Decline of Political Parties

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In the past, some political scientists have suggested that the roles of American political parties are in a major decline. Many factors contribute to this new belief, the most prominent being the lack of Democratic and Republican voters and an increase in independent voters. Anis Shivani and Keith Poole, two political scientists, have studied the shifts of the two major political parties, Republican and Democrat. The two took on opposing views. Shivani believed that America was likely to remain in an era of conservative politics and independent voters would solve problems. Poole studied a Congressional voting. He believed the separation in voting was proof of an increase in political polarization. The American political system is inevitably changing to fit the changing world. In the past decade, there have been events that contradict Shivani’s theory. In both 2008 and 2012, Obama was elected as President. He is a liberal Democrat, which starkly contrasts to Shivani’s idea. Democrats and Republicans hold opposing views on certain issues. The Democratic Party will always have supporters due to the differing ideals between the parties. On the other hand, voters are often more conservative when they feel as though the government is failing to handle large problems properly. Shivani also states that the electorate is not becoming conservative. Therefore, a completely conservative political system has yet to be achieved. While Shivani’s theory is incorrect, his thoughts on independent voting are accurate. As time continues, independent voters are becoming more and more important. They have also found themselves playing a larger and larger role in elections. Poole did not believe independent voters were very important, but he saw that political parties were moving closer to their respective sides of the political spectrum. Parties are slowly becoming more and more extreme. Democrats have become more liberal while Republicans become more conservative.

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