessary policy changes to adapt society to changing conditions.
Bessen, B. (2020). Rejecting representation? Party systems and popular support for referendums in Europe. Electoral Studies, 68(1), 10-22.