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Ideology, Partisanship, and Democratic Development
Ideology, partisanship, and democratic development
Russell J.Dalton

Electoral politics provides a means for society to make collective judgments about the past policies of government and the direction a future government should follow. Often elections will represent a competition between groups and their contending interests within a nation. Of course, these divisions can take many forms. For a large part of the twentieth century the economic competition between social classes seemed to dominate politics in many Western democracies. In other nations, religious, regional, or other social cleavages define the issues of electoral politics and public policy. The issues and personalities of campaigns are often derived from these competing social interests, or at least this is the presumption of many election campaigns.

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