1. How has the media and technology changed the way political parties operate and nominate candidates? Give three examples to prove your theory.
As technology advances over time, political parties use these advances to further their political careers. A specific political party, for instance, can use media and technology to help promote their candidates and beliefs. The use of the Internet is helpful in allowing almost everyone to view and gain knowledge on what each party is attempting to promote. Viewers also have the chance to provide support for specific candidates or beliefs. Some popular feedback methods include forums, posts, and polls, which provide an interactive way to voice one’s opinion.
Along with promotion and feedback using the Internet, political parties have changed the way they operate through the media. Although new media services, such as radio and TV, allow political parties to advertise themselves to their advantage, they can also be a disadvantage. The media has the ability to “twist” what a particular party is saying or simply focus on one party’s mistake. The constant broadcast of either of those opinions could lead the general public to not support that party. As a result, political parties have to be careful of what is being broadcasted. A simple way to reduce the chances of the media criticizing that party is to withhold information and “leak” certain aspects of their party. A “leak” will be bound to receive media attention as it can include information no one else knows about. However, a “leak” can also be questioned by the public and can receive a negative response if the “leak” doesn’t satisfy the public. In this case, the political party cannot provide any more information since that would in turn ruin the purpose of the leak. With the continuous advancement of the media and technology, it is important that political parties as well as the public realize the positives and negative consequences of the media.
2. Have changes in the formal presidential nomination procedures since the mid-1960's made the process more democratic? Name three specific changes that have occurred.
Since the 1960’s, it seems the presidential nomination procedures have become more democratic. For example, since 1968, there has been an increase in primaries. Primaries are usually determined by voters’ choice where candidates may be elected to a position. Since a democracy is primarily based on the statement “government by the people,” the increase in people’s votes as a result of primaries makes the government more democratic. The increase in media coverage has also made the system more democratic. When candidates are on television for speeches or debates, the people get more involved with what the candidates have to say since almost everyone has a television. The increase of interaction between the people and the candidates makes people want to support their candidate, thus stimulating the democratic system.
Not only has the election process made the system more democratic, but the campaign has as well. Since the mid-1960’s, presidential campaigns have become much longer. As a result, people have the opportunity to become involved. Campaigns have also included more candidates, which leaves a greater variety for the people. The diversity of candidates can also interest minority groups, stimulating the voting turnout as well as a more democratic system.