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The Political Process Cont'd

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

1 June 12, 2008 The Political Process Cont’d Political Parties • Formal organization whose purpose is to place in public office persons (some of its members) who will govern in a certain fashion • Recent phenomenon o Grew with the extension of the franchise (vote) in the 18 and 19 century o Started as elite cadres/clubs and evolved into mass parties o Parties becoming formal-legal entities  Ex: tax deductible to donate to them, laws regulating contributions Functions • Recruitment of party leaders • Aggregation of demands into party platforms • Intermediaries between government and populace • Training of party leaders • Formation of policy o Less so in Canada • Provide legitimacy Types • Pragmatic Party o Non-extremist, weak ideological, pragmatic “brokerage” parties o Try to appeal to broad section of voters  Ex: Liberals in Canada • Ideological Party o Ideological  Ex: Communist parties • Interest Party o Narrow in focus, usually one interest  Ex: Peasant Party in Poland • Personal Party o Founded around a charismatic leader  Ex: Gaullists in France • Movement Party o Originally a “movement” o A broad interest group which becomes a party  Ex: Congress Party in India 2 Political Party Systems • One-party System o Simple party systems  No opposition allowed • Ex: CPSU in pre-1989 USSR o One party dominant systems  Opposition allowed • Ex: Liberal Democratic Party in Japan • Two-party System o Ex: US  Republicans/Democrats o Canada for many years  Liberals/Conservatives o “Two-and-a-half” party systems  Basically a two-party system with a relatively powerful third party which is always in opposition • Ex: Canada for many rdars o NDP as the 3 party • Multi-party System o Often characterized by coalitions and can result in instability  Ex: France, Italy  Canada post 1993 Major Contemporary Canadian federal political parties: The Liberal Party of Canada • Began as a classical liberal party before 1867 o Ex: pro-free trade, pro-civil liberties, pro-responsible government • Colour red th o The Catholic Church in Quebec in the mid 19 Century opposed the Liberals and argued that their colo
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