2What is a Party?Political Party – a group of people who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public officeMajor Party – a party that has a chance to win representation in governmentMinor Party – any political party that doesn’t
3What 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.
4PartisanshipStrong support of their party and policy standsMost appointments to executive offices have party considerations
5Democrats and Republicans Major PartiesThere are two major parties in the U.S. Can you name them?Democrats and Republicans
6Why 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.
7Multiparty Systems Advantages Disadvantages Provides broader representation of the people.More responsive to the will of the people.Give voters more choices at the polls.DisadvantagesCause parties to form coalitions, which can dissolve easily.Failure of coalitions can cause instability in government.
8One-Party Systems One Party Systems where only one party is allowed. Types of One-Party SystemsOne Party Systems where only one party is allowed.Example:Dictatorships such as Stalinist RussiaExample:Republican North and Democratic South until the 1950s.Modified One-Party Systems where one party regularly wins most elections
9Party Membership Patterns Factors that can influence party membership:
10What is Ideology?Ideology is basically the way you look at how the world worksThere are two major ideologies in the United StatesLiberalConservative
11The 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.
12Family and Education The Family The Schools Many factors influence our political opinions and political socialization over the course of a lifetime.The FamilyChildren 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 SchoolsChildren 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.
13Other Factors Influencing Public Opinion Mass MediaThe 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 GroupsPeer groups are made up of the people with whom one regularly associates, including friends, classmates, neighbors, and co-workers.Opinion LeadersAn opinion leader is any person who, for any reason, has an unusually strong influence on the views of others.Historic EventsHistoric 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.
14Liberal and Conservative People do not have to be strictly liberal on all issues, or conservative on all issuesYou can mix the two to form your own individual ideologyWe group them because certain viewpoints tend to naturally go together
15Liberal and Conservative Common Liberal CharacteristicsDesire progressive change in societyMain values: Idealism, Equality, Fairness, Personal Freedom
16Liberal and Conservative Common Liberal IssuesPro-choiceAffirmative ActionGun controlAid to the poorProtecting the environmentGay rights
17Liberal and Conservative Common Conservative CharacteristicsDesire to keep things as they are, maintain the status-quo, change should be cautious and slowMain values: Realism, Law and Order, Justice, Morality, Economic Freedom
18Liberal and Conservative Common Conservative IssuesAnti-abortionAllowing prayer in schoolsCutting taxesCutting regulations on businessesImmigration controlIncreased military spending
19Liberal and Conservative Often times, people hear what they want to hear from facts to support their ideology
20One-Party SystemsFound in dictatorships where only one party is allowedAlso found in places where one of the major parties has no chance of winning
21Party Membership Patterns Party membership is voluntaryEach party must try to attract as much support as possible
22Party Membership Patterns Some demographic groups are more reliable to each partyTend to be Democrat – Female, African American, Hispanic, Catholic, Jewish, Union Member, Lower Income, Lower Education, Under 30, Over 60
23Party Membership Patterns Some demographic groups are more reliable to each partyTend to be Republican – Male, White, Protestant, Work in the Business Community, Higher Income, Higher Education, Middle-Aged
24History of the Two-Party System FederalistsLed by Alexander HamiltonRepresented wealthy and upper-class interestsFavored strong executive leadership and liberal interpretation of the ConstitutionAnti-FederalistsLed by Thomas JeffersonRepresented the “common man”Favored Congress as the strongest arm of government and a strict interpretation of the Constitution
25History 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 WhigsDemocrats, led by Andrew Jackson, won all but 2 of elections against the Whigs
26History of the Two-Party System Era of the Republicans ( )Began with election of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil WarRepublicans dominated all but 4 elections due to support from businesses and African Americans
27History 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 DepressionDwight Eisenhower was the only Republican from this period
28The 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.1968–1976Republicans hold the presidencyCongress is controlled by Democrats1976–1980Democrats hold the presidencyCongress is controlled by Democrats1980–1992Republicans hold the presidencySenate controlled by Republicans , controlled by Democrats from 1986 to 19941992 – 2000Democrats hold the presidencyCongress controlled by Republicans, 1994 to present2000Republicans hold the presidencyCongress is controlled by RepublicansDemocrats hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Democrats
29Why Minor Parties Are Important Minor parties play several important roles:“Spoiler Role”Minor party candidates can pull decisive votes away from major parties’ candidates.CriticMinor parties, especially single-issue parties, often take stands and draw attention to controversial issues that the major parties would prefer to ignore.InnovatorMinor 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.
30Minor Parties in the United States Types of Minor PartiesIdeological Parties: based on a set of beliefsExample: Libertarian PartySingle-issue Parties: concentrate on one public policy matterExample: Free Soil Party, Marijuana, Right to Life, ProhibitionEconomic Protest Parties: arise during periods of poor economyExample: The Greenback PartySplinter Party: break away from one of the major partiesExample: “Bull Moose” Progressive Party