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

What is the significance of the distinction between primary and Caucus?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PRIMARY AND CAUCUS? A Caucus is a series of meetings held by party members rather than open elections. They are also used to select a party's candidate for the presidency. States that usually use caucuses to select their candidates include Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Hawaii and Nevada. A primary is an election held within a political party to decide which of a number of competing individuals should be the official candidate of that party in a public election. It is most commonly used in the USA by political parties to select their preference for a presidential candidate. Most states use the 'primary' to nominate their President. New Hampshire is usually the first state to hold the primary season in February or March and the rest follow over the next three or four months. There are several different types of primaries. ...read more.

Middle

It is also said to be more democratic because the general public gets to have a say in the selection of the candidates. However, the disadvantage of open primaries is that it encourages voters to cross party lines and vote for the opposing party's worst candidates. Blanket primaries offer the greatest level of participation. This is because it allows voters to take part for both the Republican party's primary and the Democratic party' primary. The winner-take-all primary and proportional representation primary differ in terms of allocation of delegates to the candidates. In winner-take-all primary the candidate who wins the most votes gets all the delegates. The larger states favour this primary as it increases their weight in the nomination process. On the other hand, in the proportional representation primary, delegates are allocated according to the number of votes cast. It has been used by the Democratic Party since the McGovern Fraser Commission in 1969 recommended an effort to increase the voice of minority groups in the party and to broaden the appeal of its candidates. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thirdly, it is claimed that the primary season weakens parties. This is because it removes the parties' ability to nominate their own candidate by putting the power in the hands of the public. It also encourages the creation of personal campaign organisations built around the candidates rather than the party. This usually leads to public disunity. Finally, it is said that it leads to low voter turn out. It tends to be confined to the stronger party identifiers. For e.g. in 1998 only 16.86% of those eligible voted. There has been a process of steady decline in voter turnout since 1970. Turnout is usually higher for Democratic Party. Hence, a Republican candidate could win with less than 5% of the eligible vote. This can be improved by introducing electronic and postal votes. Hence, to sum up it can be said that the caucus and the primary season are an essential parting of the election season in the USA. Javeria Masud 13 O ...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. Razzledazzle[1]: The Mexican President

    The last de facto clause, introduced after Calles managed to retain power indirectly through 19369 until deported from the Country, was a direct result of Cardenas' third pillar. Consequently, the circus act was completed; the Party was all encompassing. All dissenting views were dealt with in the party or, continuing with the circus metaphor, 'back stage'.

  2. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    is learned that something needs changing because methods are wrong or because the policy is misguided. Energy displacement is guaranteed, for example, when errors lead those involved to try to fix blame or to find scapegoats as opposed to working for amelioration (LaPorte 1975: 348-52).

  1. Assess critically Marx's distinction between ideology and science

    Let us, said the Young Hegelians, overthrow these ideas: "Let us teach men, says one, to exchange these imaginations for thoughts which correspond to the essence of man; says the second, to take up a critical attitude to them; says the third, to knock them out of their heads; and - existing reality will collapse."

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

    the ability to identify and form attachments to the parties closest to their own positions. Miller and Klocubar (2000) argue that the standard for studying partisanship in an established democracy is a long process of socialization based on socioeconomic cleavages and is not suited to studying partisanship in Russia.

  1. Analysis of Party Electoral Communications in the 1997 UK General Election.

    Voting & the Electoral system The electoral system and it's function is also another key element that one must understand in order to effectively analyse the subject matter. It is in part the electoral system itself and the way it functions (apart from the obvious)

  2. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the system of choosing presidential candidates.

    This was far from democratic, and since the controversy surrounding Humphrey's nomination for the Democratic Party in 1968, the McGovern-Fraser Commission established reforms which saw the advent of the 'Media Primary.' Since 1972, this procedure has become the system with gravitas: 77% of the votes cast by Republican delegates in 1988 came from those selected by primaries.

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