Political Parties

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Master'sA-, November 1996

download word file, 5 pages 4.0

took a while to write (it's over 4000 words) needs a bit more analysis

Political parties have become increasingly unpopular and have

lost a great amount of power because of it. Interest groups are slowly

picking up where parties left behind and are becoming more and more

important not only in mobilizing voters, but also in lobbying

government officials to aide their cause.

In the early 1900's, parties solely were in charge of the

nomination process. A small group of party leaders, also known as a

caucus, would choose who would run against the opposing party's

candidate and what office this individual would be seeking. It was a

process that was closed off to everyone but the party leaders, and

thus, could be tagged 'undemocratic.'

Years later, because of the 'Party Machines' of the north and

the completely Democratic south, primaries replaced caucuses.

Primaries allowed for members(not only leaders) of the party to vote

for whom they wanted to nominate.

Primaries also gave individuals

the right to run for office under their party's name. Thus, the party

couldn't prohibit anyone from running for public office as a member of

that particular party if the individual was a registered member of that


The primary system of nominations has become so vast and

popular that it has broken down into three different styles(each

practiced by different states): open, closed, and blanket. Open

primaries are just that; open for anyone to vote in any party. For

example, a Democrat can vote in the Republican primary and vice

versa. Closed primaries(which are the most widely used) are closed

to people belonging to that party. Republicans can only vote in the

Republican primaries and Democrats the same. Blanket

primaries(practiced in only a few states) are relatively open in the

sense that both Democrats and...