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CHAPTER 8: POLITICAL PARTIES What Parties Do 1) How Parties Contribute to Democratic Politics a. Organize and Operate the govt (allies) b. Focus responsibility for govt actions (party labels are like name brands) c. Develop issues and educate the public d. Synthesize interests (platforms) e. Recruit developing govt talent (weed out the weak) f. Simplify the electoral system 2) How Parties Detract from Democratic Politics a. work to coordinate government b. capture governments and dictate what they do c. confuse responsibility (divided government) d. suppress issues for various reasons e. divide society f. recruit candidates for wrong reason (movie stars, NFL/NBA) g. Oversimplify the Electoral System 3) The Balance Sheet a. ? Political Parties in American History a. beyond local level, officials elected as part of a party 1) The Party-System Interpretation of American History a. Realignment- occurs when the pattern of group support for political parties shift in a significant and lasting way b.
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