Poli Sci 2300- Political Parties
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Wednesday, February 15, 2011
Why are political parties important?
•Political parties – central players in politics “making sense of any country has
always meant making sense of its party politics”
•Election campaigns, legislatures are organized along part lines (televised debate
of party leaders)
•Politics in developing countries take shape on from political parties
What is a political party?
•A political party is an organization of volunteers and paid professionals who work
together to achieve political goals, one of which is the election of candidates to
•Most experts categorized parties based on structure and/or ideology
•Richard Gunther and Larry Diamond’s typology
Categories and Types of Political Parties
What do they do?
•Parties are the only institutions that carry out all the functions which are necessary
for the democratic process
•Other functions: mediating between a pluralistic society and its political
institutions of government; recruiting political personnnel by selecting and
nominating candidates who stand for public office in government
•Organizing political campaigns in order to mobilize voters to participate in an
•Organizing the government and the legislature
•Making public policy
Political Party System
•The collection of parties in a country makes up that countr’s party system
•One party; one party dominant; two party; two and a half party; multiparty;
multiparty system with no dominant party
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