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Presentation on theme: "POLITICAL PARTIES Ch. 5."— Presentation transcript:


2 5. 1 in a nutshell: POLITICAL PARTIES
A Political Party is a group of people who try to control government by winning elections and holding public offices. Functions: Nominate Candidates Inform and inspire voters Ensure candidate quality Help govern Partisanship: allegiance to a political party. Act as watchdogs Keep an eye on the party in power. Select and gain support for candidates for office. Inform people about and stimulate interest in public affairs Ensure that candidates and officeholders are qualified and of good character. Ex: Someone believes junk food needs to have a huge tax to curb obesity. They run in the Democratic Party. What are some obstacles to them being elected? A: Only have a small voting base, so they have a choice: 1. compromise values to get bigger voting base or 2: don’t compromise and lose. 4. Operate on partisan lines in congress and state legislatures 5. Observe and criticize operations of government, especially officials of the other party. We can see this with the Republican party now.

3 5.2 TWO PARTY SYSTEM Why a two-party system?
Historically - Framers were opposed to political parties and did not add any provisions regarding parties. First two parties: Federalists and Anti-Federalists, before the constitution was even ratified. Force of Tradition - We keep a two-party system because it always has been one. Washington's Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, was a "loose constructionist," one who believed that the Constitution should be interpreted loosely. Thomas Jefferson, Washington's Secretary of State, and James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," were "strict constructionists," those who believed that the Constitution should be interpreted as it was written.

4 Is the two-party system best?
“Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.”  ~Richard Armour “Politicians are like diapers.  They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”  ~Author Unknown “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”  ~Plato

5 Basic structure of election process supports two party system.
Only one candidate can fill a position. This is called single member districts. Plurality- who ever gets the most votes takes office when only one person can win. Legislators work together (bipartisan) to discourage minor party candidates. Getting name on ballot –regulations, procedures only one candidate can fill position: assessor, governor, superintendent of education. This is opposed to two members taking an office. Winner takes all. The single member district system discourages minor parties, as people will likely vote for the incumbant party or the party most likely to replace them. Much of election law is purposely written to discourage minor parties. For each page submitted, the person who was getting signatures must verify under oath that they personally observed the petition being signed and that they verified the identity of the person signing the petition. (In other words, you can't leave the petition on the counter of a store or posted in a public place.) Furthermore, the number of confirmed signatures usually must be around 1% of the people who voted in the last election. Even for the established parties, if they were required to use petitions to get on the ballot, it would be difficult.

6 Ex. European democracies, other emerging democracies.
Multiparty Systems System in which several major parties and many minor ones compete for, and win, public office. Ex. European democracies, other emerging democracies. Multiparty System Strengths: Broader representation More responsive to the will of the people. Voters would have more choice for issues and candidates

7 Multiparty Weaknesses May lead to instability
One party is unable to win majority Officials often come from variety of parties and share power in a coalition, a working alliance of several groups to control government. Frequent changes in party control. Ireland has had a new government every 9 months since WWII

8 One-Party System AKA: The “No party system”
Party is usually party of the ruling group (as in dictators). U.S. has had states in which a practical one-party system occurred. South during Civil War –Democrat North during Civil War –Republican Others? One of the majority parties regularly wins most political offices in the state.

Work independently to write down 5 generalizations about each party. What are the 2 – 3 characteristics of party voters? What are 2 – 3 issues important to them? Lets discuss/brainstorm differences between our two major parties. Please remember that this can be a loaded topic and emotions can run high, so keep your comments mature and civil.


11 Republican Founded in 1854, often called the GOP (Grand Old Party)
Generalizations:: Emphasize liberty; free markets and individual achievement Supply Side Economics: Decreased taxes increases jobs Oppose New Deal Strong on Defense, cut taxes. Skeptical of Global Warming Pro-life, pro-traditional family, anti-same sex marriage, pro-gun, anti-public education (school choice), anti-immigration. Pro-War (defense) Voters tend to be: male, traditional families, judeo-Christian, high-income, in military.


13 Democrats Emphasize equality; sharing the wealth.
Economics – Tax the rich, more social services, minimum wage. Support New Deal. Pro-choice, gay rights, pro-welfare, pro-universal healthcare, pro-education, pro-immigration. Lower defense spending. Environmentalist: Renewable energy. Voters tend to be academic (full-time faculty members), youth, labor (unionized), women, LGBT, African- American, Hispanic American, Jewish American, and Arab American.

14 History of Political Parties

15 First Political Parties
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists Federalists wanted to ratify constitution Anti-federalists did not George Washington and John Adams controlled Whitehouse. Both were Federalists. Election of 1800 Thomas Jefferson beat incumbent John Adams Anti-federalists became Democratic-Republicans, and later Democrats.

16 Four Eras of Political Parties
: Democrats Small farmers, debtors, frontier pioneers, and slaveholders. Anti-FederalistsJeffersonian RepublicansJacksonian Democrats : Republican Party Businesses, financial interests, farmers, laborers, and newly freed African-Americans. Sectionalism: North was Republican, South was Democrat

17 Southerners, small farmers, labor union members, and city dwellers.
Four Eras continued : Democrats Southerners, small farmers, labor union members, and city dwellers. : ??? Has not been a dominant party, and has executive is usually different party than legislative.

18 Minor Parties 5.4

19 5.4 – The Minor Parties Four Types:
Ideological Parties: based on certain social, economic, or political ideas Ex: Constitutionalists, Libertarians Single-issue parties: Focus on one public policy matter. Try to get Ex: Green Party, Pro-Life Economic protest parties: Appear in tough economic times. Ex: Tea Party, Greenback Party Splinter parties: Break away from one of the major parties Ex: Progressive Party Greenback: 1874, opposed greenbacks

20 Assignment Focus: THE MINOR PARTIES
What type of minor party is yours? Ideological Party, Single Issue Party, Economic Protest Party, or Splinter Party? (Note: it may be two) What political conditions inspired the creation of this party? What is/was the platform (i.e. what issues) that this minor party brings to the table? How does/did your party influence the Republican and Democratic parties? How did the Republican and Democrat parties respond? Compare your party to the others!

21 Minor Parties Independent Party? Green Party Libertarians Tea Party
How much of the vote? What kind of impact? Platform? Green Party What is main issue? Platform? Other issues? Liberal or conservative? Libertarians How do they do in elections? Tea Party Difference from Libertarians? Actual party?

22 Comparing the parties Issue  ideologies  parties
Pro-Gun Republican Libertarian, Tea Party, Independent Pro-Laissez Faire Pro- same-sex marriage Democrat Libertarian, Green Party Pro-Choice Green Party, Independent, Libertarians? Feminist Movement Progressives (Women’s suffrage), Green Party, Libertarian


A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies. Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled. Farm relief. Workers' compensation for work-related injuries. An inheritance tax. A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax. Women's suffrage. Direct election of Senators. Primary elections for state and federal nominations. The initiative (citizens may propose a law by petition and enact it by popular vote). Which of the following do we have today?

25 Newest Influential Minor Party: The TEA Party
What have you heard about them? Platform: ntract_from_America.22 Winners/Losers: 2010/2010/1103/Tea-Party-Top-10-biggest-winners-and- losers/Marco-Rubio-Florida Will they affect the Republican party as much as the Progressive Party affected the Democrats? What is different about the Tea Party from other parties?

26 Party Organization 5.5

27 5.5: PARTY ORGANIZATION  Decentralization of Political Parties Major parties are decentralized (power is spread), fragmented, disjointed. By nature political parties have various factions and internal squabbling within. ex. Tea Party City and state parties are loosely tied with the national party structure.

28 NATIONAL PARTY MACHINERY aka: Answers to 5.5
There are four basic elements fundamental to party structure at the national level. 1. The National Convention “national voice” When: Occurs the summer before a presidential election Role: nominate the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Also adopts party rules and writes it’s platform. 2. The National Committee When: Between conventions. Role: Plans next convention Committee: made up of a committeeman and woman from each state and various territories.

29 The National Chairperson
When: Chosen to a 4-year term. Role: leader of the National Committee. Directs party headquarters, strengthens party. In election years they are focused on convention and campaigning. In between years are spent raising money, recruiting new voters, etc. The Congressional Campaign Committees When: two years, during term of congress Role: Work to re-elect incumbents and unseat other parties incumbents. Each party also has a campaign committee in each house of congress. Members are chosen by colleagues as with other congressional committees.

What does decentralization mean? Pronounced: [dee sentrali zayshun] to reorganize something such as a political unit so that power is shifted from a central or upper location to another less central place. FEDERAL -> STATES. 1. Federalism Federalism in itself decentralizes political power between National, State and Local levels. It is natural that the parties striving to gain control of politics by being elected would also be spread among local and state levels. 2. The Nominating Process When making a presidential nomination, parties must debate amongst themselves as to who will win. This primary function of parties also causes it to have inner-conflict.

The Presidents Party is usually more united than the opposing party. President is the party leader, with access to media, power to make appointments and dispense favors. The Poster Child! The other party doesn’t have anyone in a comparable position of leadership.

32 State & Local Party Machinery
The State Organization – set by state law. Built around State central committee headed by state chairperson. Work to organize and unite the party around the state, although it is still decentralized. Find candidates Fundraise Local Organization Local parties can be very different, but they usually have a party unit for each district with elected offices to fill such as congressional seats, counties, cities, towns, wards, and precincts. Wards – divide cities for the election of city council members Precincts – smallest unit of election administration, where voters report on election day!

33 Social Components of the Party
The party organization – leaders, activists and “hangers-on: - those who give $, time, skills. The loyalists who regularly vote the straight party ticket, and others who consider themselves “members” of the party. The party’s officeholders – elected officials, and appointed offices in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state and local governments.   

34 Split-ticket voting Many suspect two-party system is in trouble.
No party has held power for a long period of time. Split-ticket voting: voting for candidates from different parties at different elections. Sharp rise in independent (or minor party) voters.

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