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Chapter 5. Political Party is a group of people who try to control government by winning elections and holding public offices Major Parties – Republicans.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 5. Political Party is a group of people who try to control government by winning elections and holding public offices Major Parties – Republicans."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 5

2 Political Party is a group of people who try to control government by winning elections and holding public offices Major Parties – Republicans and Democrats Political Party Essentials Link people & their wishes to gov’t action Unify the people by finding compromises

3 Major functions of Political Parties Nominate or name candidates for public office Inform the people and inspire them to participate in public affairs Help ensure that their candidates and officeholders are qualified and of good character Have gov’t responsibilities Congress & State Legislatures are organized along party lines They conduct a lot of their business based on partisanship Parties act as watchdogs over the conduct of the gov’t

4 Two parties dominate politics in the U.S. Republicans and Democrats Minor parties exist but don’t have wide support Electoral System favors a two-party system Nearly all U.S. elections are single-member district elections – voters choose one candidate for each office Winner is the one with a plurality – the most votes U.S. election laws were created by the two major parties so they are bipartisan and discourage minor parties

5 The U.S. is a pluralistic society Pluralistic is one that consists of distinct cultures and groups Consensus does exist – general agreement between various groups on fundamental matters Political Systems in the World Many have a multiparty arrangement – major and minor parties compete To gain power parties have to form a coalition – diverse interests coming together Dictatorships have one-party systems

6 Political parties in the U.S. evolved during the debate over the ratification of the Constitution Federalisms supported ratification Anti-Federalists did not Election of 1800 Jefferson beat the incumbent, John Adams Anti-Federalists took control of politics in the U.S. They changed their name to the Democratic-Republicans

7 Four eras of one-party domination – Democrats – Republicans – Democrats 1968-Present – See Saw between the parties

8 Four Types of Minor Parties Ideological Parties Based on certain social, economic, or political ideas Don’t often win elections, but stay around a long time Single-issue Parties Focus on one public policy matter Fade away after issue is resolved Economic Protest Parties Appear in tough financial times Criticize economic actions and plans of the major parties Splinter Parties Break away from major parties Usually have a strong leader who didn’t win in the major party

9 Role of Minor Parties Act as critics and innovators drawing attention to issues Candidates from these parties can “spoil” the election for a member of a major party by stealing votes

10 Decentralized/Fragmented National Level has four basic elements National Convention National Committee National Chairperson Congressional Campaign Committees A Party has three parts Party Machinery’s leaders Party members/electorates who vote for the party Party’s officeholders

11 State Levels Party structure is set by state law Central Committee Committee Chairperson Local Levels Party unit in each district Ward – a small unit of a city Precinct – subdivision of a ward Parties since 1960 Power is declining More split-ticket voting

12 Chapter 6

13 Suffrage – the right to vote Franchise – the right to vote 1789 – only white males had the right to vote American Electorate – all those over 18 who are eligible to vote Restrictions eased with the Civil War Amendments and the 19 th Amendments Civil Rights in the 1960s set everything straight 26 th Amendment gave 18 year olds the right to vote Founding Fathers left voting qualifications up to the states. States messed up so the Federal gov’t took over.

14 Three main qualifications Live in the state you want to vote in Be at least 18 years old Be registered to vote Old Requirements Literacy test Poll Tax Basic reasons one may not be permitted to vote The Mentally impaired Those convicted of a felony

15 15 th Amendment – said can’t use race, color, or previous condition of servitude to prevent voting Gerrymandering – drawing district lines to the benefit of one party is ILLEGAL

16 Civil Rights-pressured Congress to set things straight for African Americans Civil Rights Act of 1957set up Civil Rights Commission Civil Rights Act of 1960 – federal referees to help with registration and fair elections Civil Rights Act 1964 – Court orders/injunctions to keep fair elections Voting Rights Act of 1965 – made the 15 th Amendment official

17 Off-Year Elections – the office of the President is not up for election Always electing/re-electing representatives and senators Low voter turnout Political Efficacy – people feel their vote doesn’t count. They feel the gov’t is controlled by the Politicians Interest groups media

18 Political Socialization – how political attitudes are formed Income Occupation Education Gender Age Religion Ethnicity Region Family

19 Gender Gap – differences in the voting patterns of men and women Psychological Factors Party Identification Perception of Candidates Issues


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