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Economy and Political Parties: The Impact of the Economic Conditions on the Party Membership Trend in England and Germany, 1950-1994
Unformatted Document Text:  6 Moreover, since people have been less affiliated with political parties, and they have increasingly participated in other political activities (Dalton 2000), the level of membership dues has also decreased. As a result, the leaders cannot rely on membership dues, and they have to find some other efficient ways. Party leaders probably choose to be temporarily supported by organized interest groups during election campaign, and the parties will campaign the issues which the groups want the public to hear. The leaders may choose to receive governmental support such as party aids. As elected officials, party leaders can extract some portions of governmental budget in order to redistribute to their constituents (Katz and Mair 1995). These ways can more efficiently reduce party’s election cost than membership dues. The leaders’ decision is more or less influenced by external factors such as illegal immigrants or globalization. Scarrow (1996) argued that whether or not party leaders are concerned about party membership trend depends on the demand and supply of the electoral market. If voters see that the number of party’s memberships is declining, they can no longer support the party because it means that even their loyal members are no longer supporting the party. As a result, the leaders will try to recruit more party members in order to show the public that they are still in business. On the other hand, if voters do not care about party membership trend, then the leaders will not waste their time on the issue, and they consider other venues of support. This group of political scientists is more likely to focus on the demand of voters.

Authors: Laiprakobsup, Thanapan.
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6
Moreover, since people have been less affiliated with political parties, and they have
increasingly participated in other political activities (Dalton 2000), the level of
membership dues has also decreased. As a result, the leaders cannot rely on membership
dues, and they have to find some other efficient ways. Party leaders probably choose to
be temporarily supported by organized interest groups during election campaign, and the
parties will campaign the issues which the groups want the public to hear. The leaders
may choose to receive governmental support such as party aids. As elected officials,
party leaders can extract some portions of governmental budget in order to redistribute to
their constituents (Katz and Mair 1995). These ways can more efficiently reduce party’s
election cost than membership dues.
The leaders’ decision is more or less influenced by external factors such as illegal
immigrants or globalization. Scarrow (1996) argued that whether or not party leaders are
concerned about party membership trend depends on the demand and supply of the
electoral market. If voters see that the number of party’s memberships is declining, they
can no longer support the party because it means that even their loyal members are no
longer supporting the party. As a result, the leaders will try to recruit more party
members in order to show the public that they are still in business. On the other hand, if
voters do not care about party membership trend, then the leaders will not waste their
time on the issue, and they consider other venues of support. This group of political
scientists is more likely to focus on the demand of voters.


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