Political parties and elections party origins lie in

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Political Parties and Elections Party origins lie in the seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution of 1789. On the left end is the Communist parties that were formed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Next are the social democratic parties. They traditionally supported the nationalization of industry, extensive social welfare programs, and greater equality. Socialists rejected revolution and were harsh critics of the Soviet Union. In the center are parties known as either liberals or radicals. They appeal primarily to the wealthy and have no significant impact on who governs. Christian Democratic parties appealed primarily to Catholic voters. Secular conservatives dominate the right side. They are not too different from Christian Democrats except that they do not have a religious inspiration.
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Catch-All Parties During the 1950s, the public opinions shifted towards the center. A combination of sustained economic growth, the expansion of the welfare state, and the escalation of the Cold War undermined support for radical politics. This led to the rise of catch-all parties. They appeal to all voters. New Divisions The most visible division is the growing differences between men and women. This led to the “gender gap”. The unprecedented economic growth of the past half-century has produced a new type of middle-class, postmaterialist voters. Raised in affluent families, they call for “higher order” values, such as job and personal satisfaction, according to Inglehart. Another divided party is the Greens. Greens are best known for their strong stands against nuclear weapons and power and for their support of environmental causes. Realignment? Ever since the 1960s, there has been realignment of public and the political parties have been responding. First, dealignment always precedes realignment. Voters have to break away from emotional ties before switching parties. Recently, party identification has plummeted which suggests that more voters are skeptical about what parties and politicians can or will deliver their opinions. Second, the right has gone a long way toward redefining itself. Led by the likes of Thatcher and Reagan, it staked out new positions on the economy, racial diversity, and national security.
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Christopher Reinemann
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