The evolution of modern U.S. political parties

The evolution of modern U.S. political parties May 5, 2008

Ramesh Ponnuru has a good review of Why the Democrats are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party. Both authors believe that any consideration of the rather dramatic shift on cultural issues should not overlook the procedural changes of the McGovern Commission. Read the review here. To preview a future, more detailed post, I’ll throw out the question: is it good for our system of representative democracy to have stronger or weaker political parties, as defined by party bosses who can enforce party discipline?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Morning’s Minion

    Proportional representation.

  • jh

    On a related note is this interesting article by Jay Cost today that is sort of related

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/05/the_party_system_and_the_2008.html

    I think we are seeing that National Parties have little control over the process. I mean Howard Dean is about powerless as his Republican counterpart. That might be good or bad. I read someplace that National Party structures are pretty muchcreatures that can be used in a effective way by the Sitting President. After that their power diminishes

    Tha tbeing said the Dems could change things up. I think having Caucuses are good things as long as they are tru Caucuses. A few of them are good for the system to test a person strenths or weaknesses.

    If the Dems had a more winner take all states in the mix and adjusted such things a how their delegates are done per COngressional district then in might help them out in many ways.

    I am in the minority on this but I think have stronger parties is a better thing. Stronger in that the average citizen is more involved at a local level and thus that has an effect all the way up.

  • jonathanjones02

    jh,

    Jay Cost is an e-genius. I look forward to his first book. He predicted 2004 with uncanny accuracy and is always worth a read.

    I agree that stronger parties would be good for our system of government, the main reason being exactly the reason you state: its a localizing force of political engagement.

  • JJ,

    What are the limits of the strength party bosses ought have?

    I actually tend to agree with MM on this one, but I think the question needs specifics and cannot be answered totally in the abstract.

  • jonathanjones02

    The ability to determine nominees for all state and federal offices…

  • ctdkite

    I am still undecided as to whether stronger parties in the electoral process is a good thing. I do, however, feel that weaker parties in the legislative process would be an improvement. I have seen too much good legislation, rooted in Catholic principles, killed in the legislative process because of partisan politics.