Does Ideology Matter in Politics Today?

Topics: Politics, Ideology, Political party Pages: 7 (2216 words) Published: May 10, 2011
Does Ideology matter in politics today?

An ideology describes a set of ideas which encompass ones expectations, actions and goals. They are a consistent set of beliefs. Ideology exists in every facet of political decision making, much like how society views the world around them. They offer an explanation to understand, explain and change political reality.[1] The well known figure of Karl Marx who was among other titles, a political theorist, was lead to the conclusion that great injustices occurred through inexorable forces evident in human society[2]. This theory can explain why on most occasions, an ideology has been the product of one individual and not a group effort. The existence of ideology is something that is inherently present in everybody and should not be subdued in the world of politics. Ideology continues to be critically important in politics as it provides a foundation for the operation of political parties. The ideological views set a framework in which supporters can relate to and expect to have their views represented thus being an essential factor in politics.

Political Ideologies exist within the various political groups operating in the world today. Even non-ideologues may possess a consistent set of opinion that result from underlying structures. Socialism for example, uses ideology as foundations for its political operations. The core ideology behind socialism relates to an economy that advocates common ownership and working cooperatively in the means of production and distributing its resources evenly[3]. A socialist also believes the body of the state should look after its people. This core ideology of socialism then allows for common understanding for advocators and supporters from which progress can be made. The Liberal form of politics, on the other hand, has basic ideology in which they also strive to uphold. Those beliefs are based upon ‘a free, just, democratic, and progressive society…with a government and an economic system that will serve the priorities and interests of the overwhelming majority of our people’[4] A communist ideology involves the belief that offers a ‘distinct socio-political philosophy that is willing to use violent means to attain its goal of a classless society.’[5] Ideology is often strongly linked towards Communism as its beliefs strongly dictate their operation, whereas less fundamental political parties exist in a less predictable manner. Various other political ideologies exist, each with a unique set of basic beliefs regarding political, social, economic and cultural affairs shared by the majority of those living within its society. The incorporation of ideology within the political realm is particularly important as it separates these various groups from one another. Its significance to the people who elect their preferred political candidates is equally important and ultimately the importance ideology has in their voting behavior.

In a democratic society, the ways in which voters perceive future candidates or current leaders are outlined in the ideological method in which those elected politicians abide by. Voters can positively identify with a suitable political party by determining its relevant ideologies. The public’s observation of ones political methods can gain an understanding of how a particular politician is likely to conduct him or herself in office. The substantial assortment of political arguments can be daunting to decipher, especially if many parties evoke the usual ‘…desire to promote the interest of the general community’[6] as its main promise. However, a predetermined understanding of how a particular political party is likely to conform, helps make an individuals choice that much simpler. Reflecting a political position is made more understandable to others by associating with those principles. Though voters who have their own well formed ideologies will more likely support those with similar attitudes and thus ‘…ideological...
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