Presentation on theme: "Political Parties Def’n: A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office by supplying them with a label—a party identification—by which the electorate."— Presentation transcript:
1 Political PartiesDef’n: A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office by supplying them with a label—a party identification—by which the electorate knows themEach party is a coalition of different interests (Lincoln Chaffee and Trent Lott don’t always vote the same way, neither do Ted Kennedy and Zell Miller), some Republicans are pro-choice, some Democrats oppose gun controlRelatively weak today, since the laws and rules they operate under have taken away their powerDecentralized structure because of federalism
2 Why Only 2 Parties? Historical/traditional basis—always been 2 Electoral system: most elections are single-member districts (1 candidate elected to each ballot office, plurality of votes good enough to win—majority not needed). In France, for example, majority needed for election.Single-member districts crowd out third parties, “Wasted vote” concerns, tough to get on ballot in all 50 states, Winner take all (except ME and NB)American consensus pushes us to compromise, and not fracture off into small factions
3 Party Platforms: Democrats Fiscal Redistribution: “Robin Hood”Welfare supportersHigher taxes, federal government should be more involved in people’s livesGun ControlAnti-death penaltyPro-ChoiceLiberal stance on social issues (feminism, socialism, permissive of lifestyle choices)Environmental activists
4 Party Platforms: Republicans Lower Taxes, Less governmentSafety net, but no permanent welfarePro-Business, less environmentally concernedAnti-Gun ControlPro-School prayerAnti-abortionStates should have more power than federal governmentSocial Issues: ConservativeFavor built-up military
5 What Parties Do Nominate Candidates for Office Inform and stimulate apathetic voters“Seal of Approval”: endorsements for candidates, encourage them to do their jobs wellGovernmental function—appointments usually made on a partisan basisWatchdog—party in power tries to stay there, while loyal opposition tries to point out their faults and failures. (Senator Daschle going after President Bush on arsenic)Anthony Downs (Rational Choice Model): Parties and voters are rational, and parties try to pursue policies with broad public appeal.This may explain why some people think there isn’t much difference between the 2 parties
6 3 Political Roles of Parties Labels that voters identify withOrganization that recruitsSet of leaders who organize government (I’ll make you wait for Chapter 11 to discuss this, but for now, just realize that parties no longer control Congress votes!)Parties have become noticeably weaker in all three areas
7 Parties as LabelsParties much weaker than they were in the 1800s, but not that much weaker than 30 years ago….large numbers of independentsSplit-ticket voting has increased in recent years
9 As OrganizationsParties have gotten dramatically weaker as organizations since the 1960sIn Europe, the only way you can get elected is to be nominated by party leaders, and once you get in, you’re a party slaveWhat explains these differences?? (Next slide).
10 Why Differences Between the US and Europe? US has a federal system that decentralizes political authority and hence, political party organization…emphasis has shifted from state/local government to federal government….paradoxicalEuropean parties are better gatekeepersMost people with appointed jobs worked for state/local government..parties had to focus on county/state electionsThis is changing; paradox can be attributed to state and federal laws that render parties impotent
11 Laws that Emasculate Parties State primary elections/caucuses allow the voters to choose general election candidatesIn Europe, you have to encourage leaders, “Please put my pathetic rear end on the ballot!”Winning control of either house of Congress does not guarantee you will be able to determine the executive. Many Presidents pursue “blocking” strategy, although SC has ruled that Presidents can be forced to spend money appropriated by Congress.Recall that Cabinet members must resign from Congress (Article I, Section VI)….so President cannot sway Congressional votes by giving out appointments
12 The Role of Political Culture In the United States, citizens do not usually join parties unless they have a compelling interestIn Europe, large numbers join, pay dues, and attend party meetings…in France, Italy, and Austria, parties sponsor labor unions, educational programs, even chess clubs!Parties play a segmental, not a comprehensive role in American life
13 Political Culture and Following Candidates can’t rely on machinesMust establish a “cult of personality.”Helps to have expressive personality, lots of friends, political lineage, and a big bank account (Kennedys, Byrds, Tallmadges, LaFollettes)According to David Mayhew, traditional party structure only works in 8 states, mostly NE
14 Political Party History Founders disliked partiesParties develop because of differences of opinion in how the Constitution should be interpreted; parties built top-down1st parties: Federalists and Republicans (NE strongly Federalist), soon followed by “Era of Good Feeling,Hamilton led Feds, Jefferson leads Republicans
15 The Jacksonian Era Emergence of 2nd Party System Electorate enlarged: no property qual.Electors by 1832 chosen by the peopleParty system built from bottom-upMarked an end to the Caucus system—members of Congress nominate Presidential candidates (was an effort to unite legislative and executive branches)Convention system (1831 Anti-Masonics 1st) develops as a reform that promotes local control
16 Civil War/ Sectionalist Period Republicans gain control of White House and most Congresses. Why?1) Civil War polarized Republican support in North2) Bryan Candidacy of 1896 alienated NENorth solidly Republican, Democrats hold “Solid South”Competition in 1-party states is now WITHIN parties….esp. Republicans and in the NE
17 Splits within the Republicans Stalwarts— “Old Guard” that focused on building up party machinery, interested in VICTORYProgressives— “Reformers,” fought forCivil Service ReformDirect primaryThe InitiativeThe ReferendumNonpartisan local electionsDirect election of SenatorsWere fearful of immigrants, played balancing role
18 National Party Structure Today Democrats and Republicans similar on paperUltimate authority vested in Nat’l Convention headed by National Committee that manages affairs between conventions and elects a National ChairmanRepublicans made major changes in 1970s; well-financed, highly staffed, worked on Congressional elections too—computerized mailings (!) worked like a charm!Republicans became bureaucratized, Democrats were factionalized (Dems changed the way Presidential candidates were nominated). Dems realize mistakes.RNC used this money to offer political consulting in races throughout the country…gave legal advice, studied issues, analyzed voting trends
19 National Conventions Conventions used to be much more deliberative Now, “Made for TV.”Conflict in Dem Party: Give delegates to South for loyalty or N/NW for liberal character?Conflict in Rep. Party: Give delegates to NE or MW?Democrats apportion delegates to large statesRepublicans allocate to loyal states (past elections), South and SouthwestDemocrats move more to the left, Republicans move more to the right
20 Democrat MeanderingDemocrats have established rules that weaken the control of delegates by local party leaders and have increased the proportion of blacks, women, and the youngMcGovern, Mikulski, Winograd Commissions weakened the influence of leader and created intraparty democracy as well as interparty democracy
21 Democratic Party Rule Changes of the 1970s Equal #s of men and women delegates“Goals” for representation of blacks and other minorities in proportionOpen delegate-selection process75% of delegates must be elected at the Congressional district or lowerDelegates not required to vote with the majority of their state delegationRestricted # of elected officials who could vote at the conventionAll delegates pledged to a candidate must vote for that candidate
22 Rules are meant to be broken… 1981 Hunt Commission changed the rule that delegates must vote for the candidate they are pledged to, and allowed more SUPERDELEGATESThis benefitted Mondale in 1984.
23 RealignmentRepublican used to attract white-collar voters, and Democrats blue-collar votersAfter a decade of reform ( ), parties each claimed a share of the upper-middle class….traditional middle class goes Republican..bad news for Democrats as they lose 3rd straight election in ’88…what to do?1988 Kirk Committee—Dems increase # of superdelegates even more, factions cut out
24 Democrats still playing with #s Ron Brown makes changes in 1992 to make Democrats more competitiveWinner-reward distribution of delegates banned.Proportional representation for candidates that get > 15% of the vote (get more delegates)Result is that conventions merely ratify choices made in primaries and caucuses
25 MachinesDef’n: Party organizations that recruit its members by the use of tangible incentivesPeople join because of solidary incentives too—it’s a game; it’s fun….not dedicatedExample: Tammany HallOpposite of ideological party—machines value winning above all elsePendleton Act helps end machinesHatch Act (1939) makes it illegal for federal civil servants to take an active role in political campaigns by serving as party officers, soliciting funds, running for partisan office, endorsing candidates, taking voters to polls, or being delegates—can still vote and contribute though
26 Minor Parties: TypesIdeological parties —1 set of beliefs (Communist, Socialist, Libertarian, Green Party). Values principle above all else, usually factionalized, longest-lived parties. Reform movements in major parties turn into more focused social movements (single-issue parties like Christian Coalition)Barbara Mikulski (D-MD): “Social movements are our farm clubs.”Single-Issue parties: Prohibition, Right to Life Party, Marijuana legalization, immigration partiesEconomic Protest Parties—Greenback partySplinter parties—”Bull Moose Party”
27 Nominating a President Two competing problems:#1: Must nominate mainstream candidate to win election#2: To get to the national stage, you have to win in extreme groupsDelegates tend to be much more extreme than rank-and-file party members and voting specialistsBefore 1972, most delegates were picked by party leaders. Now, they are picked by primaries and caucusesPossibility that media steered Democrats away from Dean?
28 The Future of Political Parties Big increase in split ticket voting, as opposed to straight-ticket voting, threatens political parties3rd parties continue their role as “spoiler”Campaign finance reform????Role of PACs (Political Action Committees)National Chairpersons much more influential (Terry McAuliffe, Democrats, and Marc Racicot, Republicans
29 Chapter 9 Learning Objectives After reading and reviewing the material in this chapter, the student should be able to do each of the following:1. Define the term political party and contrast the structures of the European and American parties, paying particular attention to the federal structure of the United States system and the concept of party identification.2. Trace the development of the United States party system through its four periods. Explain why parties have been in decline since the New Deal.3. Describe the structure of a major party. Distinguish powerful from powerless party units.4. Indicate whether there are major differences between the parties. Describe some of the issue differences between delegates at Democratic and Republican conventions, and compare these differences with those of the party rank and file.