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Political Parties and Ideology

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Political Parties and Ideology

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

4 What is Ideology? Ideology is basically the way you look at how the world works Ideologies tend to be grouped in the U.S. into 3 main categories Liberal Moderate Conservative

5 What is Ideology? There are other “fringe” ideologies present as well (not as common) Socialist (far left) Marxist (far far left) Libertarian (far right) Religious fundamentalist (far far right) Liberal Moderate Conservative

6 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

7 Liberal and Conservative
Common Liberal Characteristics Desire progressive change in society Main values: Idealism, Equality, Fairness, Personal Freedom Examples: ACLU, Sierra Club, NAACP, NOW, labor unions, Dems.

8 Liberal and Conservative
Common Liberal Issue Stances Pro-choice Affirmative Action Gun control Progressive taxes (higher on rich) Aid to the poor Equal access to health care Protecting the environment Equal gay rights

9 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 Examples: Christian Coalition, NRA, Americans for Tax Reform, Republicans

10 Liberal and Conservative
Common Conservative Issue Stances Anti-abortion Belief in private sector efficiency over the government Free gun ownership rights Cutting taxes, less progressive taxation Cutting regulations on businesses Immigration control Increased military spending Support traditional marriage

11 What Do Parties Do? Nominate Candidates Inform and Activate Supporters
The “Bonding Agent” Function – making sure that officeholders do a good job once they are elected Govern Act as a Watchdog – criticizes the opposing party

12 The Two-Party System Why do we have a two party system?
1. Historical Basis – division between Federalists and Anti-Federalists 2. Tradition – it has always been that way, so it naturally self-perpetuates

13 The Two-Party System 3. The American Ideological Consensus – for the most part, we pretty much agree on all of the major stuff People should own property We should have equality People have the right to vote

14 The Two-Party System 4. The Electoral System – the U.S. uses single-member districts… that means only one person wins representation from each district

15 Multiparty Systems Several major parties, many lesser parties all compete for and win public office Mostly in Europe and Latin American Democracies Many parties must form a coalition, or a group of parties that form a majority

16 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

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

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

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

20 History of the Two-Party System
The First Two Parties Federalists Founded by Alexander Hamilton Believed in forming a strong national government, supported policies that favored business

21 History of the Two-Party System
The First Two Parties Democratic-Republicans Founded by Thomas Jefferson Believed in limiting the federal government’s power, and supported policies that benefited the “common man”

22 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 most of the time over the Whigs

23 History of the Two-Party System
Era of the Republicans ( ) Began with election of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Republicans dominated elections due to support from businesses and African Americans Democrats only won in the South

24 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

25 History of the Two-Party System
Divided Government (1968-Present) Nixon’s Watergate scandal has led people to distrust government Characterized by different parties controlling Congress and the Presidency Country is evenly divided (remember the 2000 election?)

26 Minor Parties Why run for election when you know you will lose?
Act as the “spoiler” (Perot in 1992, Nader in 2000)

27 Minor Parties Why run for election when you know you will lose?
Make your issues public, get the major parties to adopt them

28 Minor Parties Why run for election when you know you will lose?
Criticize the major parties (That’s basically all Nader does)

29 Types of Minor Parties Ideological Parties – based on a set of beliefs
Tend to be long lasting Have very little electoral success Examples: Communist, Socialist, Libertarian

30 Types of Minor Parties Single-Issue Parties – concentrate on one public policy matter Name usually reflects their issue Party dies after the issue fades or one of the major parties adopts their issue Examples: Marijuana, Right to Life, Prohibition

31 Types of Minor Parties Economic Protest Parties – arise during periods of poor economy, and express disgust Usually sectional, drawing support from one region of the country They invent an “enemy” of the economy and blame them Examples: America First, Populist

32 Types of Minor Parties Splinter Parties – break away from one of the major parties Usually form around a strong personality Typically have short-term electoral success Fade away when the leader steps aside Examples: Bull Moose, American Independent, Reform

33 Chapter 7: Elections

34 Nominations – the First Step
Before the election can take place, candidates must be nominated This applies in ALL elections, not just presidential! Nomination – the naming of candidates who will seek office After candidates are nominated, the general election is held

35 How Does a Candidate get Nominated?
4 Ways: Self Announcement Convention Caucus Primary **To become a major party nominee for president, all 4 will be used**

36 Self-Announcement The candidate simply makes an announcement of his/her intention to seek public office (could have a friend do it, too) Ralph Nader, Independent candidate

37 Self-Announcement Usually an independent candidate or someone who failed to win a major party nomination Ralph Nader, Independent candidate

38 Self-Announcement To get your name on the ballot generally requires a number of signatures on a petition (specifics are set by each state) Ralph Nader, Independent candidate

39 Convention Public meeting of party activists to energize voters and choose a party candidate

40 Convention Used to be the method for major parties to choose, but the conventions became corrupt Major parties still use them, but only to make the presidential nomination “official”

41 Convention Now only used by minor parties (like the Libertarian Party shown below)

42 Caucus 1800s - originally a private meeting of party leaders – no records kept or journalists allowed The appearance of corruption led to reforms

43 Caucus Now - a public meeting of any party members who wish to participate and debate

44 Primary A public election held within a political party to choose the party’s nominee for office Open Primary – any eligible voters may vote Closed Primary – only registered party members may vote in their party’s primary Most common method in states today

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