Presentation on theme: "Essential Questions 1. Identify the functions that political parties perform in American democracy. 2. Determine the significance of party identification."— Presentation transcript:
1 Essential Questions1. Identify the functions that political parties perform in American democracy.2. Determine the significance of party identification in America today.3. Describe how political parties are organized in the United States.4. Explain what coalitions make up the two main political parties in the United States.Compare and contrast the policy differences between Democrats and Republicans.Evaluate how well political parties generally do in carrying out their promises.Differentiate the various party eras in American history.Discuss the effect dealignment has on political parties and provide examples.Assess both the impact of third parties on American politics and their limitations.Explain why third parties so often fail in U.S. politics.
2 What is the meaning behind the political party? An organized group of people who pursue common interests and goals by gaining and exercising power through winning electionsParties can be thought of in three parts:Party in the electorateParty as an organizationParty in government
3 Cartoonist Thomas Nast credited with the “Republican Elephant” and the “Democratic Donkey” Donkey first used in 1870Elephant first used in 1874
12 Generalities Socio-Economic Status (SES) Education Race Gender EmploymentUrban/Suburban/RuralGeographic regionsReligion“Soccer Moms” and “Joe Six-Packs”
13 Why a 2 Party System? Consensus of Values Historical Tradition Winner-Take-All SystemPolitical SocializationOrganization of Congress and state governments
14 Essential Questions1. Identify the functions that political parties perform in American democracy.2. Determine the significance of party identification in America today.3. Describe how political parties are organized in the United States.4. Explain what coalitions make up the two main political parties in the United States.Compare and contrast the policy differences between Democrats and Republicans.Evaluate how well political parties generally do in carrying out their promises.Differentiate the various party eras in American history.Discuss the effect dealignment has on political parties and provide examples.Assess both the impact of third parties on American politics and their limitations.Explain why third parties so often fail in U.S. politics.
15 What purpose do parties serve? Nominate candidates for officeCoordinate/run campaigns with a given candidate and among all candidatesGive voters an easy way to identify where party and candidates standFormulate policy and decide which to support or oppose and communicate that with citizens
16 What purpose do parties serve? Linkage institution: links people to their government Voters have wants and needsElected officials want/need to accomplish certain thingsLinkage institutions help translate voter input into policymaker output
18 What Parties Do Tasks of the Parties Parties Act as a Linkage InstitutionParties Run Candidates for OfficeParties Run CampaignsParties Give Cues to VotersParties Articulate PoliciesParties Organize GovernmentParties Coordinate Policymaking
23 The Big Tent Both major parties are "big tents" Different coalitions exist within party and compete for attention/influenceBroad variety of different ideological viewpoints includedDesigned to attract independent-minded voters
24 Party Dealignment Dealignment Voters moving away from two major political partiesIdentifying themselves as independentIncrease in split-ticket voting
25 Party Dealignment Ticket-splitting Voting with one party for one office and with another party for other officesIndependents are most likely to split tickets.No state or race is completely safe due to split tickets.
28 The Party Organizations: From the Grass Roots to Washington The 50 State Party SystemsClosed primaries: Only people who have registered with the party can vote for that party’s candidates.Open primaries: Voters decide on Election Day whether they want to vote in the Democrat or Republican primary.
29 Party Eras in American History Historical periods in which one political party dominates/gains majority of supportCritical ElectionAn election that changes the support a political party gets and helps end a party eraAlso called realigning electionParty RealignmentThe removal of the majority party by the minority party, usually the result of a critical election
30 Party Eras in American History : The First Party SystemMadison warned of “factions”Federalists: first political party: Jackson and the Democrats Versus the WhigsModern party founded by JacksonWhigs formed mainly to oppose Jacksonian Democrats
31 Party Eras in American History : The Two Republican ErasRepublicans rose as the antislavery party1896 election centered on industrialization: The New Deal CoalitionNew Deal coalition: forged by the Democrats; consisted of urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholics, Jews, the poor, Southerners
33 Party Eras in American History 1968-Present: The Era of Divided Party GovernmentDivided government: one party controls Congress and the other controls White HouseDivided government due in party to:Party dealignment: disengagement of people from parties as evidenced by shrinking party identificationParty neutrality: people are indifferent towards the two parties
36 Third Parties: Their Impact on American Politics Third parties: electoral contenders other than the two party parties; rarely win electionsThird parties are important.Are “safety valves” for popular discontentBring new groups and ideas into politicsTwo-party systemDiscourages extreme viewsContributes to political ambiguity
37 Third Parties: Their Impact on American Politics Multiparty Systems in Other CountriesWinner-take-all system/Plurality System: legislative seats awarded only to first place finishersProportional Representation: legislative seats awarded based on votes received by the party - more votes, more seatsCoalition Government: two or more parties join to form a majority in a national legislature
39 Barriers to Third Party Success Wasted vote?Attract good candidates?Getting on the ballot very difficultLack of widespread organization
40 Why do we have only two major political parties? Winner take all system!Minor parties give up and merge into the big parties
41 Influence of third parties Ross Perot 1992 Third Party candidate19% of the voteInfluenced the debate (NAFTA,free trade, and budget deficits)Pulled votes from both Bush and ClintonRalph Nader ran in 2000 and 20043% of the votePulled votes from GoreCost him the election????
42 Understanding Political Parties Democracy and Responsible Party GovernmentResponsible Party Model1. Parties have distinct comprehensive programs.2. Candidates are committed to the program.3. The majority party must carry out its program.4. The majority party must accept responsibility.American political parties fall short of these conditions.No mechanism for party discipline
43 Understanding Political Parties American Political Parties and the Scope of GovernmentLack of uniformity keeps government smallBig programs like Health Care (1994) failBut also makes cutting government programs difficultIndividuals focus on getting more from government for their own constituents
44 Understanding Political Parties Is the Party Over?Political parties are no longer main source of information for voters; media areYet parties will play an important but diminished role in American politicsState and national party organizations have become more visible and activeMajority of people still identify with a party
45 SummaryParties are a pervasive linkage institution in American politics.Party in electorate, government, and as organizationAmerica has a two-party system.The decentralized nature of political parties makes major change difficult and encourages individualism in politics.