But the difference is not in name alone. There are fundamental differences in the working of a two-party and a Multi-party system. When there are a number of groups, say as many as nineteen or twenty, there can be no well-defined single majority party able to form a stable government. Majority can be obtained only by a combination of groups called a bloc.
An outstanding leader is selected from the various party groups and he sets about to make the ministry. The prospective Prime Minister negotiates with such leaders of other groups as can gather working majority. This is a matter of bargaining and compromise. Every ministry under the multi-party system is a coalition ministry.
A ministry which is the result of compromise between heterogeneous groups is sure to break down at the slightest pretext. Nor are the ministers subject to parliamentary loyalty and discipline.
There is no common party leader who can bind them together into a team to play the game of politics under his captaincy. Every minister is a prospective Prime Minister. Cabinets formed by this method are notoriously weak and unstable.
M. Briand remarked on one occasion that the day on which a French Prime Minister takes office is the day upon which one at least of his colleagues begins to prepare his downfall.