Charges Against Political Parties Essay, Research Paper
Political Science 1
April 24, 1999
Charges Against Political Parties
One charge against political parties is that they lack clear visions on governing ways and issues. And, when they do take a stance on issues, the positions taken appeal to a narrow set in society, powerful minorities. Party organizations adopt these narrow positions becaause they are forced by minorities with great powers, according to the critics. Literally, that analysis is illogical and thus falacious. If given the benefit of the doubt, (exagerated for greater emphasis) it would then mean that these powerful few have such an imense source of power in government influence, that a whole party is forced to conform. The contitutional seperation of powers was designed in a way to prevent such tragedies as these. It could be possible, but highly unlikely. Critics claim that because of narrow positions on controversial issues(with such strong intensities, e.g. abortion) visions on how to obtain a more liveable society in America are not defined well.
The second charge, similarly related to the first, charges that party promises and platforms held by candidates for elections are aimed mainly at getting elected more than governing and trying to make a difference. They do and say whatever it takes to get elected and stay elected, with little or no concern as to how the people feel or what they want. They tell people what they want to hear rather than what they really stand for (I’m not so sure if the majority of politicians really stand for anything moral or ethical, at all). These dishonest practices have damaged our “democracy”-or so they call it. Candidates who lack solid governing ideas often use marketing experts and image consultants to get voters’ support. The result becomes increasingly more apparent with each election period: Voters are ever more skeptical and suspicious when deciding whom to trust and believe. I cannot speak for all voters but I can speak on behalf of those I know. We feel, as many others do, that you can’t trust a politician or candidate. They do whatever it takes to get into office and then, they do whatever they want to. Meanwhile, upholding an ideal image of leadership and admirability, only to pacify the public eye. Deceitful-to put it in a nice way. Democracy, in the true definition of the word?-Hardly.
The third charge claims that money from interest-groups has weakened and corrupted parties. Some charge that politicians have become political entrepreneurs seeking their own personal fortunes instead of being members of party teams concerned with the good of the party and its supporters. Because politicians have their own funding, they are very independant of their parties. Thus, the interest-system has weakened party loyalty. The book suggests that the greatest effect of these pressures may be in cluttering up the national political agenda with so many small issues which makes it difficult for government to focus on broader govering programs. This suggestion sounds like it was written by a politician who needed an excuse at re-election time as to why he didn’t implement solutions to the bigger problems.
The fourth charge is that the nature of political leadership has been changed by party breakdown (loyalty and discipline) which has also weakened our government. The critics explain that this dilemma is a result of the skills that work in politics today, those skills of entreprenuership. People are self-nominated. They don’t win from support, but rather self-motivation to set out and find the votes. The problem with this outside-the-party-politics is that once elected, successful entreprenuers might be left with an insufficient party power base to govern adequately and follow through on promises.
My conclusion on these charges is that there is insufficient evidence to support or disclaim the allegations. Hence, my conclusion is that the problems in our government or the way in which it operates is a product of many different factors.