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Unformatted text preview: LECTURE 15 A political party is a group of officials or would be officials who are linked with a sizeable group of citizens into an organization; a chief object of this organization is to ensure that its officials attain power or are maintained in power. Five types of party systems: &#2; Non-partisan &#2; Single-party &#2; One-party dominant &#2; Two-party &#2; Multi-party Counting political parties &#2; Not every party counts &#2; Use effective number of parties to measure both the number and size of parties in a country &#2; Weights the number of parties by the share of votes (eff. # of electoral parties) or seats (eff. # of legislative parties) it gets &#2; An N party system with equally strong parties has N Effective number of parties &#2; But a 5 party system where 2 parties evenly divide almost all the votes (or seats) would have an effective party measure close to 2 Cleavages a specific kind of division in a society &#2; They are about social characteristics rather than beliefs &#2; They are about identities which people hold consciously &#2; They are expressed in organizational terms (union, church, party, etc.) &#2; Distribution of individual attributes in society and electoral institutions seem to matter &#2; Attribute : a characteristic that qualifies an individual for membership in an identity category &#2; Identity category : a social group in which an individual places oneself &#2; A country with uncorrelated attributes has cross-cutting attributes/cleavages A country with correlated attributes is said to have reinforcing attributes/cleavages &#2; Electoral institutions are important in determining the politicization of social cleavages The influence of ballot systems could be compared to that of a brake or an accelerator. The multiplication of parties, which arises as a result of other factors, is facilitated by one type of electoral system and hindered by another one. Ballot procedure, however, has no real driving power. The most decisive influences in this respect are aspects of the life of the nation such as ideologies and particularly the socioeconomic structure. (Duverger 1963, p. 205) BASICALLY : Social heterogeneity is the engine while non-permissive (e.g. SMDP) electoral laws can serve as the brake pedal on party systems....
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- Spring '08
- Comparative Politics