Latest Threads
Latest
Greatest Threads
Greatest
Lobby
Lobby
Journals
Journals
Search
Search
Options
Options
Help
Help
Login
Login
Home » Discuss » Journals » salvorhardin » Read entry Donate to DU
Advertise Liberally! The Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Advertise on more than 70 progressive blogs!
The Next To Last Refuge Of The Incompetent
Posted by salvorhardin in General Discussion
Tue Nov 22nd 2011, 02:03 PM
Jay Rosen discusses a new theory of political parties, and how it should inform what political journalists do.

It’s called A Theory of Parties. I am going to take a little time here to summarize what it says:

“Parties no longer compete to win elections by giving voters the policies voters want,” they write. “Rather, as coalitions of intense policy demanders, they have their own agendas and aim to get voters to go along.”

In the United States, at least, parties are not politicians of a similar mind banding together to win elections, but “coalitions of narrow interests in pursuit of policy demands” that aren’t necessarily in the interest of the broader public. They “only strive to please voters when necessary to win elections.” But this constraint often doesn’t amount to much “due to voters’ lack of information about politics.” The goal, sometimes conscious, sometimes not, is to “cede as little to voters as possible.” The need to win elections occasionally requires “genuine responsiveness,” but parties mainly push their own agendas and try to get voters to acquiesce.

...

Here is the part that intrigued me as the author of PressThink: “To explain the substantial autonomy we believe parties enjoy, we posit an ‘electoral blind spot’ within which voters do not monitor party behavior.” Through various institutional devices, like complex party rules and procedural votes that no one understands, the major parties “seek to exploit lapses in voter attentiveness” and “keep the electoral blind spot as large as possible.”

...

So the blind spot is where voters get screwed because they don’t know what’s going on. Far from being a problem for the two major parties, it’s actually their goal to find these spots and enlarge them. The blind spot is the point at which voters stop paying attention because the costs of figuring out what’s really going on are too high. When the parties discern where that point is, it’s open season for the interest groups who know how the system works.

Full blog post: http://pressthink.org/2011/11/low-informat...
Discuss (11 comments) | Recommend (+12 votes)
Profile Information
Profile Picture
salvorhardin
Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your ignore list
Fort Wayne, IN
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? — Epicurus (341–270 B.C.), Greek philosopher
Infidel Approved
Visitor Tools
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
 
Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals  |  Campaigns  |  Links  |  Store  |  Donate
About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.