Presentation on theme: "Political Parties Minor Parties. Objectives 1. Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics. 2. Understand why minor."— Presentation transcript:
Objectives 1. Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics. 2. Understand why minor parties are important even though they seldom elect national candidates.
??? Libertarian, Reform, Socialist, Prohibition, Natural Law, Communist, American Independent, Green, Socialist Labor, Constitution. What do these names have in common? All minor parties All fielded a presidential candidate in 2000
Definition Political Party – an organization of citizens who wish to influence and control government by getting their members elected to office. Minor parties are usually associated with a certain agenda and are not usually able to get national candidates elected to office.
Types of Minor Parties Four distinct types of minor parties A. Ideological parties – based on a particular set of beliefs Most built on teachings of Karl Marx. Examples – Socialist, Socialist Labor, Communist Different – Libertarian Party – emphasizes individualism and doing away with governments present functions and programs.
B. Single-issue parties – concentrate on one public-policy matter Example – Free Soil Party – opposed spread of slavery Right to Life Party – opposes abortion
C. Economic protest parties – no clear-cut ideological base Mainly sectional parties drawing strength from the South and West. Example – Greenback Party – agrarian discontent from 1876-1884 – appealed to struggling farmers – called for federal regulation of railroads, free coinage of silver, income tax, labor legislation When the problem disappears the party disappears.
D. Splinter parties – split away from major parties. Example – Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” Progressive Party. George Wallace’s American Independent Party Most form around a strong personality – as personality fades the party fades.
Why are they important? Have an impact on american politics and the major parties. A) Anti-Masons – first to use a national convention to nominate a presidential candidate – 1831. Whigs and Democrats followed in 1832. Has been used by Democrats and republicans ever since. B) Can be a spoiler in an election – can pull votes away from a major party.
Example – When Teddy Roosevelt broke off it split the Republican Party and allowed Woodrow Wilson to win the election as a Democrat. He would not have won otherwise. C) Most important role is as a critic and innovator. Will make a stand on an issue that major parties are hesitant to address.
Examples – income tax, women’s suffrage, railroad and banking regulations, consumer safety. Once the issue becomes prominent the major parties “steal it” and claim ownership.