The American Party System Electoral System

The American Party System Electoral System

  1. The American party system is far more dominated by two political parties than almost any long-standing democracy. If we elected members of Congress using proportional representation rather than our current system, what effect would that have on the number of parties in the US? How would such a change affect the behavior of voters?
  2. Other than the first-past-the-post electoral system used to elect members of Congress, what is one major factor that promotes the two-party system in the US?
  3. The US uses a presidential system of government, but many countries around the world (like Canada, Japan and the UK) use a parliamentary system instead. How is the head of government selected in each system? How is the head of government removed in each system?
  4. How does the sugar industry exemplify the influence of lobbyists in the legislative process?
  5. What are the four types of legislation that are introduced in Congress? How do they differ?

Your response to this paper should be 300-500 words. You may upload a response as either a Word document or PDF.


  • selection from Taylor, Steven L., Matthew S. Shugart, Arend Lijphart, and Bernard Grofman. 2014. Selection from: A Different Democracy.
    • Textbook, Chapter 7: The Rules of the Legislative Game
    • Reader, Chapter 20: “Sample of a Special Rule”
    • Reader, Chapter 21: “Sample of a Unanimous Consent Agreement”
    • Textbook, Chapter 8: The Floor and Voting
    • Textbook, Chapter 6: The Standing Committees

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