- Describe the characteristics and functions of American political parties.
- Explain the relationship between the national political parties and the state political parties.
- Review the Texas Democratic Party platform and the Texas Republican Party platform and explain the differences.
- Compare each state party platform to its national party platform counterpart and explain the differences between the national and state party platforms.
- Why do you believe differences would exist between the national and state party platforms?
American Political Parties Characteristics and Functions, National Political Parties and the State Political Parties
American political parties have various distinguishing characteristics some of which include the following; the political parties have decentralized power structures, organizational structures are relatively decentralized hence power is not centralized, they have a broad-base electoral support. They are non-programmatic and relatively non-ideological. American political parties have a two-party competition with two dominant parties, the democrats and the republicans. They have an ambiguous form of membership.
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American political parties are founded with a major role to bring unity among individuals with similar opinions about the government. These people have an influence to the government and participate in the government by becoming elected to the government posts. The political parties therefore bring these people together by providing them with a common voice to address their respective views. The political parties also promote a wide diversity of core beliefs to get assurance from members and voters. The function of political parties can therefore be summarized as mobilizing voters, facilitating governance, monitoring the opposing party in power and selecting candidates for election among others(LeBlanc, 1982).
National political parties exercise their influence on issues of national as well as international concerns hence the national political parties evidently and functionally exercises some degree of control over the state political parties. They have a stronghold over several states within a nation. The national political parties therefore takes up issues on both national and international interests while on the other hand, the state political parties is limited only to the regional concerns (Maisel and Jeffrey, 2010). The regional political parties take up issues on state interest only. Both the state and national political parties unite members of similar views about the government by providing a common voice for these people who have influence to the government.
National and state political parties are both founded under the basics of political parties. However, the state political parties unlike the national political parties, advocate greater autonomy for the states. The only difference lies between the coverage of their influence. The state political parties participate in the elections within the state only; their agenda mostly fit certain dominant culture within the state contrary to the national political parties who participate in elections nationwide as well as at international levels. The national political parties have agendas but unlike the state political parties, their agenda fit the whole nation interests.
Texas democratic platform stands for its fundamental role of advancing as well as increasing the ideological representation in the Texas State and city government. It advocates for an institutional training and resources for the democratic candidates in Texas. The platform employs a full time communication director in charge of the organizational communications. The major reason behind Texas p0latform foundation is to gather funds that facilitate the maintenance of the electoral infrastructures, provide permanent staff, provide adequate training to the members, publish communication materials and pay for the legal services (Winkler, 1916).
Texas republican platform advocates for the promotion of the conservative philosophy of the government. Its structure is determined by the federal law. It is a basic formal declaration of the key principles that a party stands for. The republican and democratic are distinctive differences. As the democratic platform reform insurance and utility rates regulations, the republican exercise no regulation on both the insurance rates and utility rates. Democratic platform opposes the state law that could deny the rights or endanger the safety of citizens while the republican creates a new state offence for the illegal aliens. Voting rights are also protected by the democratic platform contrary to the republican that eliminate minority voting districts.
The American state party platform serves to heighten the regional interests contrary to the American national party platforms where the he national beliefs are given importance. The national party platform has control over the state party platform for example the state party platform can contest elections only in that specific state whereas the national party platform can contest elections in all states.
A national party platform declares to the public that the visions, beliefs and values as well as its legislative policy positions and plans have key roles in the national politics. National party platforms define each party’s reputation including the regional parties. Regional or state draft their party platforms to mark for themselves a distinction from the national organizations to whom they share their name. State inherits the ideological brand associated with the national party platform.
The differences between the national and state political party platforms exist to facilitate control and check the practicability of the sub-national party platforms. The national party platforms exercises control over the regional or state party platforms, this to some extend make the state party platforms answerable to the national party platforms hence checking the activities and believes and influence towards the government.
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The differences like the autonomy exercised by the state party platforms also assist since the state party platforms have to account for the regional residents’ interest and beliefs. This makes the regional state party platform a source of statistics to the national party platforms about the regional variables since the national party platforms’ success is to some degree dependent on the regional opinions and believes towards their party’s candidate.
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