Notes Test 2 - 9/26: Political Parties: Political Parties...

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9/26: Political Parties: Political Parties – Formal organizations, recognized in law, that seek legislative and/or executive power, and willing to abide by the constraints of election laws and parliamentary rules The Significance of parties Elections in the US are more candidate-centered Party identification in the US is historically weaker Members of Congress are more independent - ex. Voting within the legislature Parties are only strong around the Presidential election Comparatively: - Stronger parties (the US has weaker political parties because of this) The Role of Parties Recruit and socialize political elite Provide a link between citizens and rulers Aggregate interests Mostly Important: Parties structure the world of politics - Political competition revolves around parties - Government is government by party The (typical, basic) Structure of Parties: Party Organization 1: Membership Each political party maintains its own membership Centr al Parliamentar y Party District Executive Party Members
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You typically pay a membership You typically attend local branch meetings Some countries call these parties “clubs” What members do: They socialize together! Have input into a party policy - e.g. attend annual convention Campaign Q: Do parties need members? - A: Candidate Selection A critical function of Political Parties in many countries Serve as ‘gatekeepers’ for high political office Candidate Selection by Party The United Kingdom: Conservative Party - List of centrally approved aspirant candidates (Screening process for new candidates/incumbents - Each constituency organizations then draws up a short list - Ordinary members in that constituency then makes the choice The Consequences of a Party-centered Candidate Selection Incumbent politicians must also respond to party elite - US: electorate (frequently) is also the selectorate (the person who selects who is running for a party) - Europe: May be very different - Different preferences over policy Selecting the Party Leader: A key task: Why? - because the leaders of a party with the majority of seats is the Prime Minister, in parliamentary governments (i.e. Europe) Q: Who selects the party leader? Possibilities include: - Executive committee - Members of the “parliamentary party ” – the members of parliament belonging to that party - Member-wide ballot Significant variation from party to party Looking at Parties and Party Systems: Key Question: What is the shape of the party system? The number of parties
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- How many parties? - How many ‘significant’ parties (ENP)? The ideology of each party - Classical Left-Right ideological spectrum - Individual policy preferences 10/1: Electoral Systems : the mechanisms that turn the votes cast by citizens into a legislature Electoral system has profound effect on how votes are turned into seats Chosen consciously to have particular effects Main choice between proportional representation (PR) and non-PR systems
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course PL SC 014 taught by Professor Gartzke during the Fall '99 term at Penn State.

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Notes Test 2 - 9/26: Political Parties: Political Parties...

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