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POLITICAL PARTIES and YOU. WHAT IS A POLITICAL PARTY? Political Party: An organization of individuals with broad, common interests who organize to win.

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Presentation on theme: "POLITICAL PARTIES and YOU. WHAT IS A POLITICAL PARTY? Political Party: An organization of individuals with broad, common interests who organize to win."— Presentation transcript:

1 POLITICAL PARTIES and YOU

2 WHAT IS A POLITICAL PARTY? Political Party: An organization of individuals with broad, common interests who organize to win elections, operate the government and influence government policy. The United States has what is called a “TWO-PARTY SYSTEM” which means it is dominated by two major political parties “REPUBLICANS and DEMOCRATS” DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Today’s Democratic party began around 1828 and would be considered Anti-Federalists. REPUBLICAN PARTY: Today’s Republican party began in 1854 and opposed slavery and would be considered Federalists.

3 Why do parties exist? Parties exists for many reasons, among the most prevalent are: Represent the views of people within their government. Help get like minded people elected to office. Make changes in existing laws. Help determine the nation’s future. Encourage people to take part in their government. Help encourage change on the social, political and economic level. Help unite the county’s many different people, races, religions and ethnic groups. Show people that their vote counts.

4 What roles do political parties play in American Society? Pull people together “Ideological Consensus.” Inform the public about issues that concern them. Act as watchdogs against the actions of rival parties. Act as bonding agents “they help unite people.” Act as the public’s voice on matters of public policy.

5 ROLE OF POLITICAL PARTIES 1. ORGANIZING POLITICAL PARTIES 2. NOMINATING CANDIDATES FOR POLITICAL OFFICE. 3. CAMPAIGNING FOR CANDIDATES. 4. INFORMING CITIZENS 5. CARRYING THE PEOPLE’S MESSAGE. 6. OPERATING THE GOVERNMENT. 7. LINKING THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT 8. ACTING AS A WATCHDOG “Usually the party not in power acts as a watchdog against the abuses of the party “IN POWER”

6 WHO ARE DEMOCRATS? Our party was founded on the conviction that wealth and privilege shouldn’t be an entitlement to rule and the belief that the values of hardworking families are the values that should guide us. We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness or by letting those with the most influence write their own rules. We got here by rewarding hard work and responsibility, by investing in people, and by growing our country from the bottom up. Today Democrats are fighting to repair a decade of damage and grow an economy based on the values of Main Street, not greed and reckless speculation. Democrats are focused on rescuing our economy not just in the short run but also rebuilding our economy for the long run—an economy that lifts up not just some Americans, but all Americans.

7 WHO ARE REPUBLICANS? This is a platform of enduring principle, not passing convenience. the product of the most open and transparent process in American political history. We offer it to our fellow Americans in the assurance that our Republican ideals are those that unify our country: Courage in the face of foreign foes. An optimistic patriotism, driven by a passion for freedom. Devotion to the inherent dignity and rights of every person. Faith in the virtues of self-reliance, civic commitment, and concern for one another. Distrust of government’s interference in people’s lives. Dedication to a rule of law that both protects and preserves liberty.

8 WHICH POLITICAL PARTY DO I BELONG TO? Which political party you decide to join is based upon several factors, which include: 1. Family background 2. Social status 3. Sex / Gender 4. Religion 5. Education Level 6. Race 7. Age 8. Geographic Location.

9 Republicans are primarily… 30 years or older White, Mexican-American, Puerto Rican Income is $100,000 or higher Professional occupations (Lawyers, doctors, CEOs, etc.) College grads or higher Protestant Attend church regularly Males Rural, Midwest and NE states

10 Democrats are primarily… Between the ages of African-American or Cuban American Lower income (below $29,999) Manual workers Belong to a workers union No or some high school or GED Catholics & Jews Don’t attend church, or not often Live in the south, southeast or big cities Females

11 WHAT AM I? Authoritarian Libertarian Liberal Conservative Moderate Radical Bleeding Heart Liberal Reactionary Ultra Conservative

12 Why do people join political parties? To become civically involved. To change laws they see as outdated, archaic or no longer representative of the people’s needs. As a way to express themselves within their government. To address a specific need that they feel the current government is not addressing. So they can learn about the American political process and how it works. A political candidate has suddenly excited them about being involved in the political process.

13 TYPES OF POLITICAL SYSTEMS TWO PARTY SYSTEM: Party system of the U.S. in which the country is dominated by two major political parties. VS MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM: Party system in which a country has many major political parties (INDIA, ITALY, ISRAEL, GERMANY) ONE-PARTY SYSTEM: Party system in which a country has only one political party and all other parties are outlawed or severely limited. (CHINA, CUBA, NORTH KOREA)

14 OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES A. THIRD PARTIES: Often called “Minor” parties, these parties are not part of the two major parties because they have never elected a President to office. SINGLE ISSUE PARTIES: Parties that organize around a single issue. “Prohibition Party” “Marijuana Reform Party” Usually very short-lived. IDEOLOGICAL PARTIES: Parties which support a particular philosopher or doctrine. “Communist Party” or “Socialism” INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES: Political candidates for office who are not supported by any political party. SPLINTER PARTIES: Occurs when a party splits and people leave the party over a divisive issue.

15 HOW ARE PARTIES ORGANIZED? NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON NATIONAL COMMITTEE STATE CHAIRPERSON STATE COMMITTEE LOCAL CHAIRPERSON CITY, TOWN or LOCAL CHAIRPERSON PRECINCT CAPTAIN and PRECINCT WORKERS NATIONAL CONVENTION CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE SENATORIAL COMPAIGN COMMITTEE

16 WHAT IS A POLITICAL MACHINE? POLITICAL MACHINE: A political party that becomes so powerful that its candidates are certain to win every election.

17 WHAT TELLS YOU THE PARTIES ARE DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER?? PLATFORM: A statement made by each party that attempts to explain “What they stand for” or their principals, beliefs and positions on election issues. PLANK: An explanation of how the party “stands” on a certain issue such as crime, education, immigration, the death penalty etc.

18 What are “Platforms and Planks?” A Party’s Platform: Specifically identifies who the party truly represents and some of the ideas mentioned within their ideology. Makes a strong statement about what kind of people join their party. A Party’s Planks: Are how the party stands on specific issues such as: The death penalty. Education The war in Iraq. Affirmative Action Women’s rights. Taxation.

19 HOW DO PARTIES PICK CANDIDATES? PRIMARY ELECTIONS: Are election in which candidates who want to represent their party in the general election run against candidates from the same party. DIRECT PRIMARY: Party members of the same party go head to head to see who is the best candidate. CLOSED PRIMARY: Only members from a particular party may vote on candidates running for office. OPEN PRIMARY: Any registered voter may vote in the primary and pick a candidate to vote for.

20 CAPTURING THE VOTE PLURALITY: the act of winning an election based upon the winner simply having more votes than other candidates, not a majority. EXAMPLE: Candidate “A” gets 39 percent of the vote. Candidate “B” gets 35 percent of the vote. Candidate “C” gets 26 percent of the vote Candidate “A” wins because they have more votes. MAJORITY: The act of winning an election by winning more than 50 percent of the vote. PETITION: Non-Affiliated Candidates have to have a certain number of signatures from voters to be able to have their name printed on a state or national ballot.

21 How do I get involved? Vote: voting is the simplest way any American citizen can get involved in the political process. Join a political party that represents your views. Join civic organizations that promote understanding our American Democracy. Discuss important political events and current topics with your parents. Volunteer to help a political candidate with whom you agree. “Make phone calls, canvas neighborhoods and put up yard signs. Take part in simulations that let you play the part of a political candidate or that help you better understand how our system works.

22 INFLUENCING YOUR GOVERNMENT “What can I do to change my government?” “What’s Public Opinion and how do “polls” determine that?” “Why does the media seem to favor one person over another?” “What’s Propaganda and how do I know when it is being used?”

23 WHAT IS “PUBLIC OPINION?” Public Opinion: the beliefs and attitudes that most people have about a particular issue or person. A. Understanding public opinion can help President’s make wise and timely decisions. B. President’s who depend on public opinion too much can be hurt by it. America is very diverse, so public opinion varies from region to region and community to community. Other factors such as race, sex, religion, economic status, education, job, and political affiliation can influence public opinion.

24 SOURCES OF PUBLIC OPION PERSONAL BACKGROUND: This includes what economic status you come from, your religion, education, race, sex, political affiliation, and are of the U.S. you live. INTEREST GROUPS: Groups of individuals who unite in order to promote or support a common cause. (NEA, NOW, NRA, NAARP, AMA, SEIU, UMW, UAW and other groups) MASS MEDIA: Groups that communicate broadly to masses of people (Radio, Television, Newspapers, Internet, Magazines etc. )

25 Features of Public Opinion DIRECTION: Measures whether public opinion on a topic is either positive or negative. A. Are citizens for or against spending more money on national defense? INTENSITY: Measures the strength of an opinion on a given matter. B. How far are Americans willing to act on their views or opinions? STABILITY: Measures how firmly people are willing to hold to their ideas and views. C. Do people’s hold to their core beliefs over time?

26 MEASURING PUBLIC OPINION PUBLIC OPINION POLL: involves surveying a large amount of people in order to gain their attitudes and opinions on public issues. POLLSTERS: A person who specializes in conducting polls and reporting the results on a regular basis. RANDOM SAMPLES “POLLS”: Occur when pollsters sample only a small amount of the population on a specific issue or topic. Perhaps 1,500 people of all races, economic backgrounds and religions will take part. PUSH POLLS: Pollsters also use polls to “PUSH” you in one direction or another. Example: “Do you think the President is doing a mediocre job or simply failing the American people?”

27 PROBLEMS WITH POLLS

28 1 Polls often do not capture a true picture of what people believe.Polls often do not capture a true picture of what people believe. 2 Political leaders become more interested in pleasing the public instead of showing leadership.Political leaders become more interested in pleasing the public instead of showing leadership. 3 Polls can often discourage voting because people feel as if the election is already over.Polls can often discourage voting because people feel as if the election is already over. 4 The wishes of the people may be ignored over the wishes of interests groups or PACs.The wishes of the people may be ignored over the wishes of interests groups or PACs. PROBLEMS WITH POLLS


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