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Party Organization.

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Presentation on theme: "Party Organization."— Presentation transcript:

1 Party Organization

2 Decentralized Nature of Parties
How well organized do you think they are? Both are decentralized Fragmented, disjointed, beset by factions and internal squabbling Chain of Command Neither party has central command from national to state to local organizations. These parts usually co-operate with each other Local party organizations are rarely tied to State organizations

3 Role of Presidency Presidents party is more solidly united Other party
President is automatically the party leader Asserts leadership in various tools Media, popularity, federal appointments Other party Has no clear leader Typically group of people are identified as leadership

4 Role of Nominating Process
Nominating Candidates Intraparty process Nominations are made only within the party Nominating process is a divisive one Members of same party battle it out This is a cause of the fragmentation of the party Its hard to accept defeat and smile

5 National Party Machinery
Both parties follow a format to keep the machine running There are 4 basic elements for national party

6 National Convention Party’s national voice No other authority
Nominate Presidential candidate Adopts the party’s rules Writes the platform for the party No other authority No control over selection of party’s candidates for other offices No control over policy stands for these other nominees

7 National Committee Handle party affairs between conventions
Traditional composition Committeeman and committeewoman from each state & some territories Chosen by states party organization However both committee’s have changed in the last few years

8 Republican National Committee (RNC)
Members from each state and… District of Columbia, Guan, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands National Federation of Republican Women Also have some members

9 Democratic National Committee (DNC)
Much larger Includes members from each state Party’s chairperson and vice chairperson Several territories Includes additional members from the party organizations of larger states Up to 75 at-large members chosen by the DNC Several members of Congress, governors, and mayors

10 National Committee Looks powerful on paper
Filled with prominent members of each party In reality it has little power Stages party’s national convention every 4 years

11 National Chairperson Leader of National Committee
Chosen by nomination from Presidential candidate Approved by the national committee Directs work of party’s headquarters Focus on convention during election year In-between elections Strengthen the party Promote unity, raise money, recruit voters

12 Congressional Campaign Committees
One in each house of Congress for each party Chosen by colleagues and serve two years Work to reelect incumbents Make sure seats stay in the party Try to oust competitors from other seats When it seems likely the incumbent could lose

13 State and Local Party Machinery
Regarding National Party organization Largely based on custom Rules adopted at national conventions State and Local Structure is usually set by State law

14 State Organization State Central Committee Chairperson
Headed by State chairperson Chairperson May be an important politician Usually fronts for the Governor, or Senator, etc Further parties interest in the State Build up organization Focus on party unity Find good candidates Raise campaign funds Hard job when people don’t get along

15 Local Organization Vary widely, hard to make description
Follow electoral map of the State Party unit for each district with elective office Congressional and legislative districts, counties, cities, and towns, wards, and precincts Ward Unit into which cities are divided Divided for election of city council members Precinct Smallest unit of election administration Voters in each precinct report to 1 polling place.

16 Local Organization Cont.
Large cities Organization broken down by residential blocks In some cases even by apartment building Activity Most tend to be inactive during the year Very busy during election months

17 Three Components of the Party
Party organization The leaders, activists who run the party machinery Party in the electorate Party loyalists who vote straight party ticket Party in government Party’s officeholders at all levels of government

18 Future of Major Parties
Political parties have never been very popular Many Americans have mixed feelings regarding them Considered by many as a necessary evil Decline Parties have been on the decline since the late 1960s We may witness a collapse during our lifetime

19 Five Factors that Weakened Parties
Sharp drop in number of voters willing to identify themselves with major party. Also growing number of Independents Big increase in split-ticket-voting. Voting for candidates of different parties for different offices during same election Structural changes that have made parties “more open” which led to greater internal conflict and disorganization Including direct primary election in early 1900s Recent changes to campaign finance laws

20 Five Factors that Weakened Parties
4. Changes of campaign technology. Heavy use of TV, internet, direct mail, phone calls 5. Growth of single-issue organizations Interests groups pick sides for or against candidates Political Action Committee (PAC’s) Raise and fund candidates campaigns Candidate doesn’t need to rely on party for funding

21 Political Parties Love hate relationship
Lots of people hate them, for good reason However they offer the ability to make government work Perform many necessary functions for the government Without parties its not clear what would happen

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