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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:  Non-partisan  Single-party  One-party dominant  Two-party  Multi-party Counting political parties  Not every party “counts”  Use “effective number of parties” to measure both the number and size of parties in a country  Weights the number of parties by the share of votes (eff. # of electoral parties) or seats (eff. # of legislative parties) it gets  An N party system with equally strong parties has N Effective number of parties  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  They are about social characteristics rather than beliefs  They are about identities which people hold consciously  They are expressed in organizational terms (union, church, party, etc.)  Distribution of individual attributes in society and electoral institutions seem to matter  Attribute : a characteristic that qualifies an individual for membership in an identity category  Identity category : a social group in which an individual places oneself  A country with uncorrelated attributes has cross-cutting attributes/cleavages A country with correlated attributes is said to have reinforcing attributes/cleavages  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, Zambia, Malawi, presidential regimes, Tumbukas