are the specific efforts by parties to obtain votes via a combination of media

Are the specific efforts by parties to obtain votes

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are the specific efforts by parties to obtain votes via a combination of media and organizational appeals. Learning Objectives By the end of this unit, you should be able to o define the key features and functions of political parties. o identify the underlying characteristics that political scientists use to distinguish between different types of political parties. o list and distinguish among the various types of political parties from their origins to the present time. o discuss the relevance of cleavages to the development of party systems. o list the five types of party system in terms of their defining features. o describe and differentiate Canadian political parties in terms of their underlying characteristics. o describe the history of the Canadian party system since Confederation in terms of the party systems that the political parties represent. o discuss the role that ideology plays in party systems. o identify important aspects of Canadian party organization, including methods for selecting leaders, nominating candidates, establishing party policies, and financing party operations and campaigns. o describe the basic principles of democratic elections. o outline the three types of party campaigns. o describe how political campaigns shape voter preferences with promises and advertising. o explain voting behaviour in terms of long-term dispositions and short-term factors. o address the question of whether or not political parties are in decline. Introduction 44
Political parties play a unique role in politics. Parties that compete for voter support through fair elections are crucial to democratic politics. Even non-democratic societies have political parties, although their political roles and characteristics are usually quite different from those of their democratic counterparts. Political parties are embedded in civil society, but they also have formal roles and authority in relation to the state. The noted economist Joseph Schumpeter argued in 1943 that all democratic political parties fulfill two critical roles. First, they recruit, groom, and promote individuals for election to political office. Second, they organize competitive electoral campaigns in order to garner mass electoral support for their candidates on the basis of specific promises and appeals. By fulfilling these two roles, parties enable representative democracy to function reliably. According to Schumpeter’s understanding of democracy, the minimum required number of voters, collectively, selects from among competing party choices in relation to these two roles, which enables the election of executives and legislatures. More precisely, parties are social organizations that act as agents, providing instrumental representation (which we discussed in Unit 4) on behalf of those specific components of political communities (which we discussed in Unit 3) that support them within the electoral system.

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