Political Parties - Poli Sci Political Parties Political...

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Poli Sci Political Parties Political Parties 1) Location of political parties in the American system a) Where? 2) Differences between pol. Parties and interest groups a) IG’s focus on more specific policy goals b) Parties run candidates for office; while IG’s attempt to influence those already in office The Constitution’s Unwanted Offspring 1) Const. makes no mention of pol. Parties 2) Framers expressed derisiveness to good gov’t Incentives for Party Building 1) Constitutional designs? 2) Formation of majority coalitions a) Organization pays To Build Stable Legislative and Electoral Alliances (incentive for building) 1) Congress a) Federalists v. Democratic-Reps (Anti-Feds) 2) Durable alliances reduce the transaction costs of negotiating winning coalitions for each new proposal. To Mobilize Voters (incentive for building) 1) No matter how well organized, electoral alliances fail if they cannot get enough people to vote for their candidates 2) Parties are motivated to attract voters and get them to the polls To use Party Labels to Enforce Collective Responsibility (incentive for building) 1) Voters require a way to distinguish among candidates for office 2) Party labels offer a shorthand cue that keeps voting decisions cheap and simple (as long as the labels are informative) 3) Maintaining the value of a party label 4) The threat of collective punishment (b/c of bad policies) a) Gives the other party incentive to govern in a way that pleases the voters Basic Features of the Party System 1) 2 party competition 2) Decentralized, fragmented party coalitions a) Related to federalism (local, state, nat’l party regions) Why a 2 party system? 1) Cultural consensus
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Political Parties - Poli Sci Political Parties Political...

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