Impact of Minor Parties In this paper, I will be discussing the impact of minor parties. Minor parties are political parties who have little to no impact on elections due to the amount of supporters and/or money is put into the party. However, in the United States, minor parties sometimes have a huge impact on politics and elections, whether it’s just getting their word out there and the major parties actually listen and discuss their issues, or they can even change which major party wins the election. Whatever the case may be, it shows that minor parties are just as effective as the major parties, although they have never come out on top.
Just because they are minor, does not mean they have no say or no impact in government. They are just as important as the major parties, and they should always be taken into consideration during election time. In my opinion, I think minor parties are great for this country. They bring in different views and ideas, and I like to hear what some of them have to say. The United States is a free country, and in the first amendment of the Constitution, it allows us the right of free speech. This means anyone can express their thoughts and views on just about anything, and the minor parties do just that.
They have gotten a say in politics, and the major parties sometimes bring the minor parties’ issues into discussion because they agree that their issue is a serious problem, and it needs to be fixed. I think it’s good that we don’t always have to hear the same boring stuff about issues we already know about. Even though they may never win a presidential election, at least there is some party out there that understands the issues that the major parties nor the majority of the United States citizens never really thought about.
There has been a long history of minor party candidates running for President, starting with the Anti-Masonic Party led by William Whit in 1832, and ending with the Reformist Party led by Ross Perot in 1996. There have even been very successful minor parties. Some examples are Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party in 1912, John Breckenridge’s Southern Democrat Party in 1860, and the most successful and recent one of our time Ross Perot’s Independent Party in 1992. All of these parties I mentioned made an impact on their respected elections, and because of them, they brought in new ideas and have shaped our current government.
In this paragraph, I am going to discuss the 1992 election, and how a minor party greatly effected this election. In 1992, the Independent Party led by Ross Perot was running up against George W. Bush Sr. of the Republican Party and Bill Clinton of the Democratic Party. Perot was a member of the Republican Party prior to the election, but because of his disagreements with both of the parties’ issues, he decided to run as an independent. Bush Sr. was the current President, and was a shoe in for this election, but because of Perot’s switching of parties and how vocal he was, Bush lost supporters, while Perot gained a lot.
Because of this, Clinton won with only 43% of the popular vote, while Bush had about 37%, and Perot had about 20%. This was one of the only times a President was elected into office without the majority vote. This became the turning point on how the people viewed minor parties, and ever since, the government has started to listen to their views more often. There are even two independents in the Senate right now, taking the impact of minor parties another step further. With these minor parties there are supporters of them and there are people who are against them.
The supporters of minor parties in the United States are obviously the minor parties themselves and the people who support them because they want a say in politics so the current government can discuss them, and possibly change things around a little to their benefit if necessary. Another supporter would be the major party who got into office in an election because of the minor parties because if it weren’t for the minor parties and their popularity at the time, the major party’s candidate may have not gotten into office.
The people who oppose them would probably be the major parties who lose an election due to the minor parties because the minor parties screwed them over from winning a presidential election. For example, the Republican Party was more than likely very angry at Perot for not only leaving their party, but also costing them the 1992 election. The Democrats were obviously very happy because if it weren’t for Perot, Clinton would have never been President that year. In conclusion, minor parties are great for our country. Even though they never win, they still have an impact on politics and sometimes the elections.
The only alternative I would suggest would be for the major parties to listen more to the minor parties because as of right now, nothing good is being done for this country to be turned around. There is a great deal of partisanship in the government right now, and no one is willing to work with one another because they are only concerned with their views and their party’s views, without taking others’ views into consideration. A minor party may have a good idea that both parties like, and it may be able to bring some bipartisanship back in the government and even help our economy a little bit.
There is nothing wrong with minor parties in this country, and I hope the major parties listen to more of their ideas in the future. Works Cited Leip, David. “1992 Presidential General Election Results. ” US Selection Atlas. N. p. , n. d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. Lightman, Max. “The Role of Minor Parties in Politics. ” Slideshare. N. p. , 30 Apr. 2008. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. Salka, William M. “The Impact of Minor Parties on Electoral Competition: An Examination of US. ” N. p. , n. d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.