On the Primacy of Party in Government

Michael F. Thies

in Parties Without Partisans

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253098
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599026 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

On the Primacy of Party in Government

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Argues that despite voluminous evidence of party decline in the electorate, parties in government can survive, even prosper, because the core of the party is and always has been located at the level of government. As long as the organizational structure of the government party serves members in their attainment of policy goals, the parties will survive, irrespective of the strength of partisan loyalties. Thus, the observed decline of partisan attachments in the electorate does not spell doom for the partyness of government. Instead, it may simply mean that the core issues that define the current slate of parties in government are not as salient to voters as in the past. If partisan cues do not help voters to choose whom to support at election time, party in the electorate might seem to decline without any particular consequences for party in government.

Keywords: campaigns; core issues; elections; electorate; government; legislative parties; organizations; party loyalty; policy goals

Chapter.  8694 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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