Why Are Us Parties Often Described as ‘Organisationally Weak’?

1873 Words Dec 25th, 2012 8 Pages
Why are US parties often described as ‘organisationally weak’?

US parties are often described as organisationally weak because they are essentially ‘broad coalitions’. For example they contain moderates like McCain republican) and Obama democrat), while also having a more conservative wing. Therefore stronger party organisation would give parties a narrower appeal and potentially alienate large ‘voting blocs’ or proportions of the electorate. This is a reason why it is argued that having ‘organisationally weak’ parties is a necessity in the US political system. It has therefore been argued that symptoms of weak organisation e.g issue centred or candidate-centered election campaigns are deliberate as parties attempt to gain a maximum
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George Wallace’s 1968 candidacy, when he won 46 electoral college votes from 5 southern states, could have deadlocked the Electoral College

Another reason for the insignificance of third parties and the reason for the two party system is the first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system. Unfortunately for third parties, the two main parties always tend to come out with the majority even if they don’t win the popular vote. An example of the unfairness of this voting system is in 2008 the independent party of America managed to get 1 in every 5 votes but still didn’t manage to gain seats. Having said that, FPTP in theory allows for a strong stable government with a hefty majority providing they dominate congress and the legislature.

To conclude, the evidence suggests that the US have a prominent two party system but third parties are not completely insignificant as we have seen examples of them making an impact, so they do have their importance. It is likely to stay a two party system forever as the republicans and democrats are never going to vote for a change in the voting system as then they would be handing their own power over which they are unlikely to do.

‘The ideological identity of the Democratic party is now clearly Liberal, whilst that of the republican party is now clearly conservative’ to what extent do you agree with this statement.

Some say the Democrats believe in Liberalism which was first used in
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