Aldrich argues that three factors- ambitious office-seekers, American institutions, and
historical setting- contribute to the structure of political parties (Module 1). Which factor best
explains today’s American party system? Has this always been the case throughout history?
Provide examples to justify your thinking. The original formation of parties was rational in the
sense that parties solved many types of collective action problems (Module 1). Which collective
action problem is most important for parties to address: mobilizing members of the electorate or
coordinating legislative behavior? Why? As the United States continues to fulfill its reputation as
a racial, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and attitudinal melting pot, how will both state and local, as
well as national, party organizations (Module 2) cope with mobilizing such a diverse group of
individuals (Module 5)? Speculate on specific party strategies, including those of third parties
(Module 3), and the possibility of a future realignment.