Parties, Politicians and Power

  • W. H. Parker


The representative and elective institutions provided for in the constitutions of each country would not work without political parties to activate them. Candidates have to be nominated; issues have to be formulated and policies elaborated; information or propaganda about these issues and policies has to be disseminated; sufficient interest has to be aroused among the electorate to bring people to the polling booths. The initiative in all this is provided by political parties. In any large nation there are groups and sectional interests too diverse and numerous to enter the political arena individually. Instead they act through parties staffed by professional politicians and which aim to represent as wide a range of such groups as they can. In this respect the most obvious point of contrast between the USA and the USSR is that the former is a two-party state, the latter a one-party state. The various groups and interests that seek to influence government and policy have a choice in America between the Democrat and Republican parties, but in Russia they must act through the Communist party. It follows that in America there is competition for power between the two parties, whereas in Russia the Communist party has a monopoly of it.


Public Opinion Political Party Communist Party American Politician Party System 
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© W. H. Parker 1972

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  • W. H. Parker

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