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AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.  Major parties are often described as highly organized, close-knit, well-disciplined groups  They are not.  They are usually highly.

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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:

1 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

2  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

3  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

4  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

5  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

6  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

7  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.

8  2)THE NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON  Leads the National Committee  Only 2 women have been chairperson  1) Jean Westwood(UT) – DNC –  2) Mary Louise Smith(IA) – RNC –  Only African-American – Ron Brown – DNC –  The chairperson promotes party unity, raising money, recruiting new voters

9  3)THE CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE  These committees work to reelect members of Congress  Members serve for 2-year terms

10  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

11  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

12  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

13  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.

14 55) The growth, in both numbers and impact, of single-issue organizations. These groups support or oppose candidates based the group’s closely defined views EExamples—abortion, gun control, environment TThe End


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