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- Political Parties And Election Systems
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- Political Parties & Democracy In democracies, citizens organize their political activity through political parties and the election process. Parties develop out of our differences about how to achieve common goals. They are a natural product of a democratic and free society.
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- Purpose of Parties According to the text, the purpose is to put forward proposed leaders whom they support for official positions in government. Also, parties want to have an impact on public policy. They dont simply want to win office; they want to win office so that they can affect what decisions are made.
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- Purpose of Parties Even when they lose office, parties perform a useful role in a democracy, by organizing the opposition and offering alternatives. Parties create important links between the voter, groups & government. To succeed, they must build consensus.
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- Party Functions 1. they mobilize ordinary citizens, either to vote or to achieve some other political goal. 2. they recruit and socialize leaders, even in one-party states. 3. they provide a long-lasting sense of party identification.
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- Party Functions 4. they can provide a means for party leaders to control rank and file members. 5. they provide links between: Branches of government in a separation of powers system. Levels of government in a federal system. Citizens and government in all systems.
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- Parties in Non-democracies Functions may differ. They: * mobilize support for the regime. * recruit and train potential leaders. * oversee the bureaucracy. * spy on population (in totalitarian systems) Not a link between the bottom and top, but a means of social control by the top over the bottom.
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- Types of Party Systems One-Party Authoritarian. Government & party closely linked. No opposition parties permitted. Example: Communist Party in North Korea Kim Il Sung of North Korea
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- Types of Party Systems Dominant Party System; one-party dominates for long periods of time. No legal ban on other parties, but only one party has chance to win office, and there may be informal harassment of opposition parties. Examples: PRI in Mexico until the 1990s Japan until the 1990s Singapore
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- Types of Party Systems Two Party System. Either party has genuine chance to win office; elections truly competitive. Additional parties not outlawed but have serious difficulty winning because of electoral system. Tend to be umbrella parties; tend to be stable. Disadvantage: Voters limited to two choices. Examples: United States, Canada, Britain, New Zealand
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- Types of Party Systems Multi-Party System. Competitive elections with multiple parties ensure that no one party can dominate for long. Parties tend to be more doctrinaire and distinctive, giving voters more choice. By far the most common; see examples in text.
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- Types of Party Systems In Multi-party states, its difficult for any one party to win a majority. Coalitions with similar parties become necessary. But coalition partners may resign over particular government policies, so this system is less stable. Example of government instability: Italy, from 1945 to 1995, had 44 different coalition governments.
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- Example: Israeli Elections 2006 March 2006 Election outcome: Kadima Party wins the most with 28 seats in the Knesset. The new Prime Minister Olmert must form a coalition government.
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- Example: Israeli Elections 2006 Winning party: Kadima: 28 seats, centrist Probable partners: 2. Labour: 20 seats, centre-left Possible partners: 3. Shas: 13 seats, ultra-orthodox 4. Pensioners: 7 seats, single-issue 5. Torah Judaism: 6 seats, ultra-orthodox 6. Meretz: 4 seats, left-wing Unlikely partners: 7. Israel Beitenu: 12 seats, Russian emigres, far-right 8. Likud: 11 seats, right-wing 9. Arab parties: 10 seats 10. National Union/Religious: 9 seats, far-right, settlers
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- Elections & parties Grigsby: Election strategies are influenced heavily by election rules concerning the counting of votes. Election rules include: how votes are counted; if some seats are set aside for certain groups of voters, if any consideration is given to a candidate who places a close second. The rules determine the party system.
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- Types of Election Systems Single Member Plurality (SMP) The candidate who wins a plurality of the vote prevails; a majority is not needed. Only one seat per district. No way for voters to designate their 2 nd choice. Tends to produce a two-party system unless a small partys voters are concentrated in a district. Used in the U.S., Canada, India, Britain, New Zealand, Germany.
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- Major U.S. Political Parties Republican National Party http://www.rnc.org/ http://www.rnc.org/ Democratic National Party http://www.democrats.org/ http://www.democrats.org/
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- Minor U.S. Political Parties Scores of minor parties, among them : Green Party http://www.gp.org/ http://www.gp.org/ Democratic Socialists of America http://www.dsausa.org/dsa.html http://www.dsausa.org/dsa.html Libertarian Party http://www.lp.org/ http://www.lp.org/
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- Minor U.S. Political Parties Chance of winning statewide or national office low. Why? SMP system Electoral College Presidential candidates must win 270 electors (out of 538) to win office. Example: Ross Perot & Reform Party in 1992 won 19% of the popular vote but not one elector.
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- Multi-Party Election Systems Proportional Representation (PR). Each district has multiple seats. Each political party wins the same proportion of seats as the vote it wins. Favors the development of multiple political parties.
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- Sample ballot if we used PR for Congress
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- Multi-Party Election Systems - Example Assume the following vote distribution in a district with 10 parliamentary seats: Quisenberry Party wins 50% Wiggins Party wins 30% Baker Party wins 20% How many seats does each party win?
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- Multi-Party Election Systems - Example Wiggins Party wins 50% Quisenberry Party wins 30% Baker Party wins 20% SO: Wigginistas gain 5 seats Quisenberries win 3 seats Bakerites gain 2 seats
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