Parties and Accountable Government in New Democracies

Topics: Political party, Politics, Government Pages: 4 (1188 words) Published: July 29, 2013
A Critique Paper on: “Parties and Accountable Government in New Democracies” – John Carey and Andrew Reynolds One of the key challenges confronting newly democratizing countries is the development of political parties that are capable of providing accountable government (La Palombara/Weiner, 1966). So, the two pillars of strong party ideal are: (1) programmatic platforms and (2) legislative discipline. The idea is that, in electoral campaigns, parties should present to voters coherent packages of policies that they promise to pursue, and that if elected they are capable of implementing those programs faithfully. Description of failed parties and failed party system generally stem from the absence of one pillar. From this notion, it is of elemental importance to focus on parties in legislative assemblies for a couple of reason that the authors presented. First, assemblies are the central representative institution in all democracies. Second, assemblies are the ‘natural habitat’ of parties in government. These reasons made the parties in legislative assemblies the focal point of the discussion by the authors, because from the conventional wisdom, major policies must still be approved by the majority of an assembly, which implies legislative discipline. In addition to, authors suggest factors that contribute to the viability of parties delivering accountable government which are: (1) the design of formal political institutions, (2) their relation to government and (3) the origins of the parties themselves. The concepts constituted in the context of new democracies of the authors can be related to the Philippine political scenario. Since the Philippines, is a new democracy in which legislatures are formed through competitive elections (Case, 2011). However, political parties in the Philippines, and even in the world in general, are held in low esteem, and are often perceived as “selfish, dishonest, biased and incapable of recruiting quality leaders” (Lawson 1989;...

References: Case, William. (2011): Executive Accountability in Southeast Asia: The Role of Legislature
New Democracies and Electoral Authoritarianism
Heywood, Andrew. 2002. Politics (Second Edition). Hampshire and New York: Palgrave
La Palombara., Joseph and Myron Weiner (eds) (1966). Political Parties and Political
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