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Political Parties A political party is a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and holding public office. #########Test.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Parties A political party is a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and holding public office. #########Test."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Parties A political party is a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and holding public office. #########Test Question Today the Democrats and the Republicans (G.O.P) are the two major parties ######

2 Political Party Functions
Nominating Candidates – parties select candidates and present them to voters as options Informing and Activating Supporters – parties must inform the public and encourage their participation in government The Bonding Agent Function – ensure the good performance of its candidates and officeholders Governing – most government business is based on partisanship. Most decisions made by political officeholders is based around how they think their party would want them to vote. Acting as Watchdog – parties act as watchdogs over the conduct of the public’s business.#### The party out of power, will often criticize the role of the party in power (the party that holds the most governmental positions

3 The Two-Party System A political system dominated by two major parties. Reasons for U.S. two-party system #### History – once Washington left office, government officials divided themselves between those that supported Hamilton (Federalists) and those that supported Jefferson (Anti-Federalists

4 Reasons for Two-Party System (cont.)
The Force of Tradition – we have two major parties because that is the way it has always been done. Humans do not like change. The Electoral System – The winner-take-all system of elections in the U.S. encourages only two parties to guarantee one side gets a majority of the votes. The American Ideological Consensus – over time, the American people have shared many of the same ideals, principles, and patterns of belief.

5 Single-Member Districts (SMDs)
A single member district is an electoral district from which one person is chosen by the voters for each elected office. SMDs discourage minor parties because only one winner can come out of each contest. You can either vote for the party in power, or for the party with the best chance of replacing the party in power. Some believe a vote for another minor party is a wasted vote.

6 African-Americans Catholics Jews Union Members
DEMOCRATS African-Americans Catholics Jews Union Members

7 White males Protestants Business owners
REPUBLICANS White males Protestants Business owners

8 Party Membership Patterns
Factors that can influence party membership:

9 Two-Party System in American History
The first two real political parties were the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. ###### Federalists – founded by Alexander Hamilton, party of the “rich and well-born.” Democratic-Republicans – founded by Thomas Jefferson, more sympathetic to the “common man”

10 Four Major Party Eras The Era of the Democrats, – Democratic domination until the Civil War, mostly due to disorganization by the opposition. The Era of the Republicans, – The election of Abe Lincoln marked the beginning of 70+ years of GOP dominance. The Return of the Democrats, – the Great Depression helped the Democrats regain control Divided Government, 1968-present – neither party can consistently hold the presidency, Congress is often controlled by the opposing party.

11 Minor Parties The Libertarian Party ##### Prohibition Party ######
Stresses individual liberty, opposes taxes, foreign involvements, government intrusion into private lives Prohibition Party ###### Advocates a nationwide ban on alcohol Constitution Party Advocates “free pursuance of happiness, not the regulation of it.” Communist Party USA Terms itself, “the Party of the American Working Class.” Looks forward to the restructuring of the American political and economic systems. Green Party ##### Promotes environmental concerns with the slogan “We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it for our children.”

12 The Minor Parties Types of “Third” Parties
Ideological parties – based on a particular set of beliefs (Communist party) ### Single-issue parties – concentrate only on one public-policy matter (Prohibition Party, Green Party) ### Economic protest parties – found in poor economic times, dissatisfied with current conditions and demanding better times(Occupy Wall Street) Splinter parties – parties that have split away from one of the major parties (Bull Moose party, Dixiecrats) ####

13 Roles of Third Parties ####
Spoiler role – even if they don’t win the election, they can pull enough votes away from one side to sway the election. Critic – unlike the major parties, minor parties are ready, willing, and able to take clear-cut stands on controversial issues. They draw attention to issues, major-parties are trying to avoid Innovator – Some of the most important issues have been brought up by minor parties, but stolen by major parties when the proposal gain a real share of public support.

14 Party Organization Party organization tend to be decentralized, meaning they have no chain of command from the top to the bottom, because: The role of the presidency – the president is obviously his party’s leader, the opposition party has no clear leader. The impact of federalism – there are more than half a million elected offices in the US, it is hard for one group to make all the decisions The role of the nominating process – the nominating process is often a divisive one.

15 National Party Machinery
4 elements of both major parties The National Convention – party’s national voice. Nominates candidates for president, adopts party rules, and writes the party platform The National Committee – between conventions, the party’s affairs are handled by the national committee National Chairperson – leader of the national committee, directs the work of the party’s headquarters, and its small staff in Washington Congressional Campaign Committee – each party has one for each house in Congress. Works to reelect incumbents and ensure members of their party take open seats.

16 State and Local Machinery
Although national party organization are largely the product of custom and of the rules adopted by the national conventions, state and local levels are set by State law. At the State level, party machinery is built around a State central committee, headed by a State chairperson Local party structures vary widely from place to place. Local units include congressional and legislative districts, counties, cities and towns, wards and precincts.

17 3 Components of the Party
The party organization – leaders and activists who control the party machinery The party in the electorate – the party’s loyalists who vote for the party in elections The party in government – party’s officeholders at all levels of government

18 Why Have Parties Weakened?
Most voters in the United States do not identify themselves with one party or the other. There has been a large increase in split-ticket voting, or voting for candidates of different parties Parties are less organized and have greater internal conflict. This conflict results from primary elections Changes in technology have made the media more important than the party in the spread of information The growth in number and impact of single-issue organizations

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