Essay about The Role Political Parties Play in Democracy

Essay about The Role Political Parties Play in Democracy

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I. Introduction

Throughout the semester we have studied the role political parties’ play in democracy. Scholars debate that without political parties countries cannot democratize. It is true that political parties play a prominent role in the development of democracy, however; I will argue that depending on how strong or weak the political party is in a given region, the more likely the party will spread democracy. In the following essay I argue that parties can have a role in strengthening but also weakening a democracy based on how well they are able to include all of its citizens.

     By democracy I mean a “modern political democracy that is a government system in which rulers are held accountable for their actions in a public realm by its citizens, acting indirectly through the competition and cooperation of the elected representatives.” (Schmitter & Karl).

By this definition, a democracy is strengthened when control over government decisions about policy is constitutionally vested in elected officials, elected officials are chosen in frequent and fair elections, when citizens have the right to vote and can express themself without fear of retaliation from the state and citizens have the right to form independent associations including independent political parties and groups. Political parties are weakened when any or all of these elements are blocked or restricted. To make this argument I will examine how the PRI and PAN in Mexico illustrate why scholars state these political parties have helped strengthen democracy by providing stability to the country and programmatic alternatives to the once one party dominated country. (Schmitter & Karl). I will also examine what scholars have to say about the role of P...


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...cracy at Last? Routledge, 2011. Print

Klesner, Joseph L. "Adiós to the Pri? Changing Voter Turnout in Mexico's Political Transition." Mexican Studies / Estudios Mexicanos. 17.1 (2001): 17-39. Print.

Rodriguez, Victoria E, and Peter M. Ward. "Disentangling the PRI from the Government in Mexico." Mexican Studies/estudios Mexicanos. 10.1 (1994): 163-186. Print.

Ross, Ashley, and Maria Escobar-Lemmon. "The Price of Personalizing Politics: Political Distrust and Economic Performance in Latin America, 1996–2006." Electoral Studies 30.3 (2011): 406-416. Print.

Schmitter, Philippe C., Karl , Terry Lynn. "What Democracy Is. . . and Is Not." Journal of Democracy 2.3 (1991): 75-88. Project MUSE. Web. 11 May. 2014. .

Skidmore, Thomas., Smith, Peter H. , and Green. James N. Modern Latin America, 8th edition Oxford University Press, 2014.

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