• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the UK and US political parties and their party systems

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the UK and US political parties and their party systems? A party system as described by G.Sartori is "the system of interactions resulting from inter-party competition". A one-party system cannot produce a political system, as we would identify it in Britain. One party cannot produce any other system other than autocratic/dictatorial power. Two-party system: as the title indicates, this is a state in which just two parties dominate. Other parties might exist but they have no political importance. The multi-party system: as the title suggests, this is a system where more than two parties have some impact in a state's political life. Dominant-party system: this is different from a one-party system. A party is quite capable within the political structure of a state, to become dominant to such an extent that victory at elections is considered a formality. A political party is organized groups of voters and politicians with similar ideas about how the government should be run and who should represent them. The US has a two party system in which two parties dominate in the US its Republican and Democratic parties. ...read more.

Middle

Sartori defines a multi-party system as one where no party can guarantee an absolute majority. In theory, the Labour Party, regardless of its current parliamentary majority, could lose the next general election in Britain in 2006. Even its current majority of 167 cannot guarantee electoral victory in the future. Britain also was a Dominant-party system: this is different from a one-party system. A party is quite capable within the political structure of a state, to become dominant to such an extent that victory at elections is considered a formality. This was the case under the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. For 18 years (1979 to 1997), one party dominated politics in Britain. In theory, the Conservatives could have lost any election during these 18 years. But such was the disarray of the opposition parties - especially Labour - that electoral victory was all but guaranteed. The elections of the 1980's and 1990's were fought with competition from other parties - hence there can be no comparison with a one-party state. ...read more.

Conclusion

(b) Cultural-religious dimensions: During the beginning of 1980s the Democratic party became increasingly identified as the party of cultural-religious liberalism; pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights etc. However the Republican Party was a cultural-religious conservatism: anti-abortion, homophobic,anti-gun control,pro-prayer in the state schools. These cultural issues don't form a part in the party battle in the UK.i.e.Free votes and there is no party whipping and MPs allowed voting freely. The parties in America are weak organisations and 'party discipline' in the US congress is loose. In the US Congress a party unity (or a party line) vote is defined as a majority of one party voting against a majority of the others. The weak definition only a relatively small majority of votes in the Senate and the House of Representatives qualify as partisan votes. In the US, formal party 'membership' is unknown; simply register as Democrats or Republicans Democratic and Republicans parties have become more ideologically homogeneous. Therefore Republicans are more conservative than Democratic however southern republicans are more conservative than the Republicans from the Northeast and even though southern Democrats tend to be less liberal than Democrats in other parts of the country. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Accounts for the changes in voting behaviour in the last 30 years in UK ...

    and the BSAS (The British Social Attitudes Surveys) that have given Psephologists valuable information and statistics which enables them to better understand the voting behaviour of an individual. With this brief insight into the origins into the changes views, opinions of the electorate voting behaviour and the organisations that study such changes.

  2. To what extent do recent elections in the UK and the USA support the ...

    Conservatives therefore held a grip on the prosperous South increasing their share of the working class vote meanwhile Labour dominated the areas of economic decay and decline. Most commentators have therefore indicated a loosening of traditional ties with parties, by citing that a smaller percentage of the electorate conforms to

  1. Is the labour party a socialist party.

    by socialism, and therefore it can go against the principles of socialism, whilst supporting them. The labour party says that as a democratic socialist party, they welcome people from 'all walks of life' to be members, but most of their current members are from a middle-class background.

  2. This essay is going to give a general introduction of party systems first, then ...

    The lack of formal membership leads to a lack of control on entering party activities and less income to support the party activities. Secondly, the party power in the US system is quite decentralized. National parties have little control on election, as there are different laws, citizens with different culture-religious

  1. Compare and Contrast the Classical Liberal position with the Conservative position on the issue ...

    they feel would be an 'ideal world' is significantly influenced by how the people take 'action' to social changes, the type of questions they ask and what they see as the most suitable intervention (Cooper, 2004; Heywood, 2003). By outlining the core values, future goals, strategies and method of actions

  2. Compare and contrast Pluralist and Ruling Elite accounts of political power.

    This means that, in theory, anybody anywhere in the state can decide that they do not feel they, or their minority are being represented properly in the government and so run for office.

  1. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    Those changes also shaped the incentives for elite action in ways that have led away from the development of a well-structured party system. Until the party system re-establishes its links with society and the incentives of party elite behavior are shaped by the need to promote societal interests rather than

  2. Legacies of the totalitarian system and the political transformation of Romanian society after 1989.

    In 1950, Ceausescu was transferred minister of the Ministry of Armed Forces, with special responsibility for the "Higher Political Directorate of the Army", the party body set up to bring into being a People's Army. It was in this capacity that Ceausescu served an invaluable apprenticeship for ensuring his complete

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work