What is a Political Party? Definition- – A group of people who seek to control the government through winning elections.
What do PARTIES do? 1)Nominate – or name, candidates for public office
What do PARTIES do? 2)Inform- the people and stimulate their interests and participation in public affairs
What do PARTIES do? 3)Approve- its candidates to ensure the good performance of its people by seeing that they are qualified and of good character.
What do PARTIES do? 4)Govern- conduct the business of government
What do PARTIES do? 5)Act as Watchdogs- over the conduct of the government, particularly criticizing the party in power.
The Two-Party System Definition- a system where only two parties have a reasonable chance of winning public office (democrats and republicans).
Why?- Historical basis: Parties grew out of the first political factions in this country; Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Tradition: most Americans accept the idea of a two-party system because there has always been one. Existence of the Electoral System: Our method of electing the President, the electoral system, and the rules therein supports this. http://www.duke.edu/web/poli/classes/proprep/withouttext.htm http://www.duke.edu/web/poli/classes/proprep/withouttext.htm American Ideological Consensus: Americans in general have a shared ideals, principles and patterns of belief.
The Two-Party System Other Systems- 1) Multi-Party: several major and many lesser parties exist Positives- may better represent needs and concerns of the people (some say Democrats and Republicans are not so different… remember Americans tend to share an ideological consensus!) Negatives- tends to lead to instability, difficult to win the support of a majority (a problem in a democracy)
The Minor Parties Definition: There are numerous, less politically reliable, parties in the U.S., other than Democrats and Republicans. These are called Minor or Third Parties.
Types: 1) Ideological- those based on a particular set of beliefs (ex.-Libertarian party emphasizes individualism). 2) Single-Issue- those concentrating on a single public policy matter (ex.-the Right to Life Party opposes abortion). 3) Economic Protest- those rooted in periods of economic discontent. 4) Splinter- those that have split away from one of the major parties.
DEMOCRATREPUBLICAN Income/Occupation Lower income / Lower Status Occupations & union workers Wealthy / Higher Status Occupations & members of the business community Education Less educationMore Education Gender/age Women / 18-30 year olds Men / 55 years+ Religion Jews and Catholics http://www.catholicdigest.com/article/the- elusive-catholic-voter Protestants Ethnicity BlackWhite Geography NortheastMidwest & increasingly the South Party Membership Patterns (These are tendencies… there are many who do not “follow these rules”!!!)
Other information about PARTIES… Strong adherence to a party, their beliefs, and/or candidates is called partisanship. When the two major parties work together on an issue, we call this cooperation bipartisanship. Despite their differences the two major parties share an ideological consensus, that is they share a general agreement on fundamental issues. Each of the parties writes out it’s formal stance on major issues. This is called the party’s platform. People who chose no party affiliation are called independents.