Talk:Political faction

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Definition[edit]

Is there any objection to pointing out that in many cases, factions are considered illegitimate? The key exception, Japan, is quite unlike other political systems. In China, for example, factions are present, but forbidden. DOR (HK) (talk) 07:54, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Examples[edit]

I've added to the example of China. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:09, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Revision and expansion suggested[edit]

The article is a very good start on an important topic, but there are some substantive additions I would like to discuss with its contributers before I get to work on them.

The lede (as newspaper editors call the introduction to distinguish it from the metal lead) should define faction and its significance. Then the body of the article should elaborate on what a faction is and what it does, before getting into the examples of factions.

I would add a section on the causes of faction. James Madison in the Federalist Papers (Federalist 10) points out that factions can arise out of virtually any difference (rich vs. poor, rural vs. city, etc.) or no difference at all, given the human predilection to be contentious. Factions are not always about goals. Madison and later Walter Bagehot (echoing David Hume) says that factions may form behind ambitious leaders, rather than ideology. The leaders' objective is simply power; ideology a device to manipulate followers and attract popular support.

The article also could benefit from a discussion of the characteristics of faction, such as the bull-headed adherence to party line famously caricatured by George Orwell's novel 1984, in which the Party's Department of Truth scissors up newspapers and magazines so they would reflect what the Party deemed truth that day. And we need some discussion of the consequences of faction, both positive (the testing and refinement of ideas in the crucible of debate) and negative (the poisoning of deliberative assemblies, their degeneration into mutual recrimination, rancor and paralysis). Madison suggested that faction was a 'disease' that in its extreme, killed every democracy known to history. If so that should be discussed.

Let me know what you thinkElijahBosley (talk) 15:16, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Lede simplification[edit]

I have deleted some verbiage and clarified the lede. Not having heard anything about the other suggestions above for adding substance, I have not done anything about them as yet. ElijahBosley (talk ⇒) 17:13, 8 September 2010 (UTC)