Chapter Summary12 - attempts to elect majorities to...

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Chapter Twelve: Political Parties  Study Chapter Summary In recent years, political scientists often could be heard bemoaning the weak and ineffectual state  of the American political parties. However, recent political policies and election results have  convincingly demonstrated that, for better or worse, political parties are a vital and important part  of American politics today.  The Framers of the Constitution generally regarded parties as undesirable or even dangerous.  Nonetheless, the document they wrote inadvertently provided powerful incentives for like-minded  politicians to form permanent coalitions in the government and the electorate. American parties  were originally formed in Congress as members attempted to build alliances to take control of the  machinery of government. Attempts to build majorities within Congress quickly translated into 
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Unformatted text preview: attempts to elect majorities to Congress. The plurality voting rule established by the Constitution provided powerful incentives for voters and candidates to converge into two dominant parties. Although the coalitions, characteristics, and even strength of parties have changed over the years, they have become vital to the proper functioning of our system of government. Parties recruit and train leaders, organize the activities of government, and facilitate the collective action necessary for government to translate voter preferences into public policy. They also help combine varying interests and groups into coalitions and help channel and constrain political conflict. Finally, they help politicians of all stripes communicate more effectively with voters....
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2008 for the course SGIS 201 taught by Professor Rubenzer during the Summer '08 term at University of South Carolina Beaufort.

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