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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 The political system has long been dominated by two major political parties. In recent history, the majority of Americans identify themselves as being either a Democrat or Republican…
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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... It is, therefore, important to examine the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties, the role that campaigns have played in maintaining this two party system, and the reasons why third party candidates have never been successful at the national level in a Presidential election. Ideological Differences There are many differences between the Republicans and Democrats, but let us on three fundamental areas that are often raised in political discussions. Abortion, for example, is one issue that has divided the political spectrum fro decades. Generally speaking, Democrats support the right of a woman to have an abortion, commonly referred to as being pro-choice (Bolce & Maio, 2002). Republicans, on the other hand, are generally considered to be pro-life and believe that abortion should be illegal. Consider the military. While both parties obviously are proud of the military and believe whole heartedly in America’s right to defend itself, Democrats are in favor of a smaller military and less spending on this area. Republicans, however, typically argue for increased spending on the military and its various services (Pletka, 2013). Finally, we can point out differences on the environmental front. Democrats are generally supportive of policies aimed at protecting the environment, while Republicans are considered to be much more cautious in this area and look to the private sector to take the lead (Newport, 2009). The Campaign Process and Third-Party Candidates Lack of Success It has been said that money dominates America’s political system, and perhaps nowhere can this be demonstrated more than the campaign process. With the largest businesses and private individuals giving substantial sums of money to one of the two major parties, it becomes readily apparent why third party candidates have struggle to even get on stage with one of the other Presidential contenders, much less make an impact. Candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties dominate the airwaves during a Presidential campaign, while third-party candidates struggle to have enough money to put up campaign posters. In addition, since candidates must separately register in each of the 50 states in America, the grassroots effort must be tremendous (Colquitt, 2008). As each of the two major parties have hundreds of thousands of supporters in any given location, this is relatively easy for them to accomplish. Third-party candidates, however, generally have extremely localized support, making it nearly impossible for them to get on the ballot in all 50 states. Since America’s electoral system takes into account state votes separately from one another, third-party candidates find themselves at a comparative disadvantage right out of the gate. For these reasons, and other, the political system in America continues do dominate the office of President, and that will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Conclusion While certain third-parties have certainly made inroads into the political system at the local level, there role in the national system certainly remains negligible at best. There are ideological differences, to be sure, between the two major political parties. Political fighting has grown at a feverish pace ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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