pols 7 - Political Parties Why parties What are parties...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

Political Parties Why parties? What are parties? Where do we see parties? Introduction Do parties matter to voters? In 2000: most consistent party-line vote for president recorded in nearly half a century Florida Entering the White House on the heels of a partisan and disputed election, George W. Bush pledged to be a “uniter, not a divider” Pledge short lived Despite the national unity following 9/11, partisan divisions were even wider at the end of Bush’s term than when he took office 2004 was an even more partisan election then 2000 Suggests that parties are healthy and competitive They remain the central organizing instrument of government Nature of parties Expedience may explain their existence, but: The activities that maintain them contribute to successful democratic politics in unforeseen ways Recruit and train leaders, foster political participation, and teach new citizens democratic habits and practices Knit citizens and leaders together in electoral and policy coalitions Allow citizens to hold their elected agents collectively responsible for what the government does Help channel and constrain political conflicts, promoting their peaceful resolution Organize the activities of government, facilitating the collective action necessary to translate public preferences into public policy In short, they make democracy possible Scholars have proposed a variety of formal definitions of political party Two of the most prominent stand in contrast Burke (18 th century) – a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavors the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed Downs (20 th century) – a team of men seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election The Constitution’s unwanted offspring The constitution No mention of political parties Parties were widely considered to be a threat to good government and public order Pervasive fear of parties Based on historical evidence First American parties were not meant to be permanent Constitution shaped them as well To use party labels and enforce collective responsibility Parties, then, developed into three-part systems connecting: The party in government, an alliance of current officeholders cooperating to shape public policy The party organization, dedicated to electing the party’s candidates The party in the electorate, composed of those voters to identify with the party and regularly vote for its nominees Party in government
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

The first American parties appeared in Congress Leaders with opposing visions of the national future began competing for legislative votes To win they had to: Obtain majority support for their side Arrange a common course of action Get the supporters to show up to vote Parties must also build alliances across institutional boundaries
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.
  • Spring '08
  • Cann
  • Coalition government, International Democrat Union, National Party

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern