Why Are Us Parties Often Described as ‘Organisationally Weak’?

1871 words 8 pages
Why are US parties often described as ‘organisationally weak’?

US parties are often described as organisationally weak because they are essentially ‘broad coalitions’. For example they contain moderates like McCain republican) and Obama democrat), while also having a more conservative wing. Therefore stronger party organisation would give parties a narrower appeal and potentially alienate large ‘voting blocs’ or proportions of the electorate. This is a reason why it is argued that having ‘organisationally weak’ parties is a necessity in the US political system. It has therefore been argued that symptoms of weak organisation e.g issue centred or candidate-centered election campaigns are deliberate as parties attempt to gain a maximum
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It has been argued that the Democrats and Republicans have the same ideologies and were once labelled ‘two empty bottles with different labels’. One of the distinguishing changes was ‘the rise of the new democrats’ in the 1980’s which has said to have shown a distinct change between the parties. Some say that after 9/11 they came back as similar again but then reverted back to be different after the Iraq war. This could be due to their ‘dovish’ and ‘hawkish’ approach to foreign policy.

The Democrats could be seen as the more liberal party because they have equal rights programmes such as civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights. They also have a commitment to federal rather than state government action. The democrats also have a more ‘dovish’ approach to foreign policy and they are a more ‘pro choice’ party that is in favour of gun control, immigration, environmental protection and ending the death penalty. However, when the democrats lost some of its voting support to the Republicans from southern white voters in the 1960’s because of its commitment to civil rights and some northern blue collar voters in the 70’s and 80’s alienated by its perceived liberalism, they became a more cohesive and coherent ideologically liberal party.

It can also be argued that they have a more conservative wing, especially in

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