File Name: political parties and party systems alan ware .zip
This book examines the role played by the parties themselves in two-party systems.
- Party Reform: Where are Australia’s Political Parties Headed in the Future?
- The Dynamics of Two-Party Politics: Party Structures and the Management of Competition
- Political Parties and Party Systems
Carbone, Giovanni M.
Party Reform: Where are Australia’s Political Parties Headed in the Future?
On 24 September , Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected leader of the UK Labour Party in a vote that attracted the participation of more than half a million people. For some, the process has reinvigorated the Labour Party, substantially increasing membership and enabling hundreds of thousands of individuals to participate in a grassroots democratic movement. For others, these reforms have seen the party hijacked by its supporters— or instant members—who paid a few pounds to vote in the leadership contest to elect a leader with little broader electoral appeal.
The experience of the UK Labour Party highlights two very important questions that I want to explore in my lecture today. First, what motivates political parties to undertake organisational reforms? And, second, what are the consequences—both for parties themselves, and more broadly for representative democracy—when they do it? Today I will take you through some of the research that I have conducted over the last four years on the democratisation of political parties in established democracies.
I will draw on examples from Canada and the UK among other democracies, and share some of the experiences of a variety of different parties. The key motivation for this research is to better understand how political parties are responding to technological, social and institutional change, and the effectiveness of some of the organisational changes they have made in order to increase citizen engagement and ensure their relevance as participatory organisations in modern democracies.
Perhaps the greatest concern that overshadows studies of party organisation today is the collapse of formal party membership. The first is the sheer pervasiveness of membership decline, which has been shown to affect parties both across democracies and across party families.
This highlights not only the salience of the trend, but also the complexity of the problem as encompassing social changes that transcend states and parties with different ideological standpoints and organisational histories.
Another aspect of this pervasiveness is the extent to which membership decline impacts upon key party functions. Members have traditionally been seen as a committed group of activists that promulgate a party ideology, a source of outreach and policy innovation and as the providers of financial and campaigning resources.
So where does this leave political parties today? While there is a broad consensus on the pervasiveness and salience of membership decline, scholars disagree as to the consequences of this decline for the future of parties as linkage organisations, and whether membership is actually necessary for parties at all.
The alternate view is that members continue to remain important to the party organisation in the contemporary era. While it is certainly not surprising, the vast majority of political parties maintain a commitment to the continued importance and role of party members. But what does membership mean in the modern party organisation? The UK Labour reform document, Building a One Nation Labour Party , provides an excellent illustration of how both the need for, and the strengths of, party reform can be conceptualised in terms of expanding the number of party members, as well as the notion of membership itself.
Members are the lifeblood of our party. It is essential that the rights that come with membership are recognised and understood. Party members play a crucial role in holding their MP to account, selecting their parliamentary candidate, selecting the Leader and Deputy Leader, picking delegates for annual conference, and much more besides.
Under these reforms, the three-way electoral college comprised of members of the parliamentary party, party members and trade unions that was originally established in was replaced by a one member, one vote system where the votes of Labour parliamentarians, party members, affiliated union supporters and registered party supporters were simply aggregated and weighted evenly. In implementing these reforms the party moved from a closed leadership selection process in which unions had a collective voice to a semi-open one.
The inclusiveness of the process was increased through the addition of registered supporters to the eligible voter pool. A group of over , Labour Party supporters signed up to participate to select his successor, Jeremy Corbyn. This contrasts significantly with party membership in , which stood at just , This particular instance of Labour Party reform departed from previous recruitment strategies in that it adopted a broader understanding of the concept of membership.
By individualising the practice of union affiliation, the party sought to grow the membership by converting previous collective affiliates into individual supporters, effectively achieving an instant injection of members through redefining the notion of affiliation.
By expanding the leadership franchise to registered supporters, the Labour Party expanded the notion of membership in a functional sense and created a much larger base of support to legitimise and promote the leadership selection. I want to build a better Labour Party…by shaping a Party appropriate for the twenty-first century not the twentieth century in which we were founded.
Understanding we live in a world where individuals rightly demand a voice. Where parties need to reach out far beyond their membership. As a form of behaviour, individualisation captures the notion that citizens seek to fulfil their own private desires rather than the common good.
Driven by social changes such as increasing pressures on time, money and effort, a decline of working-class communities and trade union membership, it has been asserted that people are less willing to participate in collective forms of political activity.
Rather than joining political parties, citizens have instead turned to other political organisations to channel their participation, or to direct forms of political action. For some, these changing patterns represent the decline of political participation and engagement in society 13 , but for others 14 they signify a diversification in citizenship norms and political participation away from primarily duty-bound norms and actions to more engaged and autonomous forms of political participation, and to expanding political repertoires that are no longer focused on the formal institutions of the state.
The figures contained in Table 1 are a stark reminder of the insignificance of party and partisan forms of participation for Australian citizens.
In an online Essential Media poll conducted in April , respondents were asked about their political activity. A very small minority reported participating in parties in some way: whether that be as a member or by campaigning. Respondents were also asked whether they would consider becoming a member of a political party. Only 15 per cent of respondents indicated that they would, and this was the highest 19 per cent amongst Greens voters.
Men were twice as likely as women to consider joining 20 per cent as compared to 10 per cent , and by age, younger voters under 30 were least likely to consider joining 81 per cent , compared to those aged 31—50 69 per cent and voters over 50 years of age 71 per cent. There are two ways in which participatory patterns such as these might impact upon the nature of party organisations, particularly as participatory arenas.
The first is the potential withdrawal of political parties from society. The second option is that political parties change their internal structures and processes to better reflect these patterns of participation. If political parties adapt or evolve to new institutional environments, it stands to reason that they must also respond to a new type of politically active citizen.
This may require a radical rethinking of what we mean by the notion of a political party as a mediating institution and where its organisational boundaries lie.
At the very least, a more nuanced account of what it means to be active within, or engaged with a political party, is necessary— one that moves beyond the notion of a formal member. I was the last of a generation of joiners. Although it is defined in opposition to membership, what supportership actually means, and involves, is quite vague.
As a result of the Collins Review 24 the vote of a registered supporter in a UK Labour leadership contest carried equal weight to that of an ordinary party member. The eventual scale of non-member involvement in the leadership contest also far outweighed what was previously anticipated and approved by the Labour Conference.
In , over , registered supporters participated in the ballot, comprising a 25 per cent share of the total selectorate. In , registered supporters comprised 24 per cent of those voting in the leadership contest.
In Australia, the Labor and National parties have also involved their supporters in candidate selections through the trial of open primaries for the selection of parliamentary candidates in state branches. As supporters are actively encouraged to contribute to policy debates, and as parties move to more consultative forms of policy development, the difference between members and supporters in this area of party activity seems even smaller still.
In Germany, the move to reach out to non-members in the Social Democratic Party proved to be controversial. Originally, party leader Sigmar Gabriel proposed a system of open primaries that would have seen non-member involvement in the party expanded to candidate and leadership selection.
In May the party voted at its conference to dispense with the notion of membership entirely. Instead, anyone willing to register with the party for free is able to participate in policy development and candidate and leadership selection. The party, currently in government in Canada under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, advertises itself not as a party but as an open movement. Political parties are not just using the language of movements, but appropriating some of the organisational and campaigning techniques of movement politics.
One of these techniques is community organising. In turn, what has been successfully used in American campaigning is seen as a source of inspiration to party organisations in Canada, Australia and the UK.
They have perfected a model in which a supporter with four hours to contribute can be immediately plugged into four hours of meaningful work. Adapting the principles of community organising is a way in which political parties in Australia and the United Kingdom have attempted to strike a balance between member and non-member participation. The Folkestone local branch led one of these local campaigns against parking charges in the town centre.
Starting with an online petition, the campaign spread to an offline petition in the high street that collected 2, signatures, progressed to a series of community meetings and culminated in a local council referendum.
Lauded by the party, the campaign was able to successfully reinvigorate the local branch, as members:. Each week we would get ready to give a speech at a meeting, or prepare for a radio interview, or print more posters for the campaign … We found a new energy in the local party, with new members taking the lead in campaigns and long standing members finding a new lease of life.
Translating this model of organising and participation to a national scale, in the context of election campaigning, has proved to be less successful for the UK Labour Party. One of the fundamental tensions inherent in the community organising model of partisan politics is between the decentralisation and autonomy of decision-making practiced by volunteers and local groups and the desire of the party organisation to maintain control of groups, processes and policy agendas.
As Schultz and Sandy argue:. Organizing is not about doing for others. Instead, organizers are supposed to work with people to produce social change. A key tenet of organizing is that those affected by a particular social problem are usually best equipped to figure out what changes are most likely to make a real difference.
Once questions were solicited from the floor, a number of party members complained of the disjoint between community organising training, strategies at the local level and the priorities of the central party office.
Those canvassing were restricted to asking three questions of electors, and to work from centrally generated lists. Volunteers were directed not to talk to non-Labour voters and could not target constituents aged between 18 and Similarly, a councillor from the local government area of Barking spoke of the mixed messages about the nature of activism within the party. The discussion was promptly shut down by a staffer from campaign central office who deferred questions to a private meeting at the end of the session.
The transfer of modes of organising from political advocacy organisations to political parties and vice versa is, however, not limited to offline activities. Perhaps more important to the way in which political parties structure themselves and engage with their members and supporters than the diffusion of community organising and campaigning practices has been the gradual uptake of social networking sites and online platforms to provide the basis for a different kind of online organisational infrastructure.
It was also used by the ALP in its federal election campaign. In addition to online platforms such as NationBuilder, social media is playing an increasingly important role in how political parties engage with citizens, and vice versa.
I looked at the major parties in Australia, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, France and Germany and found that in two-thirds of the cases the party leaders attracted more followers on Twitter than their respective party organisations. This was particularly apparent amongst conservative party leaders such as David Cameron, Stephen Harper and Malcolm Turnbull, whose Twitter followings outnumbered those of their parties, on average, more than seven times over. Susan Scarrow reported that in only one party, the British Conservatives, had more than , Facebook likes.
She also noted that in each country as a group, the number of traditional members still exceeded Facebook followers. In so far as platforms such as Facebook and Twitter cultivate greater links between party supporters and individual politicians within the party, they suggest that the process of organisational reform may also be dispersing—with individuals, and particularly party leaders, possessing greater autonomy and power through social media platforms that require relatively little skill or whose operation can be outsourced to the provider to craft their own online organisational links and structures.
Yet in creating a more individualised and direct channel of communication between parties, politicians and the public, the organisational consequences are potentially far greater than the ease of reform would suggest. First, are these organisational changes an accurate response to changing norms of political participation? The second question, which is of a more normative character, is whether these reforms are an appropriate response to changing norms of political participation? Fielded to a representative sample of over 1, Australian voters, the survey was designed by the author and administered by the market research company Newspoll though an online panel.
Designed to reflect the views of the general population on the possibilities provided by party organisational reform, the survey asked respondents to indicate whether or not they might consider engaging in a number of party-related activities in the future. Because the survey asked participants about their likely, rather than actual, political behaviour, overall rates of participation are likely to be marginally inflated. However, a number of interesting trends emerge amongst the various engagement items.
The Dynamics of Two-Party Politics: Party Structures and the Management of Competition
A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific ideological or policy goals. Political parties have become a major part of the politics of almost every country, as modern party organizations developed and spread around the world over the last few centuries. Some countries have only one political party while others have dozens, but it is extremely rare for a country to have no political parties. Parties are important in the politics of autocracies as well as democracies , though usually democracies have more political parties than autocracies. Autocracies often have a single party that governs the country, and some political scientists consider competition between two or more parties to be an essential part of democracy. Parties can develop from existing divisions in society, like the divisions between lower and upper classes, and they streamline the process of making political decisions by encouraging their members to cooperate.
Political Parties and Party Systems
National Library of Australia. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Ware, Alan. Political parties and party systems. This is an introduction to the study of political parties and party systems.
Few scholars could undertake this, but he pulls it off admirably. He is concerned with the historical sources and intensity of conflicts - the roles of region, class, religion, and ideology over time. He addresses how those conflicts are represented and perpetuated by parties and politicians as they work within decentralized American institutional arrangements. He presents a convincing answer to the question of why elections in America rarely settle anything, but only provide the context for the next round of conflict. This analysis asks important and broad questions and provides comparative commentary.
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Electoral Cycle Approach
Покойный лежал на спине, лицом вверх, освещаемый лампами дневного света, вроде бы ничего не скрывая. Беккер непроизвольно снова и снова вглядывался в его странно деформированные руки. Он присмотрелся внимательнее. Офицер выключил свет, и комната погрузилась в темноту. - Подождите, - сказал Беккер. - Включите на секунду. Лампы, замигав, зажглись.
Бизнес - это война, с которой ничто не сравнится по остроте ощущений. Хотя три дня назад, когда раздался звонок, Токуген Нуматака был полон сомнений и подозрений, теперь он знал правду. У него счастливая миури - счастливая судьба. Он избранник богов.
Он оказался в узком, увешанном зеркалами туннеле, который вел на открытую террасу, уставленную столами и стульями. На террасе тоже было полно панков, но Беккеру она показалась чем-то вроде Шангри-Ла: ночное летнее небо над головой, тихие волны долетающей из зала музыки. Не обращая внимания на устремленные на него любопытные взгляды десятков пар глаз, Беккер шагнул в толпу. Он ослабил узел галстука и рухнул на стул у ближайшего свободного столика.
Ей казалось, что она слышит его голос, зовущий ее, заставляющий спасаться бегством, но куда ей бежать. Шифровалка превратилась в наглухо закрытую гробницу. Но это теперь не имело никакого значения, мысль о смерти ее не пугала. Смерть остановит боль. Она будет опять рядом с Дэвидом.
Мне не успеть. Но когда шестерни разомкнулись, чтобы включилась другая их пара, автобус слегка притормозил, и Беккер прыгнул. Шестерни сцепились, и как раз в этот момент его пальцы схватились за дверную ручку.