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The Political Spectrum

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1 The Political Spectrum

2 Radicals Man are by nature, good and cooperative.
Focused on the idea of the perfect society. Government can become corrupt and should never infringe on the rights of individuals Concerned with equality Willing to resort to violence or breaking the law to achieve goals

3 Liberals Part of our system
Capitalism is best but needs some reforms Human rights over property right Government should help those who cannot Reform should take moderate means Need a large federal government Belief in Free speech All rights for all people should be protected Need government regulations “Left Wing”

4 Moderates Made up of both Republicans and Democrats
More concerned about compromise Tend to agree with issues of both liberals and Conservatives Tend to find Political candidates from this area Can be criticized for not doing enough at times

5 Conservative Part of our system
Society represents accumulated wisdom and presents a proven formula Status Quo Legitimate authority is needed Oppose strong central government Favors state rights Good of majority over the minority Favors cutting government programs Should protect economic interests “Right Wing”

6 Reactionary Fascism The ideas of the past are the correct ones which we should restore today. Communism is a direct threat to our society Willing to use any means necessary to achieve goals – violence or breaking laws


8 The One-Party system: Truly a no party system. Ex. China
Exists in most dictatorships. The government is simply an instrument of the party Truly a no party system. Ex. China

9 So many parties, so little time.
Multi-Party System: Many parties based on religion, economic class, sectional attachment, or political ideology. Unstable Coalitions must be formed. ex. Germany (MOST European democracies)

10 The two-party system: Two dominant political parties control most elections. Minor parties, if they exist get little or no portion of the electorate.

11 Why is there 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.

12 What do Parties Do? Nominate—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.

13 Philosophy Democrats Republicans Liberal
Promote policies that represent new approaches. Republicans Conservative Cautious about change.

14 Party Tendencies Republicans Democrats Urban rural
Change can only make things better. No success in the status-quo. Government can remedy problems Regulation makes sure things are fair. Taxes pay for public needs: schools, fire/police, social programs Focus on Public Republicans rural Don’t fix what isn’t broken. State power over federal Small federal govt. Less regulation on business Lower taxes = prosperity Focus on Private

15 Questions to consider…
Who is the barber? Why do the perceptions of the mom and dad differ? Do these perceptions match today’s reality?


17 How do you think this may be different than 2004?
What about this election in 2008?


19 2004

20 2008

21 The Reality is not so black and white… or red and blue!


23 What is a Political Platform?
States the main ideas of the party Explains why it was started, stance on main issues and current agenda

24 The Gerrymander
Census-Population Growth or Decline Redraw districts State Congress creates blue or red advantage

25 Party Types Factional (splinter) Parties Ideological Parties
Bull Moose, Reform Ideological Parties Libertarian, Communist Single-Issue Free Soil, Prohibition Toga Parties Power Parties Democrats, Republicans

26 Minor Parties in the United States

27 Why are Minor Parties important?
Minor parties play several important roles: “Spoiler Role” Critic Innovator

28 The Three Components of the Party
Party Components The Party Organization: Those who run and control the party machinery. The Party in the Electorate Those who always or almost always vote for party candidates. The Party in Government Those who hold office in the government.

29 More on the Future… For candidates:
Structural changes have increased conflict and disorganization within parties Changes in the technology of campaigning, especially the use of television and the Internet, have made candidates more independent of the party organization The growth of single-issue organizations provides candidates with another source of financial support

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