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Realignment, Essay Example

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Essay

Realignment can be defined as a move by party members (voters) from one party to another. In other words, the group that abandons its party does not form another party as in the case of dealignment but switches to existing party. In some countries like US and Australia, decision of the voters depend on ideologies of the party and tends to last for long as opposed to Britain and Canada where voters switch to a party for one election. Realignment is considered as the most effective method that can make a party dominant. In the case of US, constituencies move from one party to another affecting political environment for long. Realigning election is mostly associated by certain elections. Examples are 1896 and 1932 US elections (Bardes 280). In recent years, realignment does no longer exist because voters are not committed to parties as before.

In today’s history, if a certain group of citizens feel that their political party will not fully represent their interest and values, then realignment is expected. The group moves to another party making some demands in order to join the party. For example, the group can demand for a ministerial post. This is encouraged by the principle that only through realignment that a party can become dominant. A dominant party can also gain strength. Also, realignment can make a recently dominant party substitute the earlier dominant party. This leads to election win or tie. Also, a splinter party may emerge if their personalities are refused by the major party. Another reason on the same content is if there was an agreement that has not been met. In 2002, Democrat was predicted to have majority of supporters in California after a gradual growth of liberal professionals and Hispanic settlers.

Political party’s ideologies are also major cause of realignment. Some part ideas can be seen to favor certain group in the party. When party ideologies are seen to be self-serving, a move of the opposing party is expected. The splinter joins the party that is seemed to have logical ideas. Also, realignment is resulting from political waves. For example, certain groups can moved from republican to join Democrat as Obama had many followers. Although he had constructive ideas to Americans, many moved to democrat to make history as he is from minority (Black American). Everybody wanted to see Obama as the US president. Also, a state can realign to another party like democrat if it seems to have been left behind on state matters.

Political party’s history on its decision making can lead to party division. For example, many condemned Bush decision of going to war in Iraq. This created a bad image to Republic party as recent years it has been in power has involved US in war. It is the responsibility of presidents’ advisers to advise president on security matters. With elections, the president leaves office with many key officials retaining office if the party wins election. Therefore, to make a change on country leadership, states realign to replace a political party in power. Another ideological difference can be party ideology on partisan. Partisan is a person who believes on party philosophy and he is put forward by the party. For example, in 2004 Bush enjoyed a considerable success from the party’s strategy of energizing the faithful. According to Washington polls, many did not support it. Another problem is suspicion among the party leaders. If one group believe there is a serious plot to overturn it down it splits to join another party with an aim of clenching power (Bardes 280).

In recent years, a change of realignment to independent voters has been experienced. Independent voters are not recognized as Democrats or Republicans but swing among the parties. The number has gradually increased to 37% while Democrats are 34% and Republicans are 28%. The independents are against ideologies of both parties although they still support federal government in its role. In 2008 election, it was evidence that political candidates can only win an election by impressing independent voters. During Democratic primaries, Barack Obama scored well as compared to Hillary Clinton on independent voters who eventually emerged as the winner. Independent voters are unable to form a political party as they are considered as swing voters. Swing voters move back and forth among parties. Due to this swing, they are targeted by both party candidates. A recent Washington polls reveal that Democratic Party enjoys at least 50 percent of Independent voters who lean with it while Republican enjoys 40 percent although it fluctuates with time (Ron 126).

To conclude, realignment occurs when a certain group feel is not properly represented or it needs to form an alliance in order to get a share or win an election or if party leadership is questionable. Although realignment has been considered most appropriate in the past, many people are becoming independent. In recent years, independent voters are increasing determining the outcome of an election. Independent voters swing from one party to another with more expectations.

Reference

Bardes, Barbara, Mack, Shelley and Steffen Schmidt W. American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials. Florence: Cengage Learning, 2008, 278-281.

Ron, Paul. The revolution: A Manifesto‎. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2008, 120-134.

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