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The Impact of Third Parties

             What is the impact of third parties?.
             The impact of third parties is stronger than one may think; or should I say, more than I thought. For a few hundred years now in the United States, a two party system dominates the government. It started before the Constitution was ratified around the year 1787. The Federalist Party was formed and is a similar representation of the Democrats today. They formed to promote the ratification of the Constitution and believed in a stronger national government that would encourage the development of commerce and manufacturing. The Anti-Federalists argued against ratification. They supported states' rights and feared a too-powerful central government. (Sidlow and Henschen, pp.144) These two parties overtime are now what we know as the Democrats and the Republicans. They have dominated national politics and become firmly embedded in the United States. Some say it is the result of the first major political divisions of the Federalists and Antifederalists and has created a standard or pattern that still exists today. .
             But where do third parties stand with in this predominantly two party government? And exactly how is it that they impact our government? Well, third parties have found it extremely challenging to contend with the major parties for a win, and there are a few reasons for this. For one, we learn of political parties as youngsters and our socialization usually takes place at home from our parents. In the US, these political views that we absorb involve support for one of the two major parties. The election laws are another obstacle for third parties by way of the necessary number of signatures needed to be placed on a ballot. The two major parties require less signatures relatively speaking, whereas the third party needs many more. There are institutional barricades that prevent third parties from enjoying any sort of real success such as the election process itself.

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