Political Parties Essay

1384 Words6 Pages
• What was the nature of attitudes toward political parties Post-Revolutionary America?
During the nation’s founding, parties were widely considered to be dangerous to good government and public order, especially in republics. In such an intellectual climate, no self-respecting leader would openly set out to organize a political party. The pervasive fear of parties reflected both historical experience and widely held eighteenth-century beliefs. People in authority saw themselves as agents acting on behalf of the whole community; any organized opposition was therefore misguided at best, treasonous at worst. Accepting the same perspective, rivals justified their opposition by imagining that those in power were betrayers of the community’s trust.
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• Are parties included in the Constitution?
The Constitution contains no mention of political parties. During the nation’s founding, parties were widely considered to be dangerous to good government and public order, especially in republics. In such an intellectual climate, no self-respecting leader would openly set out to organize a political party.

• What are some incentives for building political parties? Why are they important?
The political incentives that spawned parties are transparent. In any system where collective choices are made by voting, organization pays. When action requires winning majorities on a continuing basis in multiple settings, organization is absolutely essential. The Constitution’s provisions for enacting laws and electing leaders therefore put a huge premium on building majority alliances across institutions and electoral units. Parties grew out of the efforts of political entrepreneurs to build such alliances and to coordinate the collective activity necessary to gain control of and use machinery of government. One of the incentives for building political parties is to build stable legislative and electoral alliances. To control policy consistently, then,
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If their favorite party 's candidate has no chance to win, they turn to the less objectionable of the major-party candidates who does have a chance to win. Elections in the United States have almost always been winner-take-all affairs, so the rules have continually worked to reduce the viable options to two. The winner-take-all logic applies only within a given electoral unit; it does not require that the same two parties face each other in every electoral unit. But for purposes of electing a president, the entire Unites States works as a single electoral unit. The contest for the presidency became so central to electoral politics that it shaped party competition for lesser offices as
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