Poli Sci 2300 - Political parties in context of the developing world

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Published on 27 Sep 2011
School
Dalhousie University
Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 2300Y
Professor
Monday, February 28, 2011
Political Parties in the context of the developing world:
Integrative function – can be used as an instrument of integration and nation-building.
Ex. Nigeria – 1979 Constitution – in order to prevent a situation where parties are based
on marginalized cleavages, parties must have a national character. Government wanted to
promote a more broad-based approach to party representation.
Grant legitimacy to government and hold government accountable. Opposition
parties serve as ‘alternatives’ to the party in power. Becomes a means for the government
to look out for the interest of the people – becomes accountable, because of the presence
of an opposition
Legitimacy. Political parties grant legitimacy to governments. Mandate to the people i.e.
elections.
Becomes an instrument of patronage distribution. A huge influence of who gets what;
if you’re not a member of a political party, then _______________. Political parties
become avenues for rewarding supporters and undermining those who don’t support.
Elite recruitment. Grassroots level from which people are initially recruited for the
purpose of later reflecting their viewpoints.
Political communication. In circumstances where news is considered negative, political
parties go to other institutions to convey news (i.e. religious institutions, media)
Political mobilization. Get people involved in day-to-day activities, political affairs.
Occur most during election periods.
Political parties are instruments of interest aggregation. Bringing together of diverse
kinds of interests. Come together under a broader umbrella to promote a perspective.
Ultimately political parties become the umbrella under which interest groups try to
promote a perspective.
How effective are political parties in the developing world?
Many political parties are characterized by extreme divisions/cleavages. The problem is
that they don’t have a national character/perspective. They are based on ethnic/religious
identities. This tends to undermine the ability to wage an eventful campaign (narrow
definition of interest)
A weak ideological base.
Finance. The government party in power wages all resources in their power. Opposition
parties don’t have the same finances as the government in power.
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Document Summary

Political parties in the context of the developing world: Integrative function can be used as an instrument of integration and nation-building. Nigeria 1979 constitution in order to prevent a situation where parties are based on marginalized cleavages, parties must have a national character. Government wanted to promote a more broad-based approach to party representation. Grant legitimacy to government and hold government accountable. Opposition parties serve as alternatives" to the party in power. Becomes a means for the government to look out for the interest of the people becomes accountable, because of the presence of an opposition. A huge influence of who gets what; if you"re not a member of a political party, then _______________. Political parties become avenues for rewarding supporters and undermining those who don"t support. Grassroots level from which people are initially recruited for the purpose of later reflecting their viewpoints.