We went from a one-party system to an entrenched two-party system

A two-party system is a system in which two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government, and the majority of elected offices are members of one of the two major parties. For the past three decades, Seychelles has had an entrenched duopoly in local politics, with red and green camps battling it out election after election, to the exclusion of any meaningful third force.

The issue with the sole existence of two main political parties is concentrated wealth, magnified in recent decades by increasing economic inequality. Moreover, two-party systems tend to force voters to frequently compromise on their beliefs. The two parties, more or less, have static views on a range of topics. It is likely that the opposing party in an entrenched duopoly will have completely opposing views on issues. This would mean that if power were to change hands, the new party in power would likely reverse the policies of the previous government. Not necessarily a good recipe for stable government. Multi-party governments tend to permit wider and more diverse viewpoints in government.

Another problem with two party systems is that they almost force candidates into negative campaigning. In a multi-party system, you have to stake out your position and defend it against potentially many other views.  Candidates in a two-party system can just attack ‘the other guy’ instead of promoting their own agenda, and this is what we have become accustomed to in local politics for decades.

A new balance in institutional power in government – including proportional representation in the National Assembly – would serve to level the playing field, and to destabilize the historical entrenchment of certain political parties. This would bring the government closer into line with the will of the majority of Seychellois, and not just a privileged handful.