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The Party Structure and System Linkage Institutions #1.

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1 The Party Structure and System Linkage Institutions #1

2 Political Parties A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office by supplying them with a label by which they are known by the electorate. PRIMARY GOAL “elect candidates to public office.”

3 Arenas of Politics Parties Exist In Label Political parties exist as a label (or brand) in the eyes of the voters. That label allows voters who might not be familiar with individual candidates to have a general idea of their values

4 Arenas of Politics Parties Exist In Organization Parties seek to recruit potential candidates and to help campaign on their behalf for political office

5 Arenas of Politics Parties Exist In Set of Leaders Once elected party members work together to organize and control the branches of government they are in so they can achieve their policy goals.

6 Weakening of Parties In all three areas Political Parties are weaker… … As a label More independent voters and more split-ticket voting … As organizations Been less effective in recruitment and mobilization of voters since the 1960s … As a set of leaders Weakened the least, but not as disciplined as once due to rule changes

7 European vs. U.S. Parties Europe Disciplined Gatekeepers Loyal Voters Unitary System Unregulated by Government Party leaders choose candidates Parliamentary System United States Not as disciplined Voters shift alliances (Pluralism) Federal System Regulated by Government Primary Elections President elected separately from Congress

8 Evolution of Political Parties Central Theme: Decentralization Over time Parties have become less powerful Founding Period Originally a loose caucuses of political notables. Aligned along Hamilton (Federalist) and Jefferson (Democratic-Republicans). Jefferson’s Party eventually dominates. Jacksonian Period Political participation became a mass phenomenon and reacted to the support of leaders to Adams over Jackson. Party during this period was built from bottom up rather than top down.

9 Evolution of Political Parties Civil War and Sectionalism Party system was unable to survive and sectionalism. The Republican Party emerges as an Anti-Slave Party and becomes dominant. Democrats became sectionalized. Led to states being dominated by one party and factions Era of Reform Began in 1900 but picked up steam since the New Deal Primary Elections replace nominating conventions Nonpartisan elections at city levels Stricter voter registration requirements to reduce fraud Civil service reform to eliminate patronage Initiative and Referendum process in states.

10 Party Realignment Critical or Realignment Periods/Elections Periods when a sharp, LASTING shift occurs in the popular coalition supporting one or both parties. 1800: Democratic-Republicans defeat Federalists 1828: Jacksonian Democrats come into power 1860: Whig party collapses, Republicans emerge 1896: Republicans defeat William Jennings Bryant 1932: Democrats come into office under FDR

11 Types of Realignments 1)A major party is defeated so badly that it disappears, and a new party emerges. 1828, )Two existing parties continues, but voters shift their loyalty from one to another. 1800, 1896, 1932

12 Realignment or Dealignment? Realignment Arguments – 1980: Republican Revolution? Did not bring in a Republican Congress. – 1972: Solid South? A possibility, but needs more time to be sure Dealignment Arguments – Decrease in Party Identity – Split Ticket Voting Increases

13 National Party Structure Today Party Structure on paper State and local party organizations have autonomy from national party Control process of delegate selection to national convention In order to become more “important” states have moved up their primary elections (“Frontloading”)

14 National Party Structure Today National Convention Meets every four years to nominate the presidential candidate and adopt the party platform National Committee Composed of delegates from states; manages affairs between conventions Congressional Campaign Committees Seek to support the party’s congressional candidates through fund distribution and other aid.

15 Differences In Party Structure Republican 1960s-70s: More bureaucratic structure. 1980s: First to used computerized mailing lists to raise money Democrats 1960s-70s: More factionalized structure and redistribution of power 1990s: Adopted RNC strategy Both Parties send money raised to State Parties to sidestep federal spending limits (Soft Money)

16 Two Party System Rarity among Democracies Evenly balanced nationally, but not locally Why? – Electoral System Winner-Take-All Plurality System – State Laws – Opinions of Voters


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