Presentation on theme: "AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. Major parties are often described as highly organized, close-knit, well-disciplined groups They are not. They are usually highly."— Presentation transcript:
Major parties are often described as highly organized, close-knit, well-disciplined groups They are not. They are usually highly decentralized, fragmented, disjointed, and often beset by factions and internal squabbling. Neither major party has a chain of command running from the national level to the state level
Various levels are loosely tied to other levels The is usually cooperation between levels but there doesn’t have to be any THE ROLE OF THE PRESIDENCY President’s party is usually more solidly united than the opposition The President is automatically the party leader
The other party has no one in an even faintly comparable position. THE IMPACT OF FEDERALISM Federalism is one major reason for the decentralized nature of the parties Today, more the half a million elected offices in the USA widely distributed over various levels
THE ROLE OF THE NOMINATING PROCESS First, candidate selection is an intraparty process Nominations are made within the party Second, the nominating process is often a divisive one. The process is a prime cause of their highly fragmented character
Four basic levels of the National Party structure 1) THE NATIONAL CONVENTION The national convention, the party’s voice, meets in the summer every presidential election year to pick its candidates for President and Vice President. They also adopt the party platform
2) THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE Between elections the party’s affairs are, in theory, handled by a national committee and national chairperson Members include people from every state and territory National committees appear to be powerful but they really only work on the national convention every four years.
2)THE NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON Leads the National Committee Only 2 women have been chairperson 1) Jean Westwood(UT) – DNC – 1972-1973 2) Mary Louise Smith(IA) – RNC – 1974-1977 Only African-American – Ron Brown – DNC – 1989-1993 The chairperson promotes party unity, raising money, recruiting new voters
3)THE CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE These committees work to reelect members of Congress Members serve for 2-year terms
THE STATE ORGANIZATION State parties led by a State Central Committee Try to build party unity and an effective organization LOCAL ORGANIZATION Local structures vary widely WARD—a unit into which cities are divided to elect city council members PRECINCT—smallest unit of election administration; the voters in each precinct report to one polling place
1) The party organization Party leaders and activists “All those who give their time, money, and skills” 2) The party in the electorate Party loyalists who regularly vote the straight party ticket 3) The party in government The party’s officeholders
Parties are never very popular Parties have been in a period of decline since the 1960s The weakened state of parties can be traced to several factors: 1) A sharp drop in the number voters who are willing to declare a party and the growing number of those who say they are independent
2) A big increase in SPLIT-TICKET VOTING – voting for candidates of different parties 3) Various structural changes and reforms have made parties more open Introduction of the direct primary and various campaign reform laws 4) Changes in the technology of campaigning for office—especially TV, internet, professional campaign managers, etc.
55) The growth, in both numbers and impact, of single-issue organizations. These groups support or oppose candidates based the group’s closely defined views EExamples—abortion, gun control, environment TThe End