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Comparative Politics The United States vs France There are few countries in the world who have very similar electoral systems but continue to have differing amounts of political parties These similarities and differences are best described in the relationship between France and the United States Despite similar electoral systems France has multiple political parties while the United States has only two major parties I will argue that the United States needs this two party system in order to achieve a smooth flow and continuity of governmental operations while the people of France do not France requires a more expansive voice for their widespread concerns and ideals which accounts for their more pluralist society Firstly the similarities of the two electoral systems in the Unites States and France should be examined briefly Essentially both countries use a first past the post winner takes all style of electing their Presidents The United States uses an electoral college to select a President from available nominees Each state has a certain amount of electors in the electoral college this number is equal to the number of Senators and Representatives it is entitled to in Congress When election time is near each states political party names electors who are committed to the partys nominee American voters actually place ballots for party electors who in turn vote for the President and Vice-President In any event the person with the most votes wins Similarly France has a primary system where Presidential nominees are selected Anyone can run on the first ballot but if a majority has not been decided in the first ballot only those with greater than 12 of the vote go to the second ballot The person with the most votes on the second ballot wins With these similarities why does the amount of parties vary so greatly within these two countries To do this I will examine each countries party system discussing their similarities
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