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Political Parties and Democratic LinkageHow Parties Organize Democracy$
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Russell J. Dalton, David M. Farrell, and Ian McAllister

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199599356.001.0001

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Parties and Electoral Institutions

Parties and Electoral Institutions

(p.29) 2 Parties and Electoral Institutions
Political Parties and Democratic Linkage

Russell J. Dalton

David M. Farrell

Ian McAllister

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the first of the five main forms of linkage between political parties and voters — ‘campaign linkage’, the stage that structures campaigns and elections. It assesses the extent to which parties control the electoral process. It examines the evidence relating to the institutional links between parties and citizens during the campaign period. It argues that over the past few decades, reforms to the relationship between parties and the state are protecting the genus of political parties as a species. This chapter reviews four sets of evidence — on ballot access rules, media access and campaign communication, party finance and regulation, and electoral system design — that show the parties' continuing dominance over the electoral process, demonstrating how campaign linkage is alive and well. It concludes with an assessment of the ‘partyness’ of elections in contemporary democracies.

Keywords:   political parties, elections, electoral process, voters, election campaigns, democracy

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