Politics Essay

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A major distinction between the pluralist and Marxist account of distribution of political power is the dispute over plurality of political resources and the dominance of economic power. Plurality of sources, argued by pluralists, assumes that everyone has the minimal political resource of the vote, but there are numerous ways in which power can be gained and they dispute the proposition that power is cumulative as those who are powerful in one area are not necessarily powerful in another. This view is supported by Polsby, “Power is a type of influence…a power holder may owe his power to his wealth, ability, reputation or, in general, favourable position with regard to any value.”.
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A major function of political parties is nominating and supplying candidates for election and public office. In theory, parties should act as a form of “quality control” over the nomination of candidates through the process of peer review and also through their ability to seek and recruit talented, competent people . Woll and Binstock argue that, “the parties are, in effect, government personnel agencies, in an organised manner providing the candidates from among whom the electorate can select the people to do the job of governing”. This function of parties would seem to be especially important in the U.S. given the vast number of elective offices. However, the role played by American political parties in supplying and nominating for office would appear to be limited and under developed.
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Historically these two ideals have been compatible, they both oppose “autocratic forms of rule and claim to destroy old social hierarchies” (Goodwin, 1997:295) and similarly promote tolerance. Peace is an essential part of the liberal view, as they value life above everything else, presently “democracy is clearly the most promising device for peaceful conflict solution”. (Goodwin, 1997:295)
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