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Chapter 7 - Political Parties Outgrowths of the Electoral Process Political parties, like interest groups, are organizations seeking to influence government.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 - Political Parties Outgrowths of the Electoral Process Political parties, like interest groups, are organizations seeking to influence government."— Presentation transcript:


2 Chapter 7 - Political Parties

3 Outgrowths of the Electoral Process Political parties, like interest groups, are organizations seeking to influence government. A party attempts to gain control by electing its members to office. Parties developed as a result of the expansion of suffrage. Contemporary parties have weakened and have less control.

4 Outgrowths of the Policymaking Process Parties are also essential elements of the process of making public policy. Parties are coalitions of individuals sharing common goals and objectives. Parties facilitate victory through organization.

5 People who feel attached to one of two major parties.

6 The Two-Party System in America Historical Origins Electoral Alignments and Realignments American Third Parties

7 Historical Origins The Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans were the first American parties. –Federalists from New England –Jeffersonians from the South The Jeffersonian Republicans would evolve into the Democratic Party in the late 1820s. –Controlled government 1824 - 1860 and from 1932 - 1968 The Republican Party grew out of the antislavery movement in the 1850s. –Controlled government 1860 - 1932


9 Electoral Alignments and Realignments An electoral realignment occurs when a new party supplants the ruling party. Realignments occur roughly every thirty years. Five have occurred over the years Caused by new issues or new voters Realignment versus dealignment theories


11 Parties On Ballot in 2000 Green Party (2,041,572) Libertarian Party (301,511) Constitution Party (81,715) Grass Roots Party (778) Independent Party (2098) National Labor Party (78,361) Other Party (15) Prohibition Party (185) Reform Party (365,826) Socialist Party (3,823) Socialist Workers Party (19,668) Workers World Party (94,245) None of the Above (2,919)

12 American Third Parties Types –issue-oriented: slavery, suffrage, environment –ideological: libertarian, socialist workers –splinter: Bull Moose, American Independence, Reform Third parties have played an important role in American politics. –George Wallace in 1968 –Ross Perot in 1992 The ideas of the third party may be adopted by one of the major parties.

13 American Third Parties Third-party success in the United States is limited by — the electoral system single-member district winner take all, pluralistic system; — socialization; — belief that voting for third party is a wasted vote.

14 Components of Political Parties Party in the Electorate Functional Organization Party in Government

15 Party Identification Individuals tend to identify with one of the two major parties. Identification with a particular party is based on the shared views and interests of the individual and the party.


17 Group Affiliations The parties represent coalitions of groups, which include –race and ethnicity, –gender, –religion (Jews, Catholics, Protestants), –class (income), –age, –ideology, –geographic region


19 Party Organization Structure of Organization National Convention National Committee Congressional Campaign Committees State and Local Party Organizations


21 National Convention The National convention is a chance to showcase the unity of the party. Presidential candidate is nominated, party platform is drafted, and party rules are enacted.

22 National Committee DNC and RNC Raise campaign funds, Manage the party’s image, Head off factional disputes.

23 Congressional Campaign Committees Raise money for congressional races.

24 State and Local Party Organizations Each party maintains a presence at the state and local level. Traditionally, there has been very little coordination between the national and state levels.

25 Parties and Elections Recruiting Candidates Nominations Campaigns and High-Tech Politics From Labor-Intensive to Capital- Intensive Politics

26 Recruiting Candidates Traditionally, parties actively recruited candidates for office. Over the last few decades, candidates have been self-selected.

27 Nominations The parties still control the process for the nomination of candidates. The primary has weakened the control over which a candidate is nominated.

28 From Labor-Intensive to Capital Intensive Politics Money is now more important than ever. The mobilization of the party faithful is less necessary given the power of modern media.

29 Parties and Government Parties and Policy Parties in Congress President and Party

30 Parties and Policy Political parties must attempt to offer policy proposals that appeal to the greatest number of voters. As a result, the two major parties look and sound very similar. Differences remain.

31 Parties in Congress The leadership and committee structure of Congress is controlled by partisan politics. In 1994, the Republican Party won control of the House and Senate for the first time since the 1950s.

32 President and Party The president controls the policy agenda and is therefore an important office for the parties to control. Divided government weakens the power of the president.

33 Future of Parties National organizations were once all powerful good old boy groups Decreasing power in electoral politics Preference for divided government Increase in number of independent voter

34 Parties and Democracy Parties are deemed essential for the existence of democracy. Democracy is enhanced through strong and responsible parties. –Role of the opposition to maintain a moderate course –Ability to promote the vote –Encourage involvement –Convert participation into effective government

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