The Tea Party Convention a few weeks ago highlighted what could be a break from the two party system in the US. As support grows for these smaller groups who believe that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats stand for their beliefs, is there a possibility that third party nomination in the future may actually have a fighting chance. And more importantly will it be a good thing for the country?
At the moment it appears that any new third party nomination will be of a 'conservative' orientation. The Tea Party group has gained mass coverage recently with its convention and its keynote speaker Sarah Palin. Since then polls have already been put out to see where Tea Party candidates would come in election battles. And even though they are not predicted to do to well it does seem as through this movement has only just started to grow and much could happen in the next few years. Already there has been an announcement that a Tea Party candidate will run against Harry Reid in Nevada. Is this just a flash in the pan or are we heading towards a three party system?
Even if the Tea Party candidates don't win elections, they will most likely force the Republicans to the right so they don't lose their base. In the UK the British National Party, an extreme right wing party, gained national success in the 2009 European elections. Even though all the major British party's have publicly declared the BNP as racists, this third party has helped cause policy shifts. Both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party have adopted stronger immigration rules. If third party's can cause policy shifts then maybe it will not be long before a more progressive party flanks the Democrats on the left.
If stronger third party's and more successful candidates start running then the face of American politics may completely change. A future of minority party's and coalitions may be on the horizon!