Research paper: Characteristics and Functions of American Political Parties

Published under category: Sample Academic Papers | 2015-05-05 07:26:00 UTC

Context: United States Political Politics

The United States politics comprises a two-party system. The election rules that lead to a situation of winner-takes-all elections and single member districts have favored the presence of two dominant parties. The election rules allow each “district” to have only a single winner in any election. The winner is normally the person who receives majority votes. Therefore, regardless of the popularity of a third party, it must be strong enough in a single district to take up a seat and win the election. The party system in America wanted to avoid the formation of many parties that had narrowly defined interests. The two dominant parties are Democratic and Republican parties. These two parties have never been challenged by any third parties because they take up programs and issues being discussed by the small parties. As regards internal organization, the United States parties have a unique system. People who are members of the parties are members by virtue of their proclamation. Written agreements do not need to be signed for one to be a member of the parties. Members of the political parties do not give any financial contribution and have no statutes for implementation by the party. Members who are unsatisfied by a member of a party simply withdraw their support for the member during elections. Members of these parties can change allegiance as much as they wish. It is complex to determine the number of members of the party. The political parties have several functions to perform in government. Its core function is the nomination of candidates who vie for public office positions. The parties aim is to make sure they sponsor as many party members as possible to the public offices. Once the party members have been elected, they have to ensure that they implement the policies of the party as promised to the electorate. The goals of the parties are achieved through program and legislation initiatives. The political parties participate in policy making. However, it needs to be understood that political parties per se do not constitute policy making organizations. They participate in policy making by taking position on policy matters. Through taking positions, the political parties provide alternatives, apart from the position of the party in power. In case a party is in power, it implements its philosophy through incorporation by legislation. A candidate of a party that wins the election by a large majority automatically gains the mandate to implement programs as had been outlined in the campaigns. The political parties represent groups of interests, who are known as constituents. The constituents highlight their concerns to their representatives and the representatives reflect their concerns. The concerns are reflected in the political party and on bipartisan and nonpartisan platforms. The political parties represent groups and individuals who have special concerns, for example teachers, farm workers, or small business operators, as well as other individuals who have a specific agenda to express. Lastly, political parties simplify choices for the constituents. Taking advantage of their appeal to varying groups, the parties state their goals in a way that it appeals to different groups. For example, the Democrats traditionally support labor and minorities while republicans support business and are opposed to a big government. The political parties can also bring on board philosophies that appeal to individuals. ORDER PLAGIARISM FREE PAPER


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