When we think about representation in the American political system, were not only talking
about our elected officials, but also about political parties and interest groups. Define both
political parties and interest groups and discuss their functions. What roles do each fill? Do we,
in the US, fit the Responsible Party Model? Why or why not? What are some advantages and
disadvantages of having powerful political parties and interest groups? In your ideal political
system, what do you believe is the appropriate role of each?

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