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Unit 2: Political Parties, Voting, and Elections American Government & Law Winslow High School.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 2: Political Parties, Voting, and Elections American Government & Law Winslow High School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 2: Political Parties, Voting, and Elections American Government & Law Winslow High School

2 2012?


4 Unit Topics Ideology & Political Spectrum Parties & What They Do 2 Party System 2 Party System in History The Minor Parties Party Organization Constitution & the Right to Vote Voter Qualifications Nonvoting Voter Behavior The Nominating Process Elections – 2013 Mock Election? – 2013 PROJECT FIRST VOTE?

5 Where do they line up?


7 What about these celebrities? Mr. Thurston Mr. Browne Mr. Smith Ms. Beckwith Mr. Andresen Mr. Goldsmith Ms. Meehan Mr. Hendsbee

8 What is a Political Party? A group of people… Who share a common ideology… And who seek to control the government… By winning elections.

9 So…Which Should I Join? It depends on your ideology

10 The “Old” Political Spectrum Liberal Moderate Conservative D R

11 Liberals LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net” to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and accept diverse lifestyles.

12 Conservatives Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates "traditional values." They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure. Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.

13 A Better, Up-To-Date Spectrum

14 Applying the Spectrum to the Parties: Democrats tend to favor lots of government control of economic issues, and little government control of personal issues. Republicans tend to favor lots of government control of personal issues, and little government control of economic issues.

15 What Do Political Parties Do? American Government & Law Winslow High School

16 Requirements to really be a political party Political party v. pressure group Three elements must exist: 1)Shared beliefs 2)Program 3)Realistic chance of success

17 What do parties try to accomplish? Organize a political majority Provide electable candidates Educate voters Finance campaigns Run the government Act as the “watch- dog”

18 The Two Party System in America American Government & Law Winslow High School

19 Why do we keep the 2-party system? Desire for stability National election laws Size of the federal system “Throw the bums out” tradition

20 Who is Earl Dodge? He ran for president in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000…. For the Prohibition Party

21 The Minor Parties Dozens of minor parties (pressure groups) At times difficult to describe & classify Most have been short-lived Some are centered around a single issue…others are more broad

22 The Ideological Parties

23 The Single-Issue Parties

24 The Economic Protest Parties

25 The Splinter Parties

26 The Role of Minor Parties So…what’s the point? They have had an impact “Spoiler” role ◦2000 Election ◦25 electoral votes in FLA ◦Bush – 246 Gore – 267 ◦270 to win ◦Bush - 2,912,790 ◦Gore - 2,912,253 ◦Nader – 97,488 ◦Bush – 271 ◦Gore ◦Just give Gore 51% ◦Bush – 2,960,559 ◦Gore – 2,961,972 Critic Innovator

27 Elections and Voting What limits were once placed on the right to vote? (suffrage – franchise) What limits remain today? What does party membership have to do with voting? How does the American secret ballot work? How do Americans select their parties and candidates? Why do so many Americans choose not to vote?

28 Should there be limits?

29 What limits were once placed on the right to vote? Property ownership Religious belief Poll Tax Gender discrimination Condition of servitude Literacy tests

30 Constitutional Protections The original Constitution and amendments guarantee: ◦Voting equality – the only real protection in the original document ◦No racial discrimination ◦No gender discrimination ◦No poll tax ◦18 year olds

31 Voter ID Laws ProCon


33 What limits remain today? Limitations vary by state Citizenship Residency Age Registration Legal disfranchisement: ◦Vagrants ◦Mentally challenged ◦Convicted felons ◦Inmates in public institutions

34 Your Party and Voting General elections and voting ◦1 st Tuesday after the first Monday of November of an even- numbered year. Primary elections Party identification at registration Do people ever change? Closed vs open primaries

35 The American Ballot Many different types used Paper & hand count Voting machines with levers Punch card ballots Scanner ballots Touch-screen Mail-in ballot All produced at public expense Write-ins

36 How do we decide?? 1) Parents 2) Residence 3) Geography 4) Religion 5) Race 6) Age 7) Income 8) Education 9) Occupation

37 New Trends in American Voting The previous slide shows trends…how much do they really matter? Two new patterns beginning to blur the old certainties: Split-ticket voting Voting for the person

38 Voter Turn-out Presidential election turnout 2004: ◦216.5 million ◦70% ◦122.3 million ◦62 million ◦29.5% Off-Year turnout Primary election turnout Special election turnout

39 Causes for Low Voter Turnout 1) “Cannot” voters 2) Difficult registration process 3) Complex election issues 4) One-party domination 5) “Alienated” voters 6) Simple apathy

40 “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke

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