In recent decades, the United States has had a two-party system, with the overwhelming majority of candidates being elected being members of the two major parties. The minor parties such as the Libertarians, Greens, and other smaller parties, rarely have significant effects on national or even statewide elections.
In contrast, countries with parliamentary political systems tend to have a wider range of parties, representing a greater spectrum of political opinions. In Canada, for example, there are currently three major national parties, the far left New Democratic Party (NDP), the Liberals and the Conservatives; there is also a Green Party that hovers close to 5 percent of the national vote in some years. On a regional level, the Bloc Québécois is important in Quebec, and dominated the region for several decades, while the Wildrose party has grown in power in Alberta in the past decade.
Many European nations have multi-party systems and are governed by coalitions of several different parties. In Britain, the main parties are Labour and Tory, but the Liberal Democrats were actually part of a governing coalition with the Tories for several years. Other significant parties include the UKIP, a far right Eurosceptic party, and the Scottish Nationalist Party, a left-leaning party that advocates Scottish independence.