Parties, Competitiveness, and Primaries

2007 Words9 Pages
POLS Y306 Political parties have been a major part of the political process in state elections, along with interest groups who share similarities and differences in their functions. Although dealignment has occurred, interest groups would never replace the parties. While all states hold primary elections, not all states hold the same type of primaries. Political parties, interest groups, and candidates take part in these elections every two years. Parties have been known to be competitive, potentially affecting the type of policies that states pursue. Political parties and interest groups are different; however they do share some similarities in their functions. A political party is an organization that seeks to gain and maintain power within government. It seeks to run the government and enforce policies. Its functions consist of nominating candidates to office that the people would vote for and attaching their party name to the candidate to influence voter choice, organize and run elections, and organize the legislature. A political party can unite people of different ethnic or religious groups who may come together because of a position that they have taken with the party. The parties try to accomplish their goals by appealing to what positions the voters want so that they might gain the majority of the seats within Congress and have influencing power within the government. The downfalls of the parties are that they may create a platform and then once in office not fulfill that obligation. Once the party is in control they have influence over all levels of government. The loyalty to the parties has declined over the last several decades. Dealignment has occurred where voters are moving more towards partisanship. This weakens the structure and loyalty to the parties. More people today are labeling themselves as independent voters than in past decades.

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