Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Two-Party System

len Alfred Ajibola - Wed, 26th February, 2020 @ 12:23

Topics in Government

Arms of Government: Functions of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary 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

Academic Questions in Government

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

A type of democracy whereby shura is practiced is termed _____ democracy

  • A. Direct

  • B. Indirect

  • C. Constitutional

  • D. Islamic

  • E. Authoritarian

  • F. Participatory

A type of democracy whereby the people vote a bill into law is termed _____ democracy

  • A. Direct

  • B. Indirect

  • C. Constitutional

  • D. Islamic

  • E. Authoritarian

  • F. Participatory

In democracy, every citizen has got the right to vote and be vote for. Also, the principle one man one vote in this regard refers to which characteristic of democracy?

  • A. Separation of power

  • B. Freedom of expression

  • C. Constitutional supremacy

  • D. Rule of Law

  • E. Political equality

  • F. Popular sovereignty

Democracy is defined as a government formed by the consent of the governed.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Which of the following is not a type of democracy?

  • A. Peripheral democracy

  • B. Direct democracy

  • C. Islamic democracy

  • D. Representative democracy

  • E. Participatory democracy

  • F. Authoritarian democracy

Which of the following is not a characteristics of democracy?

  • A. Kingdom supracy

  • B. Rule of law

  • C. Political equality

  • D. Separation of power

  • E. Freedom of expression

  • F. Popular sovereignty

The following are functions of government except _____.

  • A. To provide free money for her citizens

  • B. To make laws as contained in the constitution

  • C. To defend and protect the lives and properties of her citizens

  • D. To provide a justice system

  • E. To generate revenue for the country

  • F. To maintain law and order through the law enforcement agencies

Government may be defined as an agency or machinery or instrument that is established to manage the general welfare of the people that make up a country.

In the above statement, government is defined _____.

  • A. As a process

  • B. As an act of governing

  • C. As an institution of a state

  • D. As an academic field o study

  • E. As a political wheel

  • F. As a machine of movement



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Concept of Two-Party System:

A two-party system is always dominated by two main parties in the political landscape of a country. This is so because the two-party system creates a structure that presents them with a large pool of followers as a result of their experiences, popularity, reputation and calibre of members. In fact, these two parties are so popular to an extent that some of the other political parties become obscure or unknown by majority of the citizens. For this reason, the two dominant parties will always collect the majority of votes by the electorate; and typically, one eventually emerges as the winner of a presidential election.

Please read more on the Two Party System and its Characteristics here.

Note: The two-party system also dominates the legislature and state elections.

Please read on the Legislature as an Arm of Government here.

From 1998 to this moment (2020), two political parties have dominated the Nigerian politics. These are:
APC vs PDP - Len Academy

  1. All Progressive Congress (APC)
  2. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

In the United States of America, the two dominant political parties are:

  1. Democratic Party
  2. Republican Party

You can read on The Multi-Party System here.

Advantages of Two-Party System

  1. It brings about political stability.

  2. Having a viable opposition who checks the excesses of the ruling party can be good in politics.
    You can read on the Scope of Government here.

  3. It is more democratic when compared to a one-party system.
    Please read on the One-Party System here.

  4. There is no form of dictatorship rule in a two-party system.
    Please read on the Forms of Government here.

  5. Having to choose from two choice of candidates can be somewhat easier.

  6. It brings about a balance in governance.

  7. It presents an opportunity for every eligible person to run for political office.
    Please read on the Types of Democracy here.

  8. It encourages the people to start participating in grassroot politics at their respective local government area.
    Please read on Gender Equality and Ways to achieve it here.


Disadvantages of Two-Party System

  1. It offers limited options of political aspirants to the electorate (voters).
    Please read on the Characteristics of Democracy here.

  2. It may divide the country into two fractions. For instance, certain Nigerian states are controlled by the All Progressive Congress (APC), for example, Lagos State while others are controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
    You can read on the Concept of Party System and Zero-Party System here.

  3. The ruling party may attempt to rig elections.

  4. It is more expensive to run when compared to a one-party system.

  5. Those with real visions and ideas on governance may never achieve their goal unless they belong to one of the (two) dominant parties.
    Please read on the Responsibilities, Duties and Obligations of a Citizen here.

  6. It promotes corruption in governmental systems.
    Please read on the Functions of Government here.

  7. The dominant parties may ignore the voices of the other political parties.
    Please read on Pressure Groups and Types of Pressure Groups here.

  8. The other parties (outside the two major parties) may become insignificant, resulting to a waste of funds.

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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

Abraham Lincoln, the great human emancipator, freedom fighter and 16th American president was popular for the saying:

Government of the people, by the people and for the people

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America was a professional wrestler before he assumed the office of the American President. Interesting, he was only defeated once in his wrestling career


The organs of government (also referred to as arms of government or branches of government) are:

  1. Executive

  2. Legislature

  3. Judiciary

These three arms of government serves as a separation of power.

Separation of Power implies that they carry out their distinct (separate) functions and responsibilities in accordance to the nation's constitution.

The president (who is number one citizen of a country and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces) is the head of the executive arm of government. It is the responsibility of the executive to enforce or execute the law.


The legislature is a group of elected persons who are required to make law.

In Nigeria, the legislature consist of the bicameral national assembly which are:

  1. The upper house or chamber (Senate)

  2. The lower house or chamber (House of Representative)


The judiciary is an independent arm of government whose power is enforced in the courts.

Like the executive and legislature, they function under the guidance of the constitution.

Please read more on the organs of government here

Below are some functions of the executive arm of government:

  1. They ensure the security of the citizens in a country.

  2. The executive cannot pass laws into the constitution. Instead, they can forward bills to the legislature (or parliament) which will deliberate upon it. (Think of 'bill' as a proposal to be made into law; which will be submitted to the parliament in the form of a draft act).

  3. It is the president's responsibility to provide quality healthcare system, education, good roads (transport system), power, labour and finance through his ministers. For instance, the minister of agriculture oversees the affairs of agriculture in a nation. The ministers may also be accountable to the national assembly with regards to how they go about their ministries.

  4. They bring about maintenance of law and order in a country through the National Security Agencies (NSA) like the police, army, navy and air force.

  5. They prepare and execute the nation’s budget.

  6. The president approves the law into the constitution.

Plesse read more on the functions of executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government here

No one is above the constitution, even the president or prime minister.

  • The constitution is the supreme law in a country, nation or state.

  • The constitution specifies how the nation or state should be governed.

  • The constitution gives power to the different organs of government; (that is,  the executive, judiciary and legislature).

  • The constitution consists of all the fundamental human rights of the people.

Juxtaposing the above points, below is a definition for the term constitution:

Constitution is a supreme law that specifies the government of a nation, the distribution of powers to the different organs of government within that nation and the fundamental rights of all her citizens.

Please read more on the constitution here

Below are some qualities or characteristics of a constitution:

  • It is neither too rigid nor too flexible.

  • It accounts for the rule of law, de-centralization of power, an independent Judiciary system and processes of election transparency.

  • It accounts for the fundament human rights of the people.

  • It allocates power to the different arms of government.

  • It must uphold the people’s sovereignty.

  • It is written systematically.

You can read on the types of constitution here.

Dictatorship is one of the forms of government. It can exist either as:

  1. Military Dictatorship
  2. Civilian Dictatorship

In 1966, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi became the first military Head of State in Nigeria after he overthrew a democratic and constitutional government (headed by the prime minister; Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa)

The above instance is a military form of dictatorship.

A typical example of a civilian dictatorship is Adolf Hitler of Germany and Joseph Stalin of Russia and Georgia

You can read more on dictatorship here