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The State as a metaphysical entity is often taken to be an unavoidable concept at the base of any study of politics However there exists a more fundamental assumption that of a society of human beings sharing certain values interests and beliefs to which a owes its legitimacy This is the assumption with which modern political science starts What role does the political party system play in the interactions between the State and society One school of thought has traditionally insisted on a formal separation between the rulers and the ruled the ordinary members of society and the leaders and representatives they elect through democratic voting systems as a basis for the study of liberal democratic political systems An analytical study of the relations between these two entities can be more rewarding in terms of understanding the processes by which the representatives are chosen and an understanding of the social and organisational bases of their influence Leiserson in Parties and Politics examines how the distribution of power in a society is reflected in the organisation of political parties Political organisation serves as a third structure a kind of bridge linking the two other main structures the constitutional-legal system and the social stratification system Thus the origins of parties and the ways in which they organise themselves across the political spectrum are rooted in social structure We may define a party system as a formal organisation which allows a social and ideological interaction of politicised individuals There is also a second field of interaction the political party provides the connective linkage between the holders of power who must remain accountable and therefore dependent on their electorate and the electorate itself the voting public This is indeed the crux of a democratic system Once elected public policy-makers must remain in touch with and permanently accountable to the mainstream movements in popular sentiment and intergroup feeling However the party system introduces an additional element to the basic
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