Politics and Government

What are the merits and demerits of political party?

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2013-01-21 20:33:23

Parties play a key role in engaging and mobilizing the

electorate in the political process.

There are three main reasons a person becomes active in

politics: First, they get something in return - a financial, social

or purposive benefit. Second, they have the ability and resources

to participate. Finally, they are asked to participate. This can

apply to just voting for president every four years or becoming

politically active to a much greater extent.

Political parties can help educate a person on why they should

care about an election by offering a social benefit and making the

financial and purposive benefits clear. Parties can assist those

who don't otherwise have the money, time or skills to participate.

One example would be offering form letters for a person to sign and

send to their congressperson, saving them time and allowing them to

communicate with their elected official even if that person lacks

the necessary writing skills. They also provide rides to the polls

and help with registering to vote. Just as importantly, parties

actively ask people to get involved in the political process

through direct mailings, commercials, signs and personal


Parties help simplify the electorate's voting decisions by

giving the voters a brand to associate with a candidate and/or

issue. That lowers the information gathering cost and provides the

electorate with a great deal of information without the voter

having to obtain information specific to that particular candidate

or that particular issue. Parties also simplify the process for

voters by limiting the number of candidates that are involved in a

particular election.

In short, voters engaging and participating in the electoral

process is essential in a democracy. Parties lower the cost of

voting, raise the perceived reward and magnify the perception of

the importance of a citizens' vote in determining an elections


The most important thing a party does is to actually make

governance in a democracy work.

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