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Political Parties and the Electoral Process - Essay Example

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Political Parties and the Electoral Process University Name Political Parties and the Electoral Process Introduction American has a long and storied political history. From the beginning, political parties have dominated the landscape. With the exception of a short period of time early on in the nation’s history, two parties have long provided the only major choice in local and national elections…
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Political Parties and the Electoral Process
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Political Parties and the Electoral Process

Download file to see previous pages... In considering this topic, it is important to understand the differences between the two major parties, to look at the role that campaigns play in keeping a strong hold on the two-party system, and to explore possible reasons why third-part candidates have never had much success in American Presidential elections. Differences in Ideology Just as family members offer differ amongst themselves in regards to important issues, the two major political parties are no different. While there are some issues that the two surprisingly agree on, there are many ideological differences that have formed through the years, resulting in the huge divide that we see today. Some differences regarding social issues are evident. Democrats, for example, by and large are in opposition to the death penalty, while a substantial majority of Republicans are in support (Newport, 2009). Another social issue that is even more decisive is that of abortion. Democrats overwhelmingly are pro-choice, meaning that they support a women’s right to an abortion. Republicans, on the other hand, are in staunch opposition to abortion and believe that it should be made illegal at the national level. Finally, consider the differences in terms of the scope of government. The Democratic party supports a larger government that provides more government services to the country, while Republicans push for a smaller and more streamlined government that focused on business and private development (Pletka, 2013). Third-Party Candidates, The Electoral Process, and Presidential Campaigns When one is looking at political news in America, it becomes obvious rather quickly that many citizens are unhappy with their political choices. While the two parties offer different choices, many argue that they seem out of touch with the average America. As such, it would stand to reason that a third-party would be possible in the country, yet for decades such a party has tried and failed time after time. The current system is simply stacked against them. Since most financial donor in the country give to one of the two major political parties, they control the campaigns, air time, and debate cycles. It is difficult for a third-party candidate to even wage a serious national campaign. This is largely due to an electoral system that divides the presidential election into separate contests in each of the 50 states. As such, third party candidates cannot even get on the ballot everywhere because they do not have the financial and logical resources to gain support in each of the 50 United States (Schultz, 2009). Because of these and other reasons, such candidates have never really managed to find much traction when waging a national campaign. Conclusion While there is certainly a basis for having a third-party in the United States, conditions simply have not allowed it. Some of this can likely be attributed to voter and political apathy, while the crux of the issue is likely related to money. The reality is that there are enough ideological differences between the two major political parties in America that it keeps them separate and distinct in the eyes of campaign donors, and the public in general. Add to this the fact the electoral college system views the race for President as a state-by-state contest, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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