E Learn the active vocabulary.

a prime purpose to win elections

widespread support to put up candidates

political involvement to perform functions

participation in election to respond to smth.


A Scan Text 11.2 and answer the questions:

a) In which countries the significance of parties is great?

b) In which countries parties are rather weak?

B Read the E Learn the active vocabulary. text and complete the information below.

1. Today political parties exist in different forms under …... .

2. Parties are an essential feature of any …………………... .

3. In many countries of Western Europe parties have a large

…………………. and a high degree of …………………. .

4. In the USA, parties are noticeably …………………….... .

5. Britain is the country which has ……………………….... .

The Role of Parties E Learn the active vocabulary. in Modern Democracies

Political parties are now accepted as an essential feature of any liberal democracy. They are existing in different forms under different political systems. They bring together a variety of different interests in any society, and by doing so, ‘overcome geographical distances’. Via the electoral E Learn the active vocabulary. process, they determine

the shape of governments.

Parties have contrasting significance in different democracies. In Britain and the rest of Western Europe they are much stronger than in the USA, where they are noticeably weak. In much of Western Europe they have a large membership, a reasonably coherent ideology and a high E Learn the active vocabulary. degree of discipline among members of parliament. In the USA, none of these factors apply. In parts of the country they hardly seem to exist between elections. Britain has party government. At election time, a party seeks to capture

the reins of power and win a mandate to govern E Learn the active vocabulary.. To do this, it requires a majority of seats in the House of Commons. If it obtains a working majority, it can then expect to control the machinery of government until the next election is called. Having control of the executive branch and being in a position to dominate E Learn the active vocabulary. the legislature, it will be able to carry out its manifesto. Its leaders know that they can normally count on the support of their MPs to ensure that their programme passes through Parliament.

The situation is different in the United States. America lacks the concentration of power possessed E Learn the active vocabulary. by the British Executive and has a more dispersed system of government. Presidents may have grand ideas for action, but they cannot anticipate such a relatively easy ride for their plans. Because Congress has the role of acting as a counter-balance to the executive branch, it takes the task of E Learn the active vocabulary. scrutinizing White House proposals seriously. In any case, the President’s policies must be approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate before they can become law. In domestic as well as in foreign policy, the President can seldom count upon the automatic support of Congress, even E Learn the active vocabulary. when his own party has a majority in both the Senate and the House. Therefore, he must be able to convince Congressmen, the Representatives and the Senators of his point of view. He must bargain and compromise. This is a major difference between the American system and those E Learn the active vocabulary. in which the nation’s leader represents the majority party or parties, that is, parliamentary systems.

In terms of size and number, political parties are growing nowadays. At the beginning of the century, they were confined mainly to Europe and North America, elsewhere they were quite weak or nonexistent. In the E Learn the active vocabulary. late 20th century, parties are found practically everywhere in the world. Today they are larger,

stronger and better organized than those of the late 19th-the beginning of the 20th centuries.


Mark the statements True or False according to the information

In the text. Justify your answer by reference to the E Learn the active vocabulary. text.

1. Today political parties are considered an essential feature of

any liberal democracy.

2. Via electoral process, parties determine the living standard

of people.

3. Parties have the same significance in different democracies.

4. In many countries of Western Europe, parties have a large

membership and a high degree of discipline.

5. In E Learn the active vocabulary. the USA, as well as in the rest of Western Europe, parties

are rather strong.

6. Britain has party government.

7. In the USA, the President can seldom count upon the

support of Congress.


A Read the words and guess their meaning. Mind the stress.

'liberal mani'festo

'interest auto'matic

'compromise parlia'mentary

'discipline geo E Learn the active vocabulary.'graphical

'distance ma'jority

B Add nouns to the following adjectives to form phrases as they