The re-introduction of the system has come with a number of benefits like widened democracy and strengthened good governance. Dar es Salaam. Since the establishment of multiparty system over two decades ago, a number of political parties have been formed, all struggling to take the reigns of the government. The recent establishment of the Alliance for Change and Transparency ACT brings yet another discussion in the political atmosphere. However, the political scenario in developed countries, is different from one in the country here, the former have few but very strong parties. A political analyst, Dr Benson Bana, said the number of political parties has no influence over the improvement of democracy since many parties lack good policies, strategies and their leaders instead consider them just like family assets and just use them to further their personal agenda.

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There are many different types of democracy being discussed and observed. However, according to Ware, multipartism has several different types such as polarized, moderate, segmented or atomized. In my opinion, it does not necessarily have to be an extension or improvement of all rights; I believe that if, due to multipartism, there is an improvement in at least one of the rights economic, liberal, etc.

After having defined the main constituent parts of the question, now let me turn to the analysis itself. This means that the political parties which are in the government should represent the diversified interests of the constituency. Taking the multi-party system into consideration and comparing it to two-party or dominant party one-party systems, it could be argued that in the multi-party system, constituencies have a greater probability that their interests will be represented than in any other party system.

In my opinion, this is because multipartism implies having at least three parties which may represent completely different political ideologies and may be broadly scattered along the political spectrum; whereas, in the two-party system, there is usually a maximum of two political ideologies being represented that may have a rather big ideological distance, which implies quite a big gap between the two parties, and, consequently, voters do not have their interests fully represented.

Of course, the case when parties in one country have totally different ideological principles is rather extreme and unusual. Nevertheless, theory does not always correspond with the reality and practice.

Furthermore, the intuition that a greater level of party fragmentation, as well as greater ideological distance, between parties should enhance democracy is a sense that this leads to better representation of constituency interests, but is not an incontestable fact. Let me observe the peculiar case of Russia during the transition period from communism to democracy. In my opinion, there were some other factors beyond multipartism, which had complicated the development of democracy in Russia.

So, in general, even if political parties existed, they were usually suppressed, i. To be more precise, the formation of political culture in Russia is an on-going process which, in my opinion, has a strong correlation with the level of democracy: I believe that weak political culture negatively contributes to the democratization process.

Undeveloped political culture, even under multipartism, is an obstacle for democracy. Another factor that lies beyond multipartism is coalition formation. Corruption, in my opinion, is also one of the problems which has brought down the incipient Russian democracy. The example clearly illustrates that there are other factors behind multipartism which influence the process of democratization.

Another factor which is worth considering while analyzing the effect of multipartism on democracy is the notion of accountability. This is because in a multi-party system, the government is usually formed by coalitions, which consist of several parties, and the decision-making process in this case is not straightforward, i.

Thus, it is difficult for the constituency to blame any particular party if the policy or the decision is undesirable or they believe it is unsuccessful. The situation is different in the two-party system where the accountability for the unpopular decision or policy is usually clearly attributed to either one party or another; the case of the dominant party system is even more clear- all the unpopular decisions are the burden of one party.

However, it should be argued that the multi-party system has a positive impact on the level of democracy in terms of party competition for gaining the support of voters. The tough competition makes parties adopt their programme and objectives to serve the interests of the constituency.

Finally, I would like to observe the concept of electoral competition in the context of multipartism. I believe that the type of the electoral system within the particular party system may have an influence on democracy. To be more precise, the party that gets the majority of votes executes the greatest power and, thus, in general, only people who have voted for that party get their interests fully represented; other constituencies lack the representation of their interests which, obviously, has a negative impact on the democracy.

Another effect is reached by the proportional representation electoral system. The PR, in my opinion, ensures the greater probability for the voters to get their interests represented in the parliament. This is because the PR system gives the parties which have not got the majority vote the opportunity to be elected in the parliament as well.

Many factors along with multipartism shape the level of democracy in a country. Moreover, parties should not act solely on the basis of self-interest but should reflect the demands of constituency. Thus, only the successful combination of all these factors within the multipartism may lead to the enhancement of democracy. Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing.

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Submissions Advertise Donate About. Anastasija Malachova , Nov 21 , views. Download PDF. This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. Please Consider Donating Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing.


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Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Nigeria's most famous human rights lawyer, was arrested on 30th January , and since then has been incacerated in Bauchi, Nigeria without access to medical care or family. He is suffering from acute malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. Fawehinmi joins the ranks of Beko Ransome-Kuti, Femi Falana, Frank Kokori, Shehu Sani, Chris Anyanwu and other brave and valiant heroes who have dared to speak out against forms of harassment and injustice under the Abacha regime. He is a veteran in the struggle against human rights violations and his distinguished career spans three decades.


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A multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national election, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition. Several parties compete for power and all of them have reasonable chance of forming government. First-past-the-post requires concentrated areas of support for large representation in the legislature whereas proportional representation better reflects the range of a population's views. Proportional systems may have multi-member districts with more than one representative elected from a given district to the same legislative body, and thus a greater number of viable parties. Duverger's law states that the number of viable political parties is one, plus the number of seats in a district.


Multi-party system




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