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Political Parties and Politics *The Two-Party System *Political Party- is an association of voters with broad, common interests who want to influence or.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Parties and Politics *The Two-Party System *Political Party- is an association of voters with broad, common interests who want to influence or."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Parties and Politics *The Two-Party System *Political Party- is an association of voters with broad, common interests who want to influence or control decision making in govt by electing the party’s candidates to public office. *The U.S. has had a two major political parties, or a two-party system, since 1860.

2 *Washington (no political party affiliation) *Jefferson and Hamilton disagreed strongly about how the government should operate. Hamilton wanted a strong national government and strong president. Jefferson wanted less power for the national government and more power for the state governments. = 2 first political parties stemmed out of these arguments. *Jefferson’s group was called the Democratic-Republican Party. In 1828, the party split, and the new leader Andrew Jackson (7 th President) aligned with the Democratic Party (today’s party; 1 st Democratic President). Jefferson’s party grew stronger. Hamilton’s group, the Federalist Party, faded away.

3 * The Whigs rose in 1830, and the Whigs and the Democrats remained the two major parties until the 1850s. *In 1854 breakaway Democrats and Whigs who opposed slavery formed the Republican Party (today’s party). The Whigs lost support. Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican president in 1860. Since then, Republicans and Democrats have been our two major parties.

4 Third Parties *Third Parties- a party that challenges the 2 major parties. No third parties have ever won the presidential election and rarely ever win other elections. They can affect the outcome of elections and influence govt and social policies. *Populist Party- (1890s) included both farmers and laborers. Called for direct elections of senators and an 8- hour workday. (17th amendment)

5 Progressive Party AKA the *Bull Moose party- split from the republican party in 1912, when T. Roosevelt, a former republican president, ran for president as a progressive. Roosevelt took so many votes away from the Republican Party candidate, Taft, that the democratic nominee, Wilson, won the election. In this way Roosevelt and his Progressive Party played a “spoiler” role in the election.

6 Single Issue Party Single-Issue Party Prohibitionist Party- 1872, wanted to ban the sale of alcohol. These parties did not last long and just had the goal of influencing people.

7 Ideological Parties Some third parties focus on changing society in major ways. *Socialist Party and the *Communist Party USA supported govt ownership of factories, transportation, resources, farmland, and other businesses. *The Libertarian Party- wants to cut the size of the US govt in order to increase individual freedoms. *The Green Party- opposes power of the corporations and favors decision making at the grassroots level.

8 Independent Candidates usually could not get support from one of the 2 major parties. Third party candidates must obtain a large number of voter’s signatures to be placed on the ballot.

9 Other Party Systems (other nations) 2 party systems are rare. Most democratic nations have multiparty systems. (3 or more parties.) Canada has 3 major parties, Germany has 5, and Israel has more than 20. In this type of system, one party rarely wins enough support to control the govt, so several parties often must work together. *One party systems- are where the party and the govt are nearly the same thing. People’s Republic of China- Communist Party. They can also exist in some non-communist nations. (Iran is dominated by religious leaders.)

10 Today’s Major Parties *Democrats- tend to believe that the federal govt should be more directly involved in regulating the economy and in providing housing, income, ed., and jobs for the poor. *Republicans- tend to believe that if they help the nation’s economy grow, poor people will have a better chance of finding jobs and meeting their needs on their own. They favor less govt regulation of the economy as the best way to promote the growth of production

11 *Platform- is a series of statements expressing the party’s principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues. What the party claims it will do if it wins. *Plank- is each individual party issue.

12 Organization of American Politics *National committee- each party has these, they are made up of representatives from every state. Helps raise funds for the presidential election and organize the national convention. *National party chairperson- runs the committee. Manage the office, directs the staff, and lead fund- raising. National committee has a key job of holding the national convention every 4 years. There the parties *delegates from all the states nominate candidates for president and VP. Delegates are chosen through a combination of presidential primary elections and *caucuses, or meetings of the state and local party organizations.

13 State and Local Organization Each county is divided into election districts or *precincts- a geographic area that contains a specific number of voters. Every precinct has a captain. Several adjoining precincts make up a larger election unit call a *ward. Both major parties have county committees. *County chairperson- runs the committee, often has a great deal of political power in the county.

14 Political Machines *Political machines- a strong party organization that can control political appointments and deliver the votes. Most famous was NYC- Tammany Hall- in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Lead by William Marcy “Boss” Tweed. He and his friends grew rich from bribes and kickbacks. Many ended up in prison. Political leaders are less accountable to the citizens when the leaders do not have to worry about getting reelected.

15 The Role of Political Parties Today *Nomination- process by which political parties select and offer candidates for public office. Primary Elections *Direct Primaries- is an election in which voters choose candidates to represent each party in a general election. 2 main forms: Closed and open Most states hold a *closed primary- an election in which only the declared members of a party are allowed to vote for that party’s nominees. *Open primary- voters do not need to declare their party preference in order to vote for the party’s nominees.

16 Voting for a Parties Nominee *Plurality- the most votes for those running for a political office. (only used in some states) Other states must have a majority. If no candidate has the majority, the party holds a *runoff primary- b/t the 2 top vote getters. The winner then becomes the party’s candidate in the general election. *Independent Candidates- can get on the ballot for the general election in most states by a *petition.

17 Other Party Roles Campaigning for candidates Informing citizens Helping manage the govt Linking the different levels of govt Acting as a *“watchdog” by the party that has lost.

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