The American Party System: An Introduction to the Study of Political Parties in the United States

By Charles Edward Merriam | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
THE PARTY AND THE SELECTION OF
OFFICIAL PERSONNEL (Continued)

EXAMINATION OF THE METHOD OF SELECTING
OFFICIALS (NON-ELECTIVE)

Thus far the discussion has been confined to the party's choice of officials through the processes of nomination and election. This is the most spectacular part of the work of the political party, but by no means completes the circle of its ordinary functions. Many appointive positions are also filled by the party either through some of its elected representatives, or practically directly by the party organization without much pretense of consultation with the official who nominally and legally makes the appointment. Positions under the merit system and those in local or other governments where the non-party principle is applied are of course not reckoned in this group. But on the other hand there are many positions or "jobs" not in the public service at all that may be filled on the recommendation or suggestion of party leaders; and these go to swell the list of the party register of appointees. The selection of official personnel by the party is a study in the subject of party civil service. We may ask, by whom are these officials selected and what is the basis of choice?

Beginning with the President, certain appointments are made by him with only nominal confirmation by the Senate, as in the case of the Cabinet, and there is a considerable number of presidential appointments which are not

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