Do you think the party system in the US should remain weak, or would a stronger party system be a positive development?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You can argue this both ways, but I would prefer to see a stronger party system.

Many people say that weak parties are good for democracy.  In the old days, party leaders got to pick, for example, who would run for office from their party.  This strengthens the party, but it is less democratic because it does not allow voters to select (through primary elections) the parties' candidates for office.

However, weakening parties has consequences as well.  Mainly, it gives more power to interest groups and campaign donors.  In today's politics, candidates do not need to keep their parties happy.  Instead, they just need to please the interest groups and other major donors.  This is because what they need to get elected in money, not support from the party.

So why is this a bad thing?  Mainly, it is bad because it gives power to smaller and more ideologically polarized groups.  It gives power to people with big money rather than to parties that can get out large numbers of voters.  It gives power to interest groups that care only about their own issues, not about the overall good of the country.  If parties had more power, we might see more moderate politics because parties would be trying to appeal to the middle of the political spectrum.  As it is, we tend to have people on the fringes having an excessive influence on our system.

I would like to see a more moderate political system with less power for extremists in either party.  Because of this, I would like to see a stronger party system.

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