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POL101W - Chapter 11 - Political Parties
Cue cards from Chapter 11 - Political Parties
Political Studies
Undergraduate 1

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




Political Party
An organization of volunteers and paid professionals who work together to achieve shared political goals (one of which is the election of candidates to public office)
Gunther and Diamond's 5 Categories of Parties
- Elite-based parties
- Mass-based parties
- Ethnicity-based parties
- Electoralist parties
- Movement parties
Elite-Based Party
- Weakly organized parties based on established elites and related interpersonal structures within a specific geographic area
- Electoral appeals are based on personal contacts and traditional social hierarchies
- Tend to advance the political interests of the wealthy and powerful few
Mass-Based Parties
- Parties with deep roots in their subcultures, strengthened by the creation of or affiliation with other organizations (Ex. A religion or trade union)
- United by clearly defined ideologies or dogmas
- See electoral victory as a way to make society conform to their goals
Ethnicity-Based Parties
- Ethnicity-based parties resemble mass-based parties
- The difference is that mass based promote a vision for society as a whole, but ethnic parties are concerned with only their segment of that society
- Characteristic of new democracies within heterogeneous societies
Electoralist Parties
- Memberships are small and inactive
- The membership is downplayed in favour of media appeals
Emphasize the personal attractiveness of their candidates, especially their leaders, rather than a coherent set of ideological principles
- Most of the major Western parties fall under this category
- Primarily electoral machines and secondarily engaged in linking civil society to the state
Movement Parties
- Often arises as a reaction against the Electoralist domination of politics
- Ex. The Green Party
- Weakly organized parties, either because they revolve around a single charismatic leader or because their members reject the concept of hierarchical structures
Gunther and Diamond's 3 Characteristics of Parties
1. Structure – the size of the membership, the extent/intensity of its organization and the locus of effective power
2. Program – the ideology or subculture that spawned the party and the emphasis given to the party’s stated principles
3. Tolerance – the strength of the party’s attachment to (or rejection of) the existing democratic system, and the level of its tolerance toward other ideologies or subcultures
3 Structural Elements of Every Party
The party in public – includes the leader, his/her entourage and the elected officials who represent the party in the legislature (and in the executive branch of government)
The party in central office – includes the paid permanent staff at the party’s headquarters, the professional consultants and temporary employees who are hired before and during campaigns, and caucus employees
The party on the ground – includes the volunteer members
3 Models of Party Organization in Federations
Integrated parties – electorally competitive at both levels of government, and “the relations between the two levels are generally close”
Confederal parties – present at both levels of government, but the links between the national party and one or more of its subnational organizations are strained (and sometimes openly hostile)
Truncated parties – operate at one level of government, in whole or in part (ex. The conservative party has no provincial organization in BC, Saskatchewan or Quebec)

Which model a federation takes depends on:

1) the nature of the party itself
2) the degree of centralization in federal institutions
3) the intensity of conflict among the component parts of the federation
2 Types of Public Subsidies Given to Parties
- Direct subsidies – include annual funding of parties between elections, reimbursement of campaign expenses and the provision of research and staff budges to the party
- Indirect subsidies – include the creation/maintenance of voters’ lists, the provision of free broadcast time on publicly regulated TV/radio networks and the issuing of tax credits for political donations
5 Functions of Parties
- Mediate between a pluralistic society and its political institutions of government
- Recruiting political personnel by selecting and nominating candidates who stand for public office in an election
- Organizing political campaigns in order to mobilize voters to participate in an election
- Organizing the government and the legislature
- Making public policy
4 Reasons Why the Selection of a New Party Leader is Important
1) The leader is the public face of the party, therefore he must be an effective communicator in person and through the news media
2) The leader has the last word and sometimes the only word on party policy
- 3) The leader of a parliamentary party is the general in the daily legislative battle
4) The leader is ultimately responsible for keeping the party organization in a state of election-readiness
One Member One Vote System (OMOV)
A system of selecting leaders or determining party policy by a direct vote of the members of each party
Norris' 3 Phases of Campaigning
Pre-modern: local activists mount labour-intensive campaigns of personal contact and persuasion
Modern: Capital-intensive campaigns run out of party HQ
Post-modern: Combines targeted media appeals with local personalized contacts
4 Types of Party Systems
- Two party – two major parties compete for power and alternate in government more or less frequently (Ex. Us, New Zealand)
- Two-and-a-half party – There are two major parties, but also a third party which rarely challenges for power but that may support one of the major parties during periods of minority government (Ex. Canada (1963 – 1993) and Britain)
- Multiparty system with a dominant party – Four or more parties contest national selections but only one of them has a realistic change to form a single-party majority or become the senior party in a coalition (Italy pre-1994, Canada 1993- present)
- Multiparty system with no dominant party – 4 or more parties compete for inclusion in governing coalitions, with fairly regular alternation of power, after each election, the composition of the new government depends on bargaining among all the parties, not just the incumbents
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