The political party association in the 21st epoch book expounds more on the changing trends of civil groups across world. Throughout the course of this book’s reading, it is clear that the main thing being emphasized is political parties. From the book, political parties aid in determining ideas on what to do inform of manifestos. This helps citizen in evaluating what the government has done. Political parties recruit and train leaders who run the country’s affairs on behalf of the citizens. In most countries, governments are run by political parties. The book provides a deep explanation of how political parties are structured, how they are managed and how they influence the country’s politics. Bale et al. (2019) uses research to explain every concept about political parties, which makes it easy for the reader to understand.
The main objective of the book is elaborating on the issue of political parties and their influence to the public and country’s democracy. Despite the fact that political parties are popular and widely used, they have faced challenges and are always in deep trouble because members believe that although they offer necessary support, their effectiveness is limited. They have difficult times when trying to woo voters for their support. For this reason, many tend to inform pollsters of the existence of no evidenced difference between the politicians except adhering to different ideologies (Bale et al., 2019). Although some parties have managed to dominate long, others still struggle to attract and also holds to members. In most cases parties cannot be viewed as representing democracy since they are mostly formed by elites for their own interests. In the UK, the labor party was formed to cater for the interest of the less fortunate in the society, but since it is a political party it is considered to be a democratic party.
One of the central claims on the theory on democracy is that, it results to the government being responsive to people’s desire. Researchers argue that parties organize most countries politics in this era. Others, however, believe that parties give extremists a voice and reduce government responsiveness to citizens (Bale et al., 2019). In real sense, democracy deals with the issues of representation and governance. This makes the argument on parties and democracy more significant. It is clear that the perception of the influence of political parties on free and fair proactivity is dependent on which party, what they hope to achieve, more so how they are organized. The practice starts by first examining the political sides conflicting ideas followed by a record of research evidences which might aid in adjudication between these theories. A review also discusses the origins of parties, the factors that influence the size and characteristics of party systems, and party competition.
Manifestos and programs highlight the distinctions between different conceptions, which may be optimistic, pragmatic, sometimes both. Rather than appointment or inheritance, party leaders are best chosen through a competitive election (Bale et al., 2019). Although parties cannot guarantee that everything in their path will be delivered, they can certainly assist also by requiring that their own party’s policies possess at least certain resemblance itself to espoused ideas. This is also crucial in determining whether or not their party wins the election. The leaders they select to represent the parties have a significant influence on the party and must be carefully considered.
As we know that it is not realistic talking of democracy if we lack political parties, then it is the same case when we can talk of political parties without members. Here the members can be termed as the foot-soldiers and the lifeblood of democracy. This happens since the members associate the parties to the societies helping them come up with ideologies, funds and also the candidates. These ideologies help in running the parties, which also vary over time and between parties.
Each political party must register its members in every case. But, for the most part, members register not because they believe it will improve their personal lives or secure a political career, but rather because they believe it helps publicize the principles championed by their own groups while opposing their opponents. Membership provides members with opportunities such as meeting other people who share their interests and participating in meetings that they enjoy for their own sake (Bale et al., 2019). However, rather than the instrumental and individual, the ideological and collective, are what make membership worthwhile despite the cost and whether or not they win elections.
Despite the fact that the qualifiers appear to be significant, motives vary. They differ in that some are morally driven, motivated by ideologies and a strong desire to improve the world. Others are social because they want to meet people who share their interests. Some are more professional in nature, and all they care about is a political career. Nevertheless, most new members are influenced by their family or contemporary history, academic proclivity, and engagement with parties and cultural facts which thus structure a country’s political system. Further, membership is affected by whom has the party chosen to vie with its ticket were people join to see that the candidate wins (Bale et al., 2019). Although one joins a certain party, loyalty vary where most members agree with their party mostly but not all of them and this difference causes some to think of joining another party and may be voting for them. This is mostly motivated by what motivated them join the party.
There are a few other things to keep in mind. People who live in certain areas, for example, are more likely to vote for and possibly join a particular political party. This is due to the fact that a particular party may have a strong legacy and tradition. The main reason is that they share a common trait, such as being male, a member of a specific ethnic group, highly educated, wealthier, and years old than their peers (Bale et al., 2019). Others tend to claim that they are political in nature and reasonably confident in their ability to effect change. This reveals how much people think we understand well about members’ ideological characteristics.
Because revolutions occur on a daily basis, the party’s structure evolves over time. It’s clear that members are odd, and membership is skewed in one direction most of the time. That is, if they belong to a centered-right party, men, whites, middle-class, knowledgeable, and within their forties are more likely. There is also substantiation that perhaps the generation gap among those who join political parties and those who do not join is widening, implying that the majority of middle-aged people belong to a political party. People who support a particular ideology may be more political in nature than someone their counterparts (Bale et al., 2019). According to the author, majority of members contribute little or nothing to the party other than joining and paying subscription fees.
The authors’ research in the book has demonstrated that a party membership revolution has occurred, hence bringing significant change in parties’ formation. This is evidenced where alternative aspects of affiliation are becoming increasingly centralized, digital, and accessible (Bale et al., 2019). This distinguishes six types of party members, and any combination of these classes can be found in a cross party: signatories, pale members, virtual members, budgetary active participants, supporters, supporters and pals, and sympathizers. As a result, members are given more power to decide on a party policy, choose candidates and party officials. These policy changes were extensively courted in terms of increasing enrollment by providing members with a greater sense of control over the direction of the party. Researchers contend that there is both less and more to the issue of intra-party democracy than meets the eye. This is demonstrated by the fact that it gives many people a voice when only a few are involved or recognized enough to participate.
Party leaders have a say in their parties as they are the major controllers. This is seen through most brilliantly circumvented as well as disempowered potentially uncomfortable agitators. As a matter of fact, sometime they have lost several other powers over nominee and command structure choice. Therefore, the party’s big fish discern the party’s future guidance. However, it is controlled mostly by members who have demonstrated their activeness in the party. Such participants exercise their rights of making the directional decision of the party. This was evident in the labor party in 2015 where it changed the way they choose their leaders.
Research done on the membership shows that most of the parties focus on why party members joins political parties rather than why they leave them. Each day members leave their own parties with different reasons and most parties lose members more than they gain them over time. This is mainly caused by the influence in the party, bucking trends and also the attraction of the party to the members. Party membership may seem to be fairly stable but in real sense it is not, this is because there are awful lot of turnover and churns below the surface.
As per the book it is evidenced that most parties choose who to include in the membership. This brings about the violation of the freedom to join any political party regardless of your status of ethnicity. Since parties have different categories of membership, they may tend to eliminate those who contribute less to the party and bring whom they think will give more to the team. These causes the members who are kicked out of the party to make decision of joining other political parties where they are welcomed and given their rights as members without interference from the party leaders. In addition, if a member is kicked out, it discourages those willing to join a political party and think the same might happen to them. In a survey, four different models of membership involvement in the process of selecting candidates for parliament and asked which they preferred; open postal primary, open primary, closed postal and closed ballot shown that the closed ballot remained to be the only options hence limiting who can participate and also allowing members to exercise their rights.
According to Bale et al. (2019) political parties bring democracy but when fairness within them is killed, they too are at a challenge to die. This is evidenced since as per the research that party leaving is caused by the activities in the political parties and that’s when their rights are limited. Historical records, reveals that parties have never stopped taking the local effort seriously. As a result, party leaders have worried behind closed doors about losing members, both active and passive and have launched campaigns to catch members but not all have been successful. Moreover, a study on the same proves that failing supply of individuals prepared to become politically involved is more important than the changing demand of parties for activists.
Political parties must consider who their true constituents are and what they can do to increase their participation. They must be aware that different members join the party for different reasons, and that self-interest as well as possibly savoring organizational stuff influence just a small minority of those who join for simple friendship. Most importantly, they want to demonstrate their commitment for the side’s principles and help it get elected in any way they can. Members must believe that they have at least some influences over the direction of the party and who represents it in order for them to be active, but opinions differ depending on the party.
In the book, most of the people belong to a political party today in most countries and they come from all walks of life. However, they are far from being a representative of the public, or even a section of the public that tend to vote for the party they belong to. Research on the book clearly shows that relatively old, relatively well off and relatively well educated keep in with other work on the party (Bale et al., 2019). It also demonstrates that they have fewer women than men, while also less people from minority populations than the general population. Therefore, parties need to work on it if they want to look for increasingly multicultural country that has many aspiring to represent and govern. In the event of slight differences between the parties, some of those variances are perhaps predictable, depending on one’s prejudice. Meaning it will no doubt come as a source of satisfaction, but not a surprise to those who view the differences in political parties and still claims to be the party of ‘One Nation.
Wider Literature Importance
The book provides a rich knowledge to the public on how the political parties are structured, managed and their influence. Mostly members join political parties without any intention or just by influence. However, after getting to know their rights they can now exercise their powers through the political party’s representation. This is done by choosing a representative to represent them in the parliament and also to lead them in their political parties. Additionally, it brings to their attention how the party leaders can influence their activeness in their parties and how they can handle such a case. In the book, it educates parties on how to hold and maintain their members and how to attract more and dominate for a long period of time. They can use different ways like ideologies and leaving a legacy to certain people to make them enjoy membership.
The writer makes use of a clear style of writing that passes the information clearly to readers. This helps the reader to get the whole information clearly and in simplicity without reading any other article. This is evidenced by use of simple grammar to join phrases and words. In addition, the writers use less of difficult vocabularies and this helps the reader understand the concept very well (Bale et al., 2019) As per the style used it reduces the tiredness of the reader trying to get deep in order to get any meaning or any hidden information in the word since the book uses simple and clear language.
In an overview, the book talks about political parties and how they have gradually changed in membership. Political parties being the cause of democracy in most countries cannot exercise that without the involvement of their members. This makes the members the Foot soldiers and the lifeblood of democracy. On party membership, the members have different reasons for joining different parties since each party has its own ideologies and every member has a claim on which ideology is the best and which to support. Members have different categories depending on their activeness in the parties and the role they play in the party. The book brings a clear picture of how political parties are the same worldwide and how they influence the countries programs. This shows how citizens have sovereign powers to govern the country although it through the use of members of legislature.
Bale, T., Webb, P., & Poletti, M. (2019). Foot-soldiers: Political Party Membership in the 21st Century. Taylor & Francis. Web.