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UNIT THREE Political Parties and Interest Groups.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIT THREE Political Parties and Interest Groups."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIT THREE Political Parties and Interest Groups

2 Development of American Political Parties Two Party System Political party- association of voters with common interest in the role of government America considered to have two party system (Democrat and Republicans)  Constitution says nothing about political parties  Came into existence after Washington left office (dispute over strong vs. weak national government)

3 Development of American Political Parties Democratic Party- came into existence 1828 under Andrew Jackson Republican Party- 1854 formed to oppose slavery, Lincoln first Republican president (1860) Third Parties- challenges main parties, rarely win major elections Two most influential in late 1800’s and early 1900’s Progressives, Populist parties

4 Development of American Political Parties Third Parties Single issue parties- promote social, economic, moral issues (not to win elections), fade away after issue is no longer important Ideological parties- focus on major changes in society (Communist, Libertarian, Green Parties) Independent Candidates- form around well known individuals Third parties rarely win elections problems with raising money, getting on ballot

5 Development of American Political Parties Two party system rare Most other countries have multi- party system One party rarely wins control of government, several parties often work together One party system, party and government are the same thing (Communist China) One party systems are not democratic

6 Development of American Political Parties Political parties link between citizens and elected officials, help make elections meaningful Democrats believe federal government should be more involved in regulating economy, education, etc. Republicans favor less government regulation Both try to appeal to as many voters as possible, avoid taking extreme positions How do parties differ? Platform- series of statements explaining positions, principle and beliefs on election issues Plank- each individual part of platform

7 Organization of American Political Parties National Party Organization  National Conventions  Each party has national committee  Representatives from every state, raise funds for elections, organize party’s national convention  Leader of committee national party chairperson  Committees create television, radio, internet ads, manage candidates’ websites  Main job of national committee, national convention every 4 years  Delegates from all states nominate candidates for president and vice president,  Delegates chosen through caucuses  Delegate’s first job write the party’s platform, second job nominate party’s presidential candidate  Democrat and Republican parties have House and Senate committees made up of members of Congress; to help elect and reelect party members

8 Organization of American Political Parties State and Local Organization  Both parties, have 50 state committees  Job is to focus on electing party candidates to state offices  Local party organizations consist of city and county committees  Each city or county is divided into precincts (specific area where people vote)  Precinct Captains  Each precinct has a captain (organize party volunteers and encourage voters to vote)  Several neighboring precincts make up a ward (members represent the ward at the county committee)

9 Organization of American Political Parties Political Machines Local party organizations that have become so powerful they win elections year after year Most famous late 1800’s in NYC Tammany Hall, most famous leader “Boss” Tweed Helped immigrants when they first came to America with social services in return for votes When political party is in power too long they become less responsive to citizens

10 Role of Political Parties Today Primary Elections Political parties select and offer candidates for public office; done through nomination Major parties nominate candidates through direct primaries (preliminary election determines who will represent the party in the main election)  Most states hold closed primary (only members of the party can vote)  A few states hold open primary (voters do not have to declare their party preference)

11 Role of Political Parties Today Primary Elections Closed primary keeps people from crossing party lines promote the weaker candidate Does not permit a truly secret ballot because voters declare party preference Most states award party’s nomination to the candidate who receives a plurality, (most votes among those running); other states require that the winner must have a majority No majority, state holds a runoff between the two top vote getters Candidates not affiliated with a political party can get on the ballot by petition

12 Role of Political Parties Today Other Party Roles 1. Campaigning for Candidates Raise money for campaigns, help candidates get across their ideas and views on public issues to voters “Get out the vote” drives 2. Informing Citizens Inform citizens through pamphlets, speeches, and ads

13 Role of Political Parties Today Other Party Roles 3. Help Manage Government Parties help the elected official hand out jobs to supporters 4. Linking the Different Levels of Government Parties help link local, state, and federal party officials 5. Act as a Watchdog The party that loses watches the actions of the party that won so that they can use their mistakes against them in the next election

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