Party: Issue Clarity and Ambiguity

  • Alan Ware


The point has now been reached at which it is necessary to link together some of the main themes of the last four chapters. In Chapter 3 it was argued that, of itself, the electoral mechanism is unlikely to provide for the political education of the electorate. It was contended that it is only through the interpretations of political leaders that the majority of citizens can develop a coherent understanding of the economic and social divisions in the society. But the electoral mechanism does not furnish an incentive for the parties either to identify new lines of cleavage or to present to the electorate comprehensive and comprehensible alternative policies for resolving these divisions. It was suggested that with internally democratic parties an incentive for party leaders to compete with the other party ‘team’ in primary, rather than secondary, ways would be introduced.


Arena Boulder Doyle Stake Alan 


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  1. 1.
    Leo M. Snowiss, ‘Congressional Recruitment and Representation’, American Political Science Review, LX (1966) 629.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Dennis R. Eckart and John C. Ries, ‘The American Presidency’, in Leroy N. Rieselbach (ed.), People versus Government: The Responsiveness of American Institutions (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1975) p. 19.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    John F. Manley, American Government and Public Policy (New York: Macmillan, 1976) p. 344.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    For a comprehensive account of this litigation, from which some of the background material used here is drawn, see Jessica Pearson and Jeff Pearson, Litigation and Community Change: The Desegregation of the Denver Public Schools (Staff Paper prepared for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1976).Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    Benjamin I. Page, ‘The Theory of Political Ambiguity’, American Political Science Review, LXX (1976) 750.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alan James Ware 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Ware
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK

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