- What is the responsible party model and what are its consequences for democracy?
Political parties are very important fundamentals of United States Government. In a democracy, candidates should go through with what they promised they were going to do. However, this has proven to not always be the case. Critics of the American party system have proposed that a “more responsible two-party system” should be used to solve this problem. The
responsible party model
calls for each party to present distinct,
comprehensive programs; have the internal cohesion and discipline to carry out its program if elected; implement its programs if it is the majority party or state what it would do if it were in power; and accept responsibility for the performance of the government. Under this model, promises would be made easier to convert into actual government policy. It’s consequence for a democracy would be that a party's officeholders would have firm control of the government, and they would be collectively (and not individually) responsible for their actions. This would cause many policies to be made that would contradict each other and the public would not have a direct say on the policies implemented. There would be a lot of confusion if all promises were kept because then the House and Senate would have little say when passing policies. Voters would know exactly who to blame for what government does and doesn’t accomplish. American parties are too decentralized to enforce policies on their own, therefore the responsible party model would never work.
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