ERIC Number: ED319658
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Citizen Participation and Effective Political Parties: Mutual Exclusivity or Necessary Interdependence?
Eksterowicz, Anthony J.; Cline, Paul C.
Scholars and political commentators have noted a new movement toward direct citizen participation in the candidate nomination process, and some individuals have seen this as a decline of the political parties. This paper examines two concepts: (1) the origins of the argument about participation and strong political parties and (2) the effects of citizen participation on political parties. Progressive reforms were instituted in the early twentieth century and included the direct primary; the initiative, referendum, and recall; and nonpartisan elections at the local levels. Some scholars argue that the effect of these reforms has been to weaken political parties and to perpetuate mutual exclusivity between citizen participation and party government. Others hold the view that there is no realistic alternative to a middle of the road position since some form of participatory citizen effort is required either by legislation or regulation. They propose the fusing of citizen participation with the political parties to strengthen the parties. They also call for a citizen assembly to give continued input into the platforms parties adopt. They conclude that without significant involvement of the people, political parties will continue to decline in electoral influence. (NL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A