Political Parties and the electoral Process


Political Parties and the electoral Process


Political systems across the world are unique in various subtle ways. Each political system has certain characteristics that define the nature of governance and political parties that can participate in the electoral process. The United States is renowned for its dual political party system. A key concept driving political regimes is democracy. The United States’ political regime has come a long way to establish a democratic electorate system. Democracies are characterized by aspects of the political parties that aid execution of powers (Cohen et al., 2008). Political parties are therefore vital parts of a democracy as they are the tools with which the concerns and grievances of the entire body of citizens are reflected. The two political parties in the United States; Democrats and Republicans are the highways through which presidential candidates get to power. The parties are often directly on the opposition in every presidential election. Each of the parties through its ideologies tries to aggregate and mediate various interests of the American society (Adams et al., 2005). Through these ideologies, they project a certain vision devised from the needs of the society with the objective of developing policies and options for national growth and development.

The place of Stable Ideologies in Elections.

Both Democrats and Republicans have certain core beliefs, basic ideas and philosophy that drive their interests in the general elections. Each of the two parties uses these ideas and belies to create a concrete basis of inspiring and attract supporters. Adequate support ensures that the party has a good foundation for winning elections and directing national growth towards their cause (Grossman et al., 2009). As such, the parties realize that membership is of key importance in the proposal and claim to represent the entire citizens of the United States. The parties therefore develop ideologies that are as persuasive as possible in order to attract enough support. While political parties and the candidates they represent in presidential elections may never be able to live up to their promises and proposed deliveries, the ideologies form an essential baseline for drawing the blue print for development. These ideologies can also serve as a good basis for assessing the health of the political party in terms of feasibility of policies. Ideologies differ between each party in various ways.

Ideological Differences.

There are several significant differences in terms of ideologies between democrats and republicans. On core beliefs, Democrats posit a deep emphasis on the responsibility of the government on the provision of service to all individuals irrespective of personal endeavors and needs. Democrats believe that it is important to satisfy the needs of citizens first as a government while subordinating all other initiatives. As a result, they place an important consideration on centralization of power in Washington D.C and intervention of problems from this centralized or focal point with solutions based on communal needs.  Based on this belief, Democrats have pushed for regulations by the central of federal government that undermines the powers of local authorities across the country.

Republicans in their part believe that each and every person stands for their own responsibility within the society. They place emphasis on the individual contribution to the development of the society. Contrary to Democrats, Republicans posit that the Federal government should only intervene in problems that are core to the entire country while local interventions are given priority in solving immediate problems. Based on this belief, republicans push for policies that are believed to catalysts of prosperity at individual levels rather than top-down communal level (Grossman et al., 2009).

On the economy, Democrats believe that matters of the economy are not only complicated for individuals to handle but they can best be handled through the function of bodies within the government. As a result, economic policies and other matters are catered for by unions and other bodies at the federal level.

Republicans on the other hand believe that individual contribution cannot be undermined since free contribution and personal enterprise is instrumental in creating economic growth and innovation. Under this ideology, Republicans strive to create avenues of individual participation to stimulate the growth of the economy through personal innovations and creativity. On taxation and government spending, Democrats believe that the Federal government as the central body of authority knows what is best for the citizens. They emphasize the responsibility of the government to raise funds through taxation and spend it as long as the consequent spending brings meaningful development that benefits all citizens. As a result, individuals and the body of people have little say on what taxes they pay and how the government spends. Republicans on the contrary strive to limit government spending to the minimum possible level to ensure that citizens are satisfied. They strongly believe that it is the individuals and the body of people that should define the tax levels and the way spending should be done (Grossman et al., 2009).

Why Third Parties fail in Presidential Elections.

With the dual party system, Democrats and Republicans have been able to dominate the political system over the years with fierce competition only between themselves. Generally the main reason why third parties fail in presidential elections is based on the in-depth foundations that the other two parties have developed along the years (Pinto, D.M, 2002). Through widespread membership and establishment of organs and institutions that support the parties, the two parties are able to sustain their existence throughout the years. Moreover, the legislative framework in place creates an established foundation for the activities of the two parties with minimal chances of third parties to place a meaningful competition. As a result, people have been placed in a situation where it is democrats or republicans that get a consideration in the belief that a third party would not be able to carry out governance as well as the other two due to lack of experience and support.

The Role of Campaigns in the Two-Party System.

Political campaigns have an important role in supporting the two-party system in the United States. Each party carries out campaigns on the way to the presidential election across the states. The contribution of campaigns is mainly based on the financial aspect of the process (Pinto, D.M, 2002). Parties need to obtain funds in order to be able to run political campaigns across the entire country. A big part of the funds are generated through membership. Most of the funds indeed are generated through the contribution of individuals affiliated to the parties. A good example of individual contribution is the 2008/09 Elections in which the Democrats Candidate and present President Barrack Obama created a successful strategy of raising funds through social media and technology. This strategy brought together a large number of volunteers, donors and advocates who contributed to the campaign fund thereby crating a suitable kitty for carrying out campaign activities. Through these individual contributions in campaigns people are generally aligned to the two-party system in which they are either supporting one party or the other. This nature of campaigns creates default buoyancy for the two popular political parties in the presidential elections.

In conclusion, Political parties are important within a political system. Political parties serve an important role of representing policy options that reflect certain needs of individuals. Each political party holds certain ideologies that are used to seek their agenda in governance. Both Democrats and republicans have unique ideologies that suit their cause.




Adams, James, Samuel Merrill, and Bernard Grofman (2005). A Unified Theory of Party Competition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, Martin, David Karol, Hans Noel, and John Zaller (2008). The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Grossman, Matt, and Casey Dominguez (2009). Party Coalitions and Interest Group Networks. American Politics Research.

Pinto-Duschinsky, Michael (2002). Financing Politics: A Global View. Journal of Democracy


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