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Political Parties and Elections

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

1 Political Parties and Elections
Voting and Elections


3 Political Parties Development of Political Parties
In America, there are 2 major parties- two party system US Constitution says nothing about political parties Thomas Jefferson: strong states’ rights, weak central gov’t Alexander Hamilton: strong central gov’t , weak states’ rights Democrat RepublicansDemocrats FederalistsWhigs Republicans (Lincoln first Rep. Pres.) Third Parties believe neither of the major parties offer positive platforms No 3rd party has ever won an election, but they do effect outcome Some are invented just to stress an issue- alcohol Communist Party USA, Socialist Party Ideological Parties

4 Political Parties Most nations have multi party systems (more than 2) Canada (3); Israel (20) Some have a 1 party system- Communist Party in China Major parties today differ in their beliefs on the role of gov’t in people’s lives Each party, every 4 years, develops a platform and its’ planks

5 Political Parties Organization of Political Parties
Parties operate on local, state and national level The nat’l comm. for each party helps its’ candidate get elected Every 4 years, the nat’l comm. will hold a convention where party delegates write a platform, nominate a P and VP State comm. focus on electing local officials to office Each county or city is divided into precincts and will elect officials from their precinct Some local parties become very powerfulpolitical machines Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed Corrupt ring bribing people for votes



8 Political Parties Nominating Candidates
Political parties are the only organization that can nominate a person for office Parties nominate candidates using direct primarieselections where voters choose candidates to represent each party in a general election 2 forms of direct primary closed primary- only declared party members are allowed to vote open primary- voters do not declare party preference Candidates need plurality (most votes among those running) to win nomination If there is someone interested in running not from the two major parties, a petition can be used to get their name on the ballot

9 Political Parties Other Party Roles
Political parties do more than just nominate a candidate for office Campaign for candidates- raise money, make sure ppl. are registered to vote Informing citizens- get across ideas about policy (TV, radio, speeches) Helping Manage Government- hand out government jobs Linking Different Levels of Government- mayors and governors Watchdog- the losing party will “watch” the party in power to check for any mistakes and wrongdoing

10 Voting and Elections Who can Vote? Voting is a responsibility
During early years, most voters were white and there were restrictions on AA, NA, women, must own property 15th A- AA males have right to vote; 19th A- Women have right to vote Criminals in prison do not have the right to vote To vote you must: be 18, a resident of the state, Citizen If you want to vote, you must register Democrat, Republican, unaffiliated Show proof of citizenship, address, age Assigned an election district (precinct)

11 Voting and Elections Steps in Voting
Election Day- Voters go to location where voting is carried outpolling place At the polls- study ballot and fill out form to be cross referenced Casting a Vote- hand your card to a “judge” and vote Punch card machine Lever machine Absentee Voting- citizens who can’t get to the polls to vote Counting the Vote- Take returns to election board to be counted Media likes to exit poll- ask voters who they voted for when they leave Everyone eligible to vote is an electoratemany are apathetic (do not care)


13 Voting and Elections Election Campaigns Types of Elections
General Elections: Voters choose candidates for office (pres, House, governor) Majority wins; loser can demand recount Voting on Issues Initiative: citizens propose new laws to be voted on by signing a petition Proposition: a proposed law Referendum: Sign a petition to have the law voted on again Special Elections: Runoff elections; Recall vote to remove a public official from office

14 Voting and Elections Presidential Elections 3 major steps Nomination
Conventions are held to nominate 1 candidate from each party Delegates attend to represent the opinions from each state Campaign In full swing by September- debate, make speeches The Vote and Electoral College Each state’s electors is pledged to a candidate, who ever wins the popular vote usually wins all of the state’s electoral votes Winner Take All System Whoever wins a majority of the 538 electoral votes, wins

15 Voting and Elections Paying for Election Campaigns
It takes a lot of money to run a campaign Purpose: convince public to vote for a particular candidate Campaign workers use techniques to sway opinion Canvassing: Door-to-door Endorsements: Famous or popular person supports a campaign (propaganda) Advertising and Image Molding Financing a Campaign Until the 70s, much money came from large businesses and wealthy ppl Gov’t tries to limit this kind of financing- Finance reform You must tell what you are spending money on Accept federal funds for campaigns Limit how much individuals and companies can donate



18 Voting and Elections Public VS Private Funding
Public: 1971 law says you can donate money when doing tax returns Private: Where most campaign money comes from Business, labor unions, NRA, AMA Politicians must sneak to earn more Soft Money: Money given to political party, not candidate Political Action Committees (PACS): Organizations designed to support candidates created by companies and unions Many say wealthy donators “buy” a candidate

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