Political Parties and Elections
1. The Origins and Meanings of Political Parties
Political parties created democracy and … modern democracy is unthinkable save in term of the parties. The parties are not therefore merely appendages (附屬品) of modern government; they are in the center of it and play a determinative and creative role in it. Political parties are the vital link between the state and civil society, between the institutions of government and the groups and interests that operate within society. Duverger (1954) argued that there are two origins of parties: 1.The Electoral and Parliamentary Origins (intra-parliamentary origins) [內造政黨] 2. Extra-Parliamentary Origins [外造政黨]
1. The Electoral and Parliamentary Origins
On the whole the development of parties seems bound up with that of democracy, that is to say with the extension of popular suffrage and parliamentary prerogatives (特權). The more political assemblies see their functions and independence grow, the more their members feel the need to group themselves according to what they have in common. The more the right to vote is extended and multiplied, the more necessary it becomes to organize the electors by means of committees. Those committees are capable of making the candidates known and of canalizing the votes in their direction. The rise of parties is thus bound up with the rise of parliamentary groups and electoral committees. The general mechanism of this genesis:
1. the creation of parliamentary groups,
2. the appearance of electoral committees,
3. The establishment of a permanent connection between these two elements.
2. Extra-Parliamentary Origins
The shape of a party is essentially established by a pre-existing institution of which the true activities lie outside elections and parliament. Example: the British Labour party
Its birth was the result of a decision taken by the Trades Union Congress in 1899 to create a parliamentary and electoral organization
Meanings of Political Parties:
Definition by E. Burke: Party is a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavors the national interest upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed. Definition by Alan Ware: A political party is an institution that (a) seeks influence in a state, often by attempting to occupy positions in government, and (b) usually consists of more than a single interest in the society and so to some degree attempts to “aggregate interests”. Definition by Anthony Downs: The party is a loosely formed group of men who cooperate chiefly in an effort to get some of their member elected to office. Organized people, Policy and Attempting to occupy positions in government.
2. Types and Functions of Political Party
Types of Political Party
Cadre(幹部型) and mass(群眾型) parties:
CADRE: Originally meant a “party of notables”, dominated by an informal group of leaders who saw little point in building up a mass organization; such parties invariably developed out of parliamentary factions or cliques at a time when the franchise(選舉權) was limited. Now more commonly used (as in communist parties) to denote trained and professional party members who are expected to exhibit a high level of political commitment and doctrinal discipline the distinguishing feature: reliance on a politically active elite that is capable of offering ideological leadership to the mass. EXAMPLES:
the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
the Nazi Party in Germany
the Fascist Party in Italy
the Chinese Communist Party
Mass party: places a heavy emphasis on broadening membership and constructing a wide electoral base, the earliest examples of mass parties were European socialist parties: àGerman Social Democratic Party(SPD)
àthe UK Labour Party
The key feature: place heavier stress on recruitment and organization than on ideology and political conviction.
Representative(代表型) and integrative(整合型)...
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