Two-Party System explained with its Characteristics

len Alfred Ajibola - Sat, 07th December, 2019 @ 17:03

Topics in Government

Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, First Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Second Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Third Term Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-Party System Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Two-Party System Pressure Group: Types of Pressure Group Characteristics of Pressure Group Constitution - Types of Constitution Government - Scope of Government Government - Characteristics of Government Government - Importance of Government One-Party System explained Multi-Party System explained with its Characteristics Party System: Zero Party System Two-Party System explained with its Characteristics Democracy and Types of Democracy Democracy - Characteristics of Democracy Government - Types and Forms of Government Government - Functions of Government What is Government? Definitions of Government

Academic Questions in Government

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The absence of government in a country or state is referred to as _____.

  • A. chaos
  • B. doom
  • C. oligarchy
  • D. autocracy
  • E. anarchy
  • F. meritocracy

The definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is a concept of _____.

  • A. John F. Kennedy
  • B. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • C. Aristotle
  • D. George W. Bush
  • E. Kamala Harris
  • F. Abraham Lincoln

A form of government where the wealthy rule the people is known as _____.

  • A. plutocracy
  • B. timocracy
  • C. technocracy
  • D. meritocracy
  • E. richocracy
  • F. autocracy

Which of the following countries isn't a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR)?

  • A. Malta
  • B. Latvia
  • C. Moldova
  • D. Estonia
  • E. Georgia
  • F. Uzbekistan

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Two-Party System:

The two-party system is a setting whereby only two political parties dominate the political landscape in a country or state.

It is important to state that other political parties may be present in a two party system, but the main point is:

The "other political parties" will rarely get political offices after the outcome of elections.

Please read on Multi-Party System, Its Advantages, Disadvantages and Characteristics here.

In a two party system, only one of two parties typically holds power as the president or prime minister while both parties account for a majority in the legislature.

Note: The term two-party system might be slightly different in meanings depending on the country where it's practiced.

Please read on the Concept of Party System and Zero Party System here.

Examples of dominant political parties in a two-party system alongside the countries where they are practiced include:

  • The Democratic Party and Republicans in United States of America.
  • The People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Nigeria.
  • The Labour and Conservative Party in the United Kingdom.
  • The Liberal/National Coalition vs Labour Party in Australia.
  • The Nationalist Party vs Labour Party is Malta.
  • Please read on One Party System, its Advantages, Disadvantages and Types here.


Characteristics of the Two-Party System

  1. It comprises of two dominant parties that typically occupy the legisature.

  2. It is democratic in nature.
    Please read on Democracy and its Characteristics here.

  3. There is freedom to express oneself at the press.
    Please read on Fundamental Human Rights here.

  4. The president and prime minister emerges from one of both parties.

  5. It presents a choice of candidates and parties to the people.

  6. Some of the other parties (called the third party) may become obscure in a two-party system.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Government


Anarchy is one of the forms of government. Ironically, it is the absence of government in a society, country or state.

An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.

Other forms of government includes:

  1. Oligarchy
  2. Colonialism
  3. Monarchy
  4. Communism
  5. Federalism
  6. Dictatorship
  7. Democracy
  8. Meritocracy
  9. Autocracy
  10. Aristocracy 

Please read on the various forms of government here

Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

According to Abrahim Lincoln,

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen.

Please read on the fundamental Human Rights here.

NOTE: No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.

Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.