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Texas Politics - Political Parties
5.5    Structuring Political Conflict and Competition

Much of the conflict in the political system takes place within what might be called "templates" created by the two parties. As noted above, parties are associated with sets of positions on public issues and with the broad coalitions that gather in the parties in support of those sets of positions. The public uses these templates of typical party issue positions and the party labels of the numerous candidates for public office to determine whom to support. At the same time, candidates and other policy advocates adopt positions that the public can recognize as a "Republican" or "Democratic" (or "Green" or "Libertarian") position. The parties provide issue positions along with labels, phrases, and talking points that the range of political participants - from voters to office holders - can use to define both themselves and others.

Texas Politics:
© 2009, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin
3rd Edition - Revision 116
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