Political Parties

Topics: Elections, Election, Political party Pages: 5 (917 words) Published: November 25, 2014

There are two main political parties in the United States: the Democratic Party and Republic party; these two parties have existed over 150 years. A political party is an alliance between people who share the same ideologies, interests and work together to accomplish a goal. Their main goal is to attain political power through representation in government. In the United States, political parties nominate candidates by holding primary elections. They elect their candidate to run for office and represent their party. We have a winner take all system in which a candidate is chosen by plurality votes. Therefore, political parties attempt to recruit as many voters possible who share similar interests so they can vote for their candidate. However, Political parties have benefits and disadvantages for candidates, and voters. Political parties recruit candidates to be part of their coalition to gain government power. They choose their best candidates to represent them, a candidate who would have popular appeal, so they could have a higher chance to win elections. At the same time, candidates usually join one of the parties rather than pursue their independence or a third party because the electoral rules favor a two party system. Candidates and political parties work closely together to achieve their goals. Political parties are beneficial for candidates because they organize campaigns, find experts to plan successful strategies, run ads promoting their candidate, but at the same time attack the opponents candidates, and get people out to vote. For example, they help raise money to advertise their electioneers and to get their message out. One way political parties raise money for campaigns is by sending it’s president to campaign hustings, where the party’s top fundraiser can speak as well. For example, during the elections of 1999-2000, Bill Clinton attended to 295 fund-raising events and collected $160 million for the Democratic congressional candidates. Most currently, president Barack Obama attended more than 250 fundraising events during his first term in office to obtain financial help. Even though political parties are indispensable for candidates, there are also disadvantages. One of the possible disadvantages is the consequence of the transaction and conformity cost, which is the difference between what the candidate prefers and what the party requires. After candidates join a party alliance they need to maintain the value of their party even though party’s ideas are against their beliefs. Party identification simplifies voting choices and they also helps mobilize voters to obtain the majority support at elections, so they can pass bills in government. Party identification has increased in the past thirty years because it reduces the cost of time in voting that most citizens are not willing to pay. Voting can be difficult, expensive and the expected payoff is low, but parties provide information about their candidates’ qualities, experiences and about their prepositions or issues they want to address. Party labels make voting easier for citizens because citizens choose candidates under the labels they identified with since it will most likely benefit their own interests, beliefs and preferences. Party labels are meaningful because citizens know what they are going to advocate for, and they are also shortcuts for voters. The more informative party labels are the more useful they are to voters. However, if labels do not provide the necessary information voters need in order to vote, it would weaken party identification. For example, during the 1960’s and 1970’s the New Deal broke apart, which caused party identification to reduce for voters. Citizens became more confused about which political party to vote in elections. Also, when candidates do not follow what the party believes, party labels do not longer have a meaning for voters. In addition, Party platform is a list of actions, values and...
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