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Unit 4 Study Guide – Political parties, interest groups and mass media

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1 Unit 4 Study Guide – Political parties, interest groups and mass media
By: Lexi Bartlett, Alexis McNeff, Aminata Ka Period 5

2 Vocabulary Amicus Curiae Briefs- legal briefs submitted by a “friend of the court” for the purpose of raising additional points of view and presenting info not contained in the briefs of the formal parties Buckley v. Valeo- the court ruled that giving money to a political campaign was a form of free speech and threw out some stringent federal regulations on fundraising and election spending in 1976 Campaign Contributions- advantages of working together in an organized way in hope to achieve a particular goal Caucus (state party)- a meeting of all state party leaders for selecting delegates to the national party convention, usually organized as a pyramid Closed Primary- a type of direct primary limited to registered party members, who must declare their party affiliation in order to vote

3 Vocabulary Coalition Building- the process by which parties come together to form a coalition or a temporary alliance in order to achieve a common purpose Federal Elections Commission- an independent regulatory agency, founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States Gerrymandering- redistrict in a way to make it beneficial for your specific party or manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class Grassroots Mobilization- influencing the direction of law and policy by mobilizing others to join them in strategic actions Incumbency Advantage- an advantage gained by someone who was already in a position especially over someone who has not been in office

4 Vocabulary Litigation- any lawsuit or other resort to the courts to determine a legal matter or question Lobbying- seeking to make influence on an issue Open Primary- a primary election in which voters are not required to declare party affiliation Plurality Election- an election contested by more than 2 candidates, occurs when neither candidate wins the majority but the person with the most votes wins Political Action Committee (PAC)- an organization that raises money privately to influence elections or legislation, especially at the federal level Political Culture- an overall set of values widely shared within a society

5 Vocabulary Political Efficacy- the belief that one’s political participation really matters; that one’s vote can actually make a difference Political Ideology- a coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy and public purpose Political Party- a “team of men and women seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election” Soft Money- political contributions earmarked for party-building expenses at the grass-roots level, are not subject to contribution limits Superdelegates- national party leaders who automatically get a delegate slot at the Democratic national party convention Winner-take-all Electoral College- the legislative seats are awarded only to the candidates who come in first in their constituencies

6 Composition of Democratic and Republican Parties
Key Factors Democrats Republicans Family Non-traditional Traditional Age Young Old Gender Female Male *Class *Poor *Rich Education Less More Race Minorities Caucasian Religion Catholic/Jews Protestant Region Urban Rural * Republicans tend to be the upper-middle class so a the majority of them are well educated. Lower-middle class tend to fall under the Democratic category but the most educated people of the United States tend to be Democrats.

7 Primaries vs Caucuses Primaries are a state-level election where party members vote to choose a candidate affiliated with their political party. Party candidates selected in a primary then run against each other in a general election. Examples: closed, semi-closed, open, semi-open

8 Primaries vs Caucuses A caucus is a local meeting where registered members of a political party in a city, town, or county gather to vote for their preferred party candidate and conduct other party business.

9 Pros and Cons of Third Party Voting
Splits the vote for either the Republican or Democrat Most of the time the 3rd party leans strongly in one direction Steals votes Pros- Introduces new ideas Goes against status quo Challenges the major parties

10 Functions and Procedures of Party Conventions
Conventions offer party members a chance to gather and discuss the party platform. It is a place for political debate. Conventions have been streamlined, with important events and speeches scheduled for prime-time television hours. They serve to unify the party and party pride. The “advertisements for the party” have become the primary function of political conventions today.

11 Problems That A Divided Government Creates
Empowers the congressional party to launch investigations of the administration, which deepens partisan rancor and creates legislative gridlock Will not solve the big problems facing the nation

12 Provisions of the Bill of Rights that Protect Rights to Political Participation
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individual’s freedom from violation of the government, social organizations, and private individuals Ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the society and state without discrimination or repression

13 Campaign Finance Reform
It is the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns

14 Consequences of the Winner-Take-All Primaries
Same two party system Majorities within legislature are formed easily Makes process for voting on legislation less complicated Simplifies the elections

15 Pros and Cons of Winner-Take-All Primaries
Government system tends to be more stable Fewer perspectives represented in government Radical minor parties are discouraged Less candidate choices creates apathetic voters Small number of parties simplifies voters choices Candidate can gain plurality and not be eliminated from government causing them to be able to moderate policy

16 Critical Elections Critical elections describe dramatic change in the political system. The coming of power for several decades of a new coalition replacing an old dominant coalition of the other party Sharp changes in issues, party leaders, the regional to demographic bases in power of the two parties and structures or rules of the political system resulting in a new political power structure that lasts for decades

17 Limiting Factors on Interest Groups Influence
Limits Effectiveness: assets, alliances (cooperation with other groups) and the visibility of its involvement in policy decisions Media’s depiction of it Members: status and distribution of an interest groups members contribute to success Money: allows groups to contribute to political campaign through PAC’s (Political Action Committees)

18 Goals Between Interest Groups and Political Parties
They both have a central goal which is to achieve change in the government. -Interest Groups: focus on specific issues and specific area of politics Ex: Farmers Groups – try to influence legislation about farming laws - Political Parties: try for more broad change in many different sectors, such as the economy and social life

19 Similarities and Differences Between Interest Groups and Political Parties
They both use different methods. - Interest groups influence political parties through external methods such as lobbying to legislatures or creating bonds with agencies - Political parties influence legislation through internal methods. They try to get as many people elected as possible that have views similar to the party to help change legislation to their beliefs.

20 Difference Between Congressional and Presidential Elections
Congressional Elections Presidential Elections Held every two years Held every four years Elections for 1/3 of the Senate and all of the House Election of future president and vice president Held midway through a president’s term in office Electoral college Used to indicate what the electoral think about the president’s performance Indirect vote in which citizens cast ballots

21 Techniques Used by Interest Groups to Influence Elections
Lobbying Informing people Forming alliances with other groups in the iron triangle Run ads Give money to candidates through political donations Engaging in election activities

22 Why has the electoral college not been abolished?
It’s part of the United States’ history and tradition Abolishing the electoral college would require a constitutional amendment. It favors small states because each elector represents fewer people than electors in larger states.

23 Difference Between Strategies to Win General Elections vs the Nominations
In a nomination, the party is the audience In an election, the country is the audience Richard Nixon’s advice is in a general election, lean towards the middle but in a nomination lean strongly one direction.

24 Influence Superdelegates Have on the Democratic Nominating Process
Superdelegates are unpledged so they can change their mind on candidates as the process unfolds Their votes can basically be bought

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