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AP American History - Essay Example

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Name Professor Class Date Political parties are a large part of the American political process. However, political parties have lost a lot of influence over time. Explain why parties have lost power over time, discussing: a. Candidate-centered politics Politics is no longer platform or program of government based but rather on personalities who are popular…
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Download file to see previous pages The emphasis on the candidate’s winnability loses the significance of the party because choice of candidate is no longer based on the party either by nomination or by vote of the electorate. In a candidate-centered politics, political parties lost their power because it is being transferred to the candidate. b. Primary elections  Primary election is the process by which political parties chose their candidates. In this process, politicking and horse trade occurs and the end result does not necessarily give the best candidate possible but rather who does the politicking and horse trading best. The result would be a disappointing candidate that voters no longer rely on party nominations to provide them the best possible candidate. Thus, political parties lost their credibility in the eyes of their voters thereby eroding their power because voters are the source of any political party’s power without which, political parties becomes insignificant. c. Interest group and media influence over politics Lobby groups pose a strong influence not only in terms of the policy created in the Executive and laws passed in Congress but also among party members that could influence the selection of a candidate of a party. Interest groups that has significant base in terms of voters and/or resources hold sway on the candidates that will be running as well as the programs that they will carry making sure that it will reflect their interest. Media at this day and age has a huge influence over its audience and these audiences are also voters. This can be either good or bad for a politician. It can be good if the media portrayal is positive and it can also be bad if the reputation of the politician is smeared in the media and both can affect the result of election. Having this influence over the voters, parties are considering candidates who are more “media friendly” or have more media mileage over program of government or integrity and thus, deteriorates the kind of politician who are running to the dismay of thinking voters. Thus, political parties their power as their party criteria, programs and platform is no longer important in the choice of candidate but rather base it on the popularity of a candidate. Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and political analyst elaborated “recent technological and organizational changes have accelerated the shift, making it easier for outsiders to raise funds, get access to free media and establish direct connections with voters” This in effect weakens the power base of political parties that instead of candidates adapting and to party platforms and programs, it is now political parties who has to align themselves to the candidate effectively abdicating its power. d. Campaign financing  One of the realities in election is the high cost of running a campaign. No matter how qualified or experienced or honest a candidate is, but if he or his party does not have the necessary resources to mount a campaign, he or she will not have a chance of winning. Most candidates however do not have enough money to finance an election campaign because it is very expensive. Their parties in turn solicits and accepts campaign financing and this is when financiers comes in to influence the candidate that will be running and the program of government that they will be adopting. It is important to note that most significant campaign contributors do put money in a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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