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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Decline of Political Parties: Is the Party Over?

HW due Wednesday: Read 249-258 and complete the reading quiz.

As the charts above illustrate, the number of individuals who are identifying as independents is at an all time high. But why? What is causing the decline in party identification and what impact does that have on the political process?

Read the article, Party Decline,  to help understand some of the causes for the decline of parties over the last half century. As you read, take note how each of the following contributed to to this decline:
  • The role of the media
  • The rise of interest groups
  • Political reforms like primaries and the Australian ballot
  • Money and candidate-centered campaigns
However, not everyone believes the rise of independent voters and the decline of political parties is real. Read this article to see why.

Finally, would we be better off with a nonpartisan system? Several states (most notably the Great State of Nebraska) have adopted nonpartisan primary elections. The Atlantic takes a look at this proposed reform.

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