Political Science Essay on The Link between Political Parties and the Electoral Process

The Link between Political Parties and the Electoral Process

Question 1

Political ideology can be defined as a particular set of ethical principles, ideas, doctrines, myths or symbols of a given institution, social movement or class that gives an explanation of how the society ought to work and offers a cultural and political blueprint for a particular order. In the United States, there are many parties; however, the two most popular political parties are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Each of these parties has an idea of how it would wish to run the country and what is considered to be acceptable and what is not acceptable. Just like any other political party, Democrats and Republicans share particular viewpoints. However, they equally have differences in terms of their beliefs or views, which make them different.

One major difference in ideology between these two political parties is each party`s view on individual security. The democrats believe that it is the responsibility of government not just to secure American borders, but also to ensure the personal security of each citizen.  The party has transformed this belief into policies that provide access to healthcare to as many people as possible, increasing the minimum wage and expanding access to unemployment insurance. On the other hand, Republicans heartily oppose this type of government policies arguing that nobody should be forced to be his/her brother`s keeper. It is common knowledge that 13 American states have rejected the offer from the federal government to pay one hundred percent for the costs of expanding healthcare coverage. Out of the 13 states, 12 are held by republicans. To the republicans, universal health coverage restricts citizens’ liberty because the government made health exchanges significantly interferes with private insurance companies in their efforts to manage their businesses.

Another major ideological difference between these two parties relates to personal liberty. According to the Republicans, there is the need for a big government when dealing with personal liberty. According to Rick Santorum a former presidential candidate and Republican senator, the notion that the government does not have a right to limit a person`s passions and wants is erroneous. This is because there are consequences that come when people are allowed to pursue whatever passions and wants that they desire. For instance, gay rights are a personal liberty. Democrats tend to be more liberal and in nearly all the states dominated by Democrats, gay couples are given the freedom to marry. On the other hand, Republicans tend to be more conservative and their beliefs are more in line with Christian values. This has made them refuse to accept gay marriages.

The last ideological difference between these parties relates to the issue of gun ownership and control. In the U.S. gun control not only affects individual liberties, but also homeland security. According to the republicans people should be given the mandate to own whatever number of guns they desire and they should be allowed to carry these guns without government interference. This in turn will allow those with guns to protect themselves from harm. On the other end, Democrats argue uncontrolled gun ownership is a major contributor to physical violence both with and outside the gun owner`s home. As a result, this can give rise to uncontrollable liberty (Carter, 2002).

Question 2

Third parties are very influential to the two main political parties due to their beliefs, ideas, and support. History has it that there have been only two political parties in the United States. There are various third parties with varied objectives, and because of their responsibilities, third parties only support one of the two major parties (PBS NewsHour, 1). Third parties will never make it to the presidential level because they are smaller compared to the two political parties in the United States. It is unfortunate that third parties cannot stand on its own in a governmental system. Another reason is the electoral system that is considered a winner- take-all system because no one can be rewarded for a second place. With two main political parties in the United Sates, third parties do not have any chance.

Question 3

Political campaigns are mainly managed by supporters of the candidate. During political campaigns, the candidates organize individuals to perform various duties on his behalf. The function of the campaign process in upholding the two party systems is to utilize the Electoral Process. For a two-party system to be maintained, campaigns must make decisions on two candidates, the venue for the elections, individuals who are eligible to vote, and more significantly, who wins (Usca.edu, 1). The campaign process has two candidates that come from the tow key parties, the site for the elections, and the number of voters to influence. Voting is one of the most significant factors in upholding the two-party system because if parties have more influence on voters, there will be more voters and the likelihood of winning the election increases.

References

Carter, G. (2002). Guns in American society. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio.

PBS News Hour. (2014). Third Parties in the U.S. Political Process | PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/politics-july-dec04-third_parties/

Usca.edu. (2014). Chapter 10. Political Parties and Elections. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.usca.edu/polisci/apls201%20text/Ch10%20Political%20Parties%20and%20Elections.htm