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Electoral Basis Of The Two Par Essay

1166 words - 5 pages


In the article “Electoral Basis of the Two Party System” by Maurice Duverger, the political party systems are dissected and looked at from many points of view. Democratic countries can have the political party system range from a two party system, such as the one in the United States, to a many party system, such as the party system in France and Italy. This article also gives the specific views of those few people whom are opposed to the political party systems as well as those few that are for the political party systems.
In speaking of those that are in opposition to the political party system, many views and opinions are expressed. The political party system is called a party oligarchy ...view middle of the document...

Democracy was built on the basis of the eighteenth-century philosophical ideas, which the experts think is true and justifiable. Duverger states that all governments are oligarchic, which means the domination of many by the few. Governments of all types imply discipline, which means “All discipline is imposed from without: ‘self-discipline’ is itself the result of education, which implies a prior external discipline, and is always very limited.”
After looking at a few things that are wrong with governments and why the political party system should be non-existent, “true democracy is something different, more modest but more real. It is defined in the first place as liberty ‘for the people and for all sections of the people,’ as the 1793 Constituents put it. Not only liberty for those privileged by birth, fortune, position, or education, but real liberty for all, and this implies a certain standard of living, a certain basic education, some kind of social equality, some kind of political equilibrium.” The article then states information about countries, such as Africa, Asia, and South America, where the “parties are in formal character: rival factions struggle for power, using the voters as a soft dough to be kneaded as they will; corruption develops and the privileged classes take advantage of the situation [referring to the lack of education, fortune, position, and birth status in the lower classes] to prolong their control…The structure of the transitional regime must however be such that it will not destroy their control [of the situation at hand].”
Single-party regimes is the next topic in the Duverger’s agenda. He states in the article that “the deepest significance of political parties is that they tend to the creation of new elites, and this restores to the notion of representation its true meaning, the only real one. All government is by nature oligarchic [,] but the origins and the training of the oligarchs may be very different [,] and these determine their actions.” A system of government without parties makes certain to the ruling of elites as chosen by birth, wealth, or position; if a man does not have the advantages, he has to “work his way up the ladder of a middle-class education and lose contact with the class in which he was born.” From a historical point of view, political parties “were born when the masses of the people really made their entrance into political life; they provided the necessary framework enabling the...

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