Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/14519
This thesis focuses on third parties' place in American politics and their effect on the two party system in the United States. The question of whether third parties are eccentricities in American Politics or whether they are a fixed variable will be considered. Theories explaining the existence of the two party system in America will also be pointed out. In the wake of the theoretical approach, American third parties will be explained in general and the effects of these parties then considered with examples from U.S. history.
In the final chapter, the conclusion is reached that despite third parties coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, their presence and effect on American politics is a fixed variable, which constitutes a constant threat to the two party arrangement. The power of third parties is most when the two major parties equal in public support. That is when they must fight the hardest to keep their support from "leaking" to the third parties. It is precisely this fight that "places" third party issues in the manifestos of the two major parties. These minor parties have learned to utilize to effect the outcome of U.S. politics and today, third party goals rarely consist of electoral victories, but rather indirectly influencing the politics. If the major parties do not respect the issues third parties bring to the marketplace of ideas, they risk losing a share of their support to the third parties. This has cost a number of major party candidates their victories on Election Day. Finally, a look is taken at threats an difficulties facing third parties.