Objectives Define a political party? Describe the major functions of polticial parties. Identify the reasons why the US has a two-party system. Understand multiparty and one-party systems and how they affect the functioning of a polticial system.
A) What is a Party? Political party – group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office Divided into three elements 1) Party Organization 2) Party in the Government 3) Party in the Electorate
B) What Parties Do Link between governed and govern Soften the impact of extremists Political spectrum – range of political views (126) Partisanship – the strong support of their party and its policy stands 1) Nominate Candidates 2) Informing and Activating Supporters 3) The Bonding Agent Function – pick good candidates 4) Governing 5) Watchdog Function
C) The Two-Party System Started with the ratification of the Constitution – Federalists and Anti-Federlists Traditionally we have thus always have had one so it is hard for 3 rd parties to come forward Single member districts – winner takes all – promotes 2 party Plurality – the most, not the majority Wasted vote – 3 rd party member Law discourages 3 rd party Bipartisan – two parties work together and find common ground (127) Consensus – general agreement among groups US has mostly been an ideologically consensus – we have had some divisions (Civil War) but for the most part - similar
D) Multiparty Systems and One Party Systems Multiparty systems lead to more diverseness but also lead to more instability Coalition – temporary alliance of several groups who come together to form a working majority to control the government One Party is also a no party – not a dictatorship In ¼ of states today, a single party wins most elections - Chicago, “Solid South”
Objectives Understand the origins of political parties in the US. Identify and describe the three major periods of single-party domination and describe the current era of divided government.
II. Two Party System in American History Federalists v. Anti-Federalists Jefferson created the Democratic Republicans – 1800 Incumbent – current officeholder Page 134-135
A) The Era of Democrats Era of Good Feelings – only one real party – Jefferson’s 1800 – 1824 Factions – competing groups Jacksonian democrats v. Whigs Spoils system – practice of awarding public offices, contracts, and other favorers to those who supported the party in power. 1854 – Republicans created Ripon, WI. Elected Lincoln in 1860
B) The Era of the Republican From 1860 – 1932 – almost complete Republican control of the Presidency Cleveland in 1884 and 1892, Wilson in 1912-1920 Republicans had tremendous prosperity Democrats also to sectional – supported only in the South – Anti-Black (Solid South) Electorate – the people eligible to vote Sectionalism – emphasizes a devotion to the interests of a particular region
D) The Return of the Democrats Great Depression allowed Democrats to take over New base of southerners, small farmers, labor, and big city politics supported economic and social welfare programs African Americans left Republicans and became Democrats. 1932 – 1968 – only break was Eisenhower from 1952-1960 (moderate)
E) Era of Divided Government Nixon 1968-1974 ®(D) Ford 1974-1975 ®Watergate(D) Carter 1976-1980 (D)Hostages(D) Reagan 1980 – 1988 ®(D) Bush 1988-1992 ®Economy(D) Clinton 1992-2000 (D)® Bush 2000 – 2008 ®® Obama 2008 -2012? (D)(D)/®
Review Do we appear to be on the verge of such an era of dominance of a party today? Why or why not?
Objectives Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics. Understand why minor parties are important despite the fact that none has ever won the presidency.
III. The Minor Parties Libertarian Reform Socialist Prohibition Natural law Communist American Independent Green Constitution Short lived Particular local Single state 4 types
A) Minor Parties in the United States Ideological parties – based on a particular set of comprehensive believes of social, economic, and political matters – most a share of Marxism Single – Issue parties: focus on single public concern(free soil, Know Nothings, Right to Life Party) Econo0mic Protest Parties – exist in times of economic distrust – they blame someone and demand better times (Wall Street, bankers, railroads, or imports) Splinter Parties – parties that split away from major parties usually around a strong personality – most often who failed to win their parties nomination. (Roosevelt, George Wallace) Green Party started as single issue – now it has spread.
B) Why Minor Parties Are Important Anti-Masons first used a convention to nominate a Presidential Candidate Can play “spoiler” in an election – Nader in 2000 and Roosevelt in 1912 Act as critics and innovators Most innovations are “stolen” by the bigger party
Review Why do you think a leader or group might seek to create a minor party even though their chances for winning are less than those of a major party? A minor party is likely to be a victim of its own success. Explain the meaning of this statement. In what ways can minor parties impact elections in this country?
IV. Party Organization Objectives: Understand why the major parties have a decentralized structure. Describe the national party machinery and party organization at the State and local levels.
A) The Decentralized Nature of the Parties Dems and Repubs are both decentralized with little control from National to State to Local parties The President is always the head of the political party – makes sense – power, favors, access to media Federalism makes the parties decentralized – over 500,000 elected posts in the US. – Federalism is decentralized, helps make US also Nominating a President can cause factions within the party – helping decentralize it
B) National Party Machinery National Convention – meets every 4 years and picks Pres and VP and adopts party platform and rules. The National Committee – made up of all state chair people and other supporters – main goal is to stage the National Convention. National Chairperson – chosen right after the President is nominated from the National Convention or elected. Congressional Campaign Committee – Each party in each house have own campaign committees
C) State and Local Party machinery Have a state committee with a chairperson usually a front for the governor Locally, it could be anything Ward – unit in which cities are divided into districts Precinct – smallest unit of election administration Usually only active in the few months before an election
Review Project time Design a Minor Political Party