February 4th Political Parties

February 4th Political Parties - Political Parties(February...

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Political Parties (February 4 th ) Topics: 1. Defining political parties - Canadian government is a party government, and our organizing institution of politics is political system. - No definitions of what a political party is. 2. The Iron Law of Oligarchy 3. The party system 4. Interpretations of the party system Political Parties A political party is an organized group that nominates candidates and contests elections in order to influence the policy and personnel of government Some political parties may be involved in the political process. But they can still have an influence. Problematic part: “contested elections” – we know that political parties exist in non democratic countries. About Political Parties - Provide valuable functions for the political system. Political Parties: help organize the political process organize and simplify Necessity in a modern democracy. Parties provide clear choices and alternatives; they give us a label to look at. They provide a national focus. The parties are generally speaking nationally oriented. Independent members of parliament wouldn’t be nationally oriented. To win nationally you have to focus nationally Some say that this leads to collectivism. Political parties have a more collective look at the Canadian society operate in a strange institutional environment They are essentially like private clubs, they are privately organized. At one time they had no relationship to the state at all. Although they are private their orientation is entirely public. Electoral spending law recognizes parties. Internal workings of the parties are generally left up to themselves. Political parties are largely informal it is sort of an organic institution. Political parties can come and go. The number of parties in the political system can change The party system and the parties can change over time. Lots of fluidity in the system are relatively recent You can find political affiliations back to ancient Rome, but it’s only in the 1800’s we had modern parties.
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Some argue that the first party was the Democratic Party in the 1830s in the US because they started to have professional staff. In Britain parliamentary groups were around longer then that. British parties didn’t emerge until the late/ mid 1800’s By 1900s almost every democratic country had political parties Some countries banned them by law. By 1900’s you see a bunch of different kinds of parties. are essential for recruitment into the political process Recruit people into politics, government and into civil service. Useful function that they provide for the state Canadian democracy doesn’t have to worry about whether they will have enough candidates. Offices of the government always filled with people from political parties.
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This note was uploaded on 05/17/2008 for the course PSCI 1000 taught by Professor Bottomley during the Spring '08 term at Carleton CA.

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February 4th Political Parties - Political Parties(February...

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