Panel 6: Political Parties and Candidate Selection

February 13, 2014

While American political parties are more ideologically cohesive than in most of the 20th century, as organizations they are weaker, less able to manage their candidates or issue priorities. Has this erosion of party leadership contributed to broken government? Are stronger parties desirable? Is polarization a problem? Does it necessarily lead to gridlock? Is polarization asymmetric, affecting the right more than the left? Would reform of party primaries (open primaries, top-two) help? What about changes in the structure of conventions, the role of elites, the allocation of money? What changes would strengthen parties without stifling debate or risking a return to Tammany Hall?

Recorded at the Brennan Center conference Democratic Dysfunction: Exploring Solutions.



Daniel Stid, Senior Fellow, Hewlett Foundation



Jacob S. Hacker, Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science, Yale University

Richard Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU School of Law