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Produced by the League of Women Voters® of Oregon Education Fund 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Produced by the League of Women Voters® of Oregon Education Fund 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Produced by the League of Women Voters® of Oregon Education Fund 1

2  Solicit citizen concerns  Combine and prioritize those concerns  Formulate public policy to address priority issues  Recruit and train candidates for public office  Help candidates to win elections  Raise funds to support campaigns In general, the U.S. has a two-party system 2

3  Constitution does not explicitly outline two-party system, but the two-party system has been in place since before the Constitution was ratified.  Federalists vs. Antifederalists  Federalists were in favor of consolidating a national government by adopting the Constitution  Antifederalists were against passing the Constitution, and preferred to have power remain within the States. 3 Patrick Henry: Anti-Federalist James Madison, Father of the Constitution: Federalist

4  The Federalists won in favor of the Constitution. Over the next 50 years, under many different titles, eventually morphed into calling themselves the “Democratic Party.”  For many years Democrats dominated the Presidency, with only minor opposition from one other party: The Whig Party.  The Whig Party was the beginnings of a Republican Party.  Abe Lincoln was the first president to run and be elected on the Republican Party ticket – on the platform of ending slavery.  Since Abraham Lincoln’s election, Republicans and Democrats have been the two main American political parties in charge of government. 4

5  In a two-party system, a minority party is a party that does not have majority numbers in a branch of government.  In the U.S., Democrats are currently the minority party in the House of Representatives, while Republicans are the minority in the Senate.  Since both parties have a chance to win a Majority in the future, minority parties and minor/third parties in the United States do not mean the same thing.  In the U.S., a minor/third party is any party OTHER than the Democrat or Republican Party.  Since President Lincoln’s election, no third party has ever beaten out Democrats and Republicans for control of the Government  Yet minor parties do have a place in American politics: Some substantial minor parties include the Progressive Party, and today, the Green Party, and the Tea Party 5

6  The Progressive Party emerged during the early 1900’s in support of better working conditions for workers, public conservation, and equal suffrage  Their reign was short ( ), and eventually their causes and candidates were adopted by the Republican Party.  In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt ran on the “Progressive Party” ticket after his Presidency ended.  Roosevelt lost the election, but won 27% of the popular vote nationwide! 6 Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

7  Today, the United States still utilizes effective third parties.  The Green Party runs on the platform of clean energy, social justice, and non-violence.  Many of their efforts, especially conservation efforts, are often taken on by the national Democratic Party platform.  Ralph Nader is a well-known “Green Party” candidate 7 Ralph Nader

8  Another substantial minor party that has come about in recent years is the Tea Party.  While the Tea Party and the Republican Party have very similar political goals, there are currently members of Congress who were elected as members of the “Tea Party” rather than the “Republican Party.”  The Tea Party stands for limited government, lowering taxes, gun ownership, and a strong military presence abroad. 8 Rand Paul, U.S. SenatorSarah Palin, Former Alaskan Governor

9  What kinds of offices are nonpartisan?  Local offices  Judges  City officials  Advantages include:  Candidates not beholden to parties  Voters must assess candidates on merits  May be easier for candidates whose ideas differ from traditional parties  Voters have more responsibility for making educated decisions  Disadvantages include:  Less access to fundraising systems  Voters may have more difficulty distinguishing between candidates 9

10  Republican Party (G.O.P.)   Free market economy with limited Government involvement  Strong national military defense  Individualized health care  Education of choice  Energy independence  Democratic Party   Equal opportunity with emphasis on helping the middle class  Energy independence and protecting the environment  Health care for all citizens  Equal Education for all  Immigration reform 10 In general, third parties have found the most success when their platform is absorbed by one of the two above major parties in charge of governing the American two-party system.

11 11 For more information, contact the League of Women Voters® of Oregon Education Fund


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