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Introduction to American Politics Are strong political parties essential to democracy? 248 words American political parties and American politics are virtually inseparable. They have been together from the beginning, and will likely remain together forever. Like most long-term relationships, American politics and political parties each have their problems, but it would be difficult to imagine them separately. In fact, it seems to me that in a country as large as the U.S., democracy would be impossible to maintain without widely supported political parties, because politics would become too fragmented across the country. Perhaps a small democratic country could exist without strong parties, but not America. It should be said that American parties really are not that ‘strong’ – it seems more accurate to say that the two parties have very large bases and can count on
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Unformatted text preview: consistent support. If they did not, they would not have significant impact at the national level. Without parties, most people would not be able to identify with a national group of decision-makers and would not feel represented. Parties are not without their problems, but they are the only practical way to organize politics on a large scale. Would I say political parties are essential to democracy? No, but I would say they are essential to a large democratic country. If we consider the definition of a party as being an organized effort to elect a group of candidates, then we consider the size of this country, then we consider the “first past the post” system, it only seems logical that Duverger’s Law is all but unbreakable....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POLS 201 taught by Professor Griffin during the Fall '08 term at Notre Dame.

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