Study Questions

  1. Explain three ways in which political parties are crucial for democracy.
  2. What is the tension between the party base and the general electorate regarding their influence on issue positions? Why is this tension important to understand?
  3. How do the two major political parties differ in terms of the American ideals of democracy, freedom, and equality? Do these similarities or differences make for a thriving marketplace of policy ideas?
  4. Do you think of yourself as a Republican, Democrat or Independent? Do others of your gender, race, age, and income level share your party identity?
  5. How might political parties ensure liberty and democracy? How do opposition parties to the ruling party ensure liberty and democracy?
  6. How might elections be different if there were no political parties?