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Political Parties and Ideology

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Presentation on theme: "Political Parties and Ideology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Parties and Ideology

2 What is a Party? Political Party – a group of people who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office Major Party – a party that has a chance to win representation in government Minor Party – any political party that doesn’t

3 What Do Parties Do? Nominate Candidates —Recruit, choose, and present candidates for public office. Inform and Activate Supporters—Campaign, define issues, and criticize other candidates. Act as a Bonding Agent—Guarantee that their candidate is worthy of the office. Govern—Members of government act according to their partisanship, or firm allegiance to a party. Act as a Watchdog—Parties that are out of power keep a close eye on the actions of the party in power for a blunder to use against them in the next election.

4 Partisanship Strong support of their party and policy stands Most appointments to executive offices have party considerations

5 Democrats and Republicans
Major Parties There are two major parties in the U.S. Can you name them? Democrats and Republicans

6 Why a Two-Party System? The Historical Basis. The nation started out with two-parties: the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The Force of Tradition. America has a two-party system because it always has had one. Minor parties, lacking wide political support, have never made a successful showing, so people are reluctant to support them. The Electoral System. Certain features of government, such as single-member districts, are designed to favor two major parties. Ideological Consensus. Most Americans have a general agreement on fundamental matters. Conditions that would spark several strong rival parties do not exist in the United States.

7 Multiparty Systems Advantages Disadvantages
Provides broader representation of the people. More responsive to the will of the people. Give voters more choices at the polls. Disadvantages Cause parties to form coalitions, which can dissolve easily. Failure of coalitions can cause instability in government.

8 One-Party Systems One Party Systems where only one party is allowed.
Types of One-Party Systems One Party Systems where only one party is allowed. Example: Dictatorships such as Stalinist Russia Example: Republican North and Democratic South until the 1950s. Modified One-Party Systems where one party regularly wins most elections

9 Party Membership Patterns
Factors that can influence party membership:

10 What is Ideology? Ideology is basically the way you look at how the world works There are two major ideologies in the United States Liberal Conservative

11 The Political Spectrum
People who have similar opinions on political issues are generally grouped according to whether they are “left,” “right,” or “center” on the political spectrum.

12 Family and Education The Family The Schools
Many factors influence our political opinions and political socialization over the course of a lifetime. The Family Children first see the political world from within the family and through the family’s eyes. The strong influence the family has on the development of political opinions is due to the large amount of time children spend with the family. The Schools Children acquire political knowledge throughout their time in the classroom. Students are taught about political systems, patriotism, and great Americans. Some are even required to take a course on government in high school.

13 Other Factors Influencing Public Opinion
Mass Media The mass media include those means of communication that reach large, widely dispersed audiences (masses of people) simultaneously. The mass media has a huge effect on the formation of public opinion. Peer Groups Peer groups are made up of the people with whom one regularly associates, including friends, classmates, neighbors, and co-workers. Opinion Leaders An opinion leader is any person who, for any reason, has an unusually strong influence on the views of others. Historic Events Historic events can have a major impact on public opinion. The Great Depression is one event that shaped the political views and opinions of a generation.

14 Liberal and Conservative
People do not have to be strictly liberal on all issues, or conservative on all issues You can mix the two to form your own individual ideology We group them because certain viewpoints tend to naturally go together

15 Liberal and Conservative
Common Liberal Characteristics Desire progressive change in society Main values: Idealism, Equality, Fairness, Personal Freedom

16 Liberal and Conservative
Common Liberal Issues Pro-choice Affirmative Action Gun control Aid to the poor Protecting the environment Gay rights

17 Liberal and Conservative
Common Conservative Characteristics Desire to keep things as they are, maintain the status-quo, change should be cautious and slow Main values: Realism, Law and Order, Justice, Morality, Economic Freedom

18 Liberal and Conservative
Common Conservative Issues Anti-abortion Allowing prayer in schools Cutting taxes Cutting regulations on businesses Immigration control Increased military spending

19 Liberal and Conservative
Often times, people hear what they want to hear from facts to support their ideology

20 One-Party Systems Found in dictatorships where only one party is allowed Also found in places where one of the major parties has no chance of winning

21 Party Membership Patterns
Party membership is voluntary Each party must try to attract as much support as possible

22 Party Membership Patterns
Some demographic groups are more reliable to each party Tend to be Democrat – Female, African American, Hispanic, Catholic, Jewish, Union Member, Lower Income, Lower Education, Under 30, Over 60

23 Party Membership Patterns
Some demographic groups are more reliable to each party Tend to be Republican – Male, White, Protestant, Work in the Business Community, Higher Income, Higher Education, Middle-Aged

24 History of the Two-Party System
Federalists Led by Alexander Hamilton Represented wealthy and upper-class interests Favored strong executive leadership and liberal interpretation of the Constitution Anti-Federalists Led by Thomas Jefferson Represented the “common man” Favored Congress as the strongest arm of government and a strict interpretation of the Constitution

25 History of the Two-Party System
Era of the Democrats ( ) Democratic-Republicans had come to dominate politics, but then broke into two factions, the Democrats and Whigs Democrats, led by Andrew Jackson, won all but 2 of elections against the Whigs

26 History of the Two-Party System
Era of the Republicans ( ) Began with election of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Republicans dominated all but 4 elections due to support from businesses and African Americans

27 History of the Two-Party System
The Return of the Democrats ( ) The Great Depression turned people against the Republican Party, especially as FDR led the U.S. out of the Depression Dwight Eisenhower was the only Republican from this period

28 The Start of a New Era: The Era of Divided Government
Since 1968, neither Republicans nor Democrats have dominated the presidency and Congress has often been controlled by the opposing party. 1968–1976 Republicans hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Democrats 1976–1980 Democrats hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Democrats 1980–1992 Republicans hold the presidency Senate controlled by Republicans , controlled by Democrats from 1986 to 1994 1992 – 2000 Democrats hold the presidency Congress controlled by Republicans, 1994 to present 2000 Republicans hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Republicans Democrats hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Democrats

29 Why Minor Parties Are Important
Minor parties play several important roles: “Spoiler Role” Minor party candidates can pull decisive votes away from major parties’ candidates. Critic Minor parties, especially single-issue parties, often take stands and draw attention to controversial issues that the major parties would prefer to ignore. Innovator Minor parties will draw attention to important issues and propose solutions to problems. If proposals gain popular support, they are added to platforms of the two major parties.

30 Minor Parties in the United States
Types of Minor Parties Ideological Parties: based on a set of beliefs Example: Libertarian Party Single-issue Parties: concentrate on one public policy matter Example: Free Soil Party, Marijuana, Right to Life, Prohibition Economic Protest Parties: arise during periods of poor economy Example: The Greenback Party Splinter Party: break away from one of the major parties Example: “Bull Moose” Progressive Party

31 Minor Parties in the United States

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