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Unformatted text preview: Wesley Murphy Political Science 229 Shanruo Ning Zhang 4/19/10 Electoral and Party Systems The electoral system shapes the party system in a modern democratic state by influencing what methods a political party will use to win their campaign. According to Duvergers Law and Hypothesis, the relationship between electoral systems and the number of parties is a sociological law. The common goal of any political party is to win; this desire affects the number of parties that are created because if winning is defined as receiving the most votes; that is, as a plurality, then one might reasonably expect a two-party system owing to the necessity under this definition of maximizing votes. 1 However, if receiving over half of the votes in a runoff election is defined as winning, then the candidates running for office do not have to concentrate as much energy on winning all of the votes. Whoever comes in second may have enough votes to win the election. Lastly, if winning means achieving some number of votes that are less than half, then the need to win all of the votes is removed altogether. To summarize briefly, whatever is defined as winning, dictates what kind of party system that will develop; if the definition requires candidates to win all of the votes (as in plurality systems) then they are encouraged to create a two-party system. plurality systems) then they are encouraged to create a two-party system....
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