A multi-party system is a system where multiple political parties take part in national elections. Each party has its own views. A lot of countries that use this system have a coalition government, meaning many parties are in control, and they all work together to make laws. Good examples of countries that have this system include Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Philippines, and South Korea. There is no limit to the number of parties that can take part in a British election, but the government must command a majority in the House of Commons, and is usually formed from one party.
A system where only two parties have the possibility of winning an election is called a two-party system. A system where only three parties have a realistic possibility of winning an election or forming a coalition is sometimes called a “Third-party system”. But, in some cases the system is called a “Stalled Third-Party System,” when there are three parties and all three parties win a large number of votes, but only two have a chance of winning an election. Usually, this is because the electoral system penalises the third party, e.g. as in Canadian or UK politics.
West Germany between 1961 and 1983 was largely a stalled three party system, or “triopoly”. For 22 years, only three parties – Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union, Social Democratic Party and Free Democratic Party were represented in the Bundestag, since to win seats in the Bundestag, a party must win at least 5% of the vote or win three constituency seats. The Free Democratic Party would not win a single constituency seat between 1957 and 1990, but always won party list seats. From 1961 to 1998, they were included in every government except for three years of Grand coalition in 1966-1969 and were largely considered to be the kingmaker party. From 1969 to 1982, West Germany was governed by a SPD-FDP coalition and although in 1976 and 1980 CDU/CSU won a plurality of votes, they were unable to force out the SPD-FDP government. However, in 1982, FDP annulled the coalition pact with SPD and formed a new one with CDU/CSU, which would last until CDU/CSU’s defeat in 1998 elections. 1983 elections ended the triopoly, with The Greens entering the parliament, and in 1990, Party of Democratic Socialism entering the parliament.
Sumy State University