interest aggregation and political parties n.
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Interest Aggregation and Political Parties

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 31

Interest Aggregation and Political Parties - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Interest Aggregation and Political Parties. Comparative Politics Chapter 5. Interest aggregation – the activity where the political demands of people and groups are combined into policy programs. Political skills and resources are used to accomplish this: Votes Campaign funds

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Interest Aggregation and Political Parties' - morna

Download Now An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
interest aggregation and political parties

Interest Aggregation and Political Parties

Comparative Politics

Chapter 5


Interest aggregation – the activity where the political demands of people and groups are combined into policy programs. Political skills and resources are used to accomplish this:

    • Votes
    • Campaign funds
    • Political offices
    • Media access
    • Armed force
personal interest aggregation
Personal Interest Aggregation
  • Patron-client networks – do something nice for your ‘clients’ (supporters) and they will take care of you (keep you in office)
    • Feudalism – Lord and the serfs
    • Boss Tweed – NY political machine
    • Richard Daley, Sr. – Chicago political machine
    • President of U.S. – Cabinet, Executive Office, Joint Chiefs of Staff, etc.

Problem with this is that it usually means the political system it’s in is static – hard to change

    • U.S. – corrupt politics
    • Asia – family oriented
    • Middle East – Tribal/religious orientation
    • Europe – ethnically oriented (especially eastern Europe)
institutional interest
Institutional Interest
  • As societies have modernized, the patron-client system has evolved into a larger network
  • Patron-client is the nucleus and this small network spreads out to connect with larger, more powerful/influential networks
  • This larger connection goes back to the Association Groups from the previous chapter.
  • The bureaucracy negotiates with interest groups to get policy made and implemented
competitive party systems and interest aggregation
Competitive Party Systems and Interest Aggregation
  • Political parties – groups or organizations that seek to place candidates in office under their label.
  • In the competitive system, political parties tend to try to gain electoral support
  • In other words, the political parties will try to win the support of the various “social” subgroups in order to get their candidate in office


    • One of the few ways diverse groups of people can express their varying interests equally and comprehensively
      • Parties generally keep their promises once they are elected
      • Liberals tend to increase government involvement in daily lives
      • Conservatives tend to slow down, or decrease the government involvement in daily lives

Radical changes that are promised by a party before it comes into power is sometimes not possible as quickly and easily as they promised once they achieve the power.

    • Even though voters may have supported the concept of change, they may not have realized the consequences involved in such change, thus slowing down the implementation
    • Also, the parties who are not currently ‘in power’ also still have a say in the policy making process and may still impede the progress/change of the party in power

Elections don’t always provide interest aggregation, sometimes, it’s just a social thing

    • Communist countries only allowing one candidate on the ballot, but making everyone vote

Electoral Systems determine

    • Who can vote
    • How they vote
    • How the votes are counted
  • Single-member District
    • Plurality – you don’t need a majority (51%) to win, you just need the most votes
      • Common in the U.S. in many local elections
      • Not valid in national and some state level postitions

Majority Runoff/Double Ballot

      • 1st voting narrows down the candidates
      • 2nd voting gets a winner with a majority
      • Exceptions can occur if a candidate gets the required majority (51%) in the 1st voting
  • Proportional Representation
    • The country is divided into large districts and each district gets to elect a lot of representatives (sometimes 20-30)

The people vote for their favorite candidates

      • The parties whose candidates receive a minimum percentage of votes get to send their winners to the legislature. If a party doesn’t get the minimum, then they may have some aspects of their people unrepresented
  • Primary Elections
    • Parties offer their top candidates and let the voters choose who will run for office against the candidates from the other parties

Closed-list proportional representation

    • Elected officials choose from their top and the voters have no say about who their candidates might be
  • Open-list
    • Voters do get to make choices of their favorites from a list of candidates. Those with the most votes may get to run

Patterns of Electoral Competition

    • Duverger’s Law – there is a systemiatic relationship between electoral systems and party systems
      • Plurality single-member districts tend to create two-party systems
      • Proportional representation generates multi-party systems
      • How does this happen?
        • Mechanical effect – the way that different electoral systems convert votes into seats
        • Psychological effect voters and candidates anticipate the mechanical effect
          • Voters may not throw support behind candidates they feel are hopeless
          • Voting for the next best option or the one that will cause the ‘least damage’ is called strategic voting

Down’s Median Voter Result

    • Political parties will try to modify their stand on various issues to win the support of the median voter
    • Two-party systems have a convergence to the center to try to win these median voters
      • In the U.S. there are Republicans who flirt with the left and Democrats who flirt with the right.

Competitive Parties in Government

    • It helps get policies passed if a party wins the majority in the legislative and has control of the executive.
      • This works better in single party districts
      • In pluralities, a party may win control without the majority of the support because of how the seats are distributed to the winner.
        • Great Britain under Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair had less than 50% of the popular vote but them and their party got control.
        • Sometimes, parties will combine to gain control
          • The recent elections in Britain that brought David Cameron in as Prime Minister

Aggregation of Interests when coalitions form has costs and benefits

    • The elite determine gov’t policy, and the people feel left out
      • Voters are often discourage by this because they feel their vote doesn’t count
    • When there is a coalition, sometimes the interests of a minority party can be used in negotiations, getting them a policy they may want but might not have gotten had a party gained a clear majority

Cooperation and Conflict in Competitive Party Systems

    • Majoritarian two-party systems
      • Dominated by two parties (U.S.)
      • Have two dominant parties and election laws usually create legislative majorities for one of them (Britain)
    • Majority coalition systems
      • Parties form preelectoral coalitions so that voters know which parties will attempt to work together for form the policies (Germany & France)
    • Multiparty systems
      • Election laws can party systems that virtually ensure that no single party wins a legislative majority and no traditional of preelection coalitions

Party antagonism/polarization

    • Consensual party system
      • The parties commanding most of the legislative seats are not to far apart on policies and have a reasonable amount of trust in each other and in the political system
    • Conflictual party system
      • The legislature is dominated by parties that are far apart on issues or are antagonistic toward each other and the political system
    • Consociational/Accomodative system
      • Party systems in which political leaders are able to bridge the intense differences between antagonistic voters through power-sharing, broad coalitions, and decentralization of sensitive decisions to the separate social groups (Christians and Muslims in Lebanon)
authoritarian party systems
Authoritarian Party Systems
  • Aggregation takes place
    • Within the party
    • In interactions with
      • Business groups
      • Unions
      • Landowners
      • Institutional groups in the bureaucracy
      • Military
  • Elections are sham to make people think they are included

Exclusive Governing Parties

    • Totalitarian
      • One party
      • Top-down control of society
      • No opposition parties or interest groups
      • Legitimacy is provided by clear ideology
      • Failed Totalitarian governments
        • USSR
        • Eastern Europe
      • Working totalitarian governments
        • North Korea
        • Cuba

China – mixed and confusing

      • Government no longer controls the economy
      • Government still prohibits mass organization against it’s legitimacy
  • Demise of totalitarianism
    • Greed for power distorts original ideology
    • Limited government ability to control society
    • Loss of confidence in Communism

Inclusive Governing Parties

    • Ethnic and tribal authoritarian
      • Usually succeed because they are inclusive
        • Recognize autonomy of
          • Social
          • Cultural
          • Economic groups
        • Bargain with these groups instead of controlling and remaking them
        • Examples:
          • Kenya
          • Tanzania

Authoritarian Corporatist Systems

    • Allow formation of interest groups
      • Groups bargain with each other
      • Groups bargain with the government
    • Do not allow political resources directly to the people
    • They sometimes allow opposition parties if they are no real threat to the control
    • Electoral Authoritarianism
      • Façade of democracy that doesn’t really challenge the gov’t
        • Some political opposition
        • Independent media
        • Social Organizations
      • Example: Mexican PRI

These governments often are born in the fight against colonialism and begin to dissipate after the leaders die or retire

    • Memories of struggle for independence fade
    • Ideology weakens
    • Worldwide spread of democracy causes people to question the legitimacy of a single party.
military interest aggregation
Military & Interest Aggregation
  • Military Government
    • When civilian governments cannot control society, the military often gets control by default
    • Military has a monopoly on coercive actions to maintain control of society
    • After the military takes over
      • May support a tyrant
      • May try to use their power to further controlling party ideology

When the military has taken over they sometimes try to set up a bureaucratic version of authoritarian corporatism

    • Link organized groups with them (the military as the final say in arbitration)
  • Major limitations of military interest aggregation
    • Their internal structure is not designed for interest aggregation
    • They are not set up for
      • Aggregation of internal differences
      • Building compromises
      • Mobilizing popular support
      • Communications with social groups outside of the military
  • Military control is often linked with other institutions and may withdraw from control once another, more stable government is established

1980s we saw the trend toward democracy in Eastern Europe

  • 1990s African nations began to move toward democracy
  • After 2005-2006, we have seen a move toward democracy in the Middle East
    • Algeria
    • Tunisia
    • Egypt
significance of interest aggregation
Significance of Interest Aggregation
  • Successful public policy depends on effective interest aggregation
    • Narrow policy options so citizen demands are converted into a few policy alternatives
      • May eliminate some policies in the process
  • Competitive Party Systems narrow down and combine policy preferences by through elections
    • Voters support the party that has their preferences
    • Unpopular preferences are then eliminated by the majority

Noncompetitive Party Systems, military gov’ts and monarchies aggregation can determine policy

    • Authoritarian and military governments may just decide the program
    • Legislative assemblies, military councils or party politburos may have to negotiate policies
  • How well a government aggregates is the final determining factor in it’s adaptability and stability