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Does America Need More Political Parties?


When Gallup asked the public in 2003 whether America needed a third party, a majority opposed the idea. But asked again in 2007, the majority of both Democrats and Republicans, seemingly unsatisfied with the two-party system, welcomed more parties.

Well again this year, Americans have changed their minds. A majority of Democrats, 56 percent, and Republicans, 55 percent, think the two major parties are doing an adequate job and thus there is no need for another party to compete with them. Even though liberals support third parties the most at 51 percent, fewer liberals support third parties since the survey began five years ago. As for Independents, 63 percent want more parties . . . maybe the rest like being unrepresented?

The two-party system can add to adversarial undertones in the US — if you're a Democrat or Republican, every leader is either for or against you. In fact, every affiliated person you meet is either on your team or the enemy. Perhaps multiple parties would simply lead to a more harmonious society. And of course, those with views that do not match those of the major parties would welcome competition, too.

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