The Zero-Sum Politics

Interpersonal trust in electoral democracies

Carlin and Love’s article starts off by giving the background of how democracy, social and political institutions developed in the first place, this is a good way to convey their message and point out the important role these practices play in our various societies.Following the gradual retreat of other stereotypes, political ideas are becoming established as a significant reason for arousing trust or mistrust between people. when people share the same political view they tend to trust each other more, for instance, the issues between the republicans and the democrats.

Reading through the article I had this question of what might be the causes to the increase in partisan discrimination when other forms of discrimination are declining? I looked up for materials in the library and came up with this reason that, “There are social norms against any kind of discrimination but not against partisan discrimination. Thus, unlike what happens with racial or gender discrimination, which are severely penalized by social norms, the corresponding pressures in the case of partisan discrimination do not exist (Westwood, 2015)”. As we can see every day in the political debates and chat shows in Spain, and in other countries in our area, hostility toward and prejudice against those who do not share our political ideas are fully accepted socially and they barely make us blush. And the fact that the rhetoric of most of the leaders of the parties makes it seem perfectly acceptable to despise political opponents.

In addition, I realized the issue that a lot of people tend to associate being a partisan with violence, In a lot of developing countries, for instance, the DRC I happened to have seen people fighting and hurting each other on the streets because they share different political views. The fact that one is a partisan does not impede his ability to co-operate with one’s fellow citizens. It is only when partisanship becomes so intense as to involve rejection, on personal grounds, of those of opposing political views that the state of partisanship in a nation may be said to limit the ability of its citizens to co-operate as with the example of South Africa given during apartheid.

The article is interesting in that it has concrete ideas supported by a lot of evidence from various countries, this aspect gives credibility and validity to the article and also a window for further knowledge expansion. I find it to be relevant to a variety of audience because politics is practice all over the world, and almost everybody reaches a point where they are eligible to cast a vote and would always want guidance from this kind of material.The power of partisanship and party competition to shape trust creates a serious tension in a country between people who share different political opinions. On one hand, partisanship stabilizes electoral competition and advances democracies toward the ideal of representation. Parties channel social divides into peaceful, routine political competition rather than violent conflict.

Polarization, for its part, benefits voters by delineating competing party platforms. Thus from a public choice perspective, highly partisan and polarized contexts benefit democratic representation. On the other hand,these benefits could be offset by inefficiencies and collective action problems among citizensand elected officials.

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