Pipers Woerterbuch zur Politik

Authors: Nohlen
Summary: In less than 200 words, the entry defines the term and reflects on historical examples of patronage parties. In its ideal form a patronage party connects voters, party- and public officials via a process of exchange of votes for advantages and access. Voters lend their support to a patronage party not for ideological reasons, but because they expect for example jobs or financial support. Typical examples are the machine parties in large American cities in the 1930s, which heavily relied on poor and uneducated immigrant groups. This power basis vanished over time so that today patronage parties no longer exist in the extreme form.