Patronage was once important to political parties because:
A. it created a more disciplined party-in-government.
B. it ensured an army of supporters and workers for elections.
C. it created a stronger party organization.
D. it simplified the issue of hiring people after an election.
E. members of the other party would be unemployed.
Option B is the best answer. The main point of patronage was to build support for a given party among the members of the public.
Patronage is the practice of appointing people to government jobs based not on their skills and abilities but on their political connections. In the past, this was a very widespread practice. Most famously, there were political “machines” in many cities that thrived on patronage. These machines controlled all or most city jobs, even down to the level of garbage collectors. These jobs were given out on the basis of patronage. People who held those jobs were expected to help the party win elections by getting out the vote and doing other electoral tasks.
The main point of patronage, then, was to build a strong basis of support for a political party within the public. Option B is the best answer.