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12 -- Part 4: Political Parties
Voters' decision making is aided by political parties.
If elected, voters can expect a candidate with a party's endorsement to represent certain policies.
Most voters know who they will vote for even before a candidate is nominated.
This may seem like a simplification of politics.
It reduces our society's many complex interests to just two competing teams, whose platforms must accommodate the many subtle differences within the party.
Politics are reduced into warring groups that have little hope of finding common ground.
The two-party system gives meaning to the vote.
There is a downside.
Simplification of the choices leaves some voters without an effective voice and without a party that approximates what they would like government to do.
The parties seem to act as teams seeking to control government for their own purposes and not necessarily the interests of the whole.
In a system with separation of powers, the competition for control between just two parties can lead to stalemate.
Parties were viewed with disdain by George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.
The founding fathers of the political parties were Washington, Adams, Hamilton, the Federalists, and Jefferson and Madison.
They fell into parties because of the nature of politics and the need for an organization to solve the problems of selecting candidates, organizing elections, and simplification of electoral choice.
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