The Rise and Fall of Political Parties

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December 20, 2010

I.Thesis Statement
While the question on whether or not they should be accepted as a legitimate means to express political disagreement is really up to the citizens. As long as the parties don't become too powerful then there shouldn't be a problem at all. If somebody wishes to express a disagreement and they don't agree with either of the current two parties then by all means let them start their own party. As long as the citizens agree with what you are saying it shouldn't really matter what political party you belong to or what political office. Political participation is influenced by many important factors, one of which is political parties. The participation of citizens is a fundamental component of modern democracy. Politics and participation can be carried out in a variety of forms, including but not limited to voting, campaigning, and group activities such as lobbying for interest groups. In life it is important to develop an understanding of political parties. Political parties began in the United States and we now consider them an essential part of democracy. Parties serve five basic functions in a political system. First, they allow a method of communication between citizens and their government. Through communication, citizens are informed of the processes of government and politics, and also receive information regarding political issues. Next, parties provide representation of the citizens to the government. Third, parties provide interest articulation, in which citizens can identify their feelings on particular issues that are important to them, but not necessarily the rest of the population. Fourth, political parties are the sole means of aggregating these issues into larger categories, which can then be expressed to the government in a logical and persuasive form. Finally, political parties are the only sector of society in which political leaders are selected and recruited, to later be voted for or against by the public of that nation, or a body elected by them. These parties realize there are boundaries within which they must operate to insure the survival and preservation of democracy. Great Britain has a traditional modern parliamentary government that is dominated by two parties, the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. The Labour Party prides itself on being a democratic socialist party, essentially meaning that the party philosophy is to create a nation in which power, wealth, and opportunity are in the hands of the many and not the few (Labour Party). The Conservative Party is focused on liberal economic policies, as well as the preservation of traditional British cultural values and institutions (Conservative Party). This party supports a decentralized government in which the state plays a limited role in social welfare. Like Great Britain, Germany has a parliamentary government that is essentially dominated by two central parties, the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party. According to their platform, the Christian Democratic Union is in favor of a free democracy based on the rule of the law, a social market economy, the incorporation of the Federal Republic of Germany into the Western system of values and the Western alliance, the unity of the nation and the unification of Europe (Christian Democratic Union). The Social Democratic Party is focused on equality, specifically in employment and distribution of wealth. The party is extremely anti-nuclear and environmentally oriented, although the latter is a less essential part of the platform (Social Democratic Party). Unlike Great Britain, both German parties favor involvement in the European Union, and support the integration of Germany into the European Community.When defining the subject of politics what usually springs to mind is government, politicians and their policies or more negatively the idea of corruption and dirty tricks. In order to make an attempt at a definition of...
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