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Chapter 5. Section 1 A political party can be defined as a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 5. Section 1 A political party can be defined as a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 5

2 Section 1 A political party can be defined as a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office. This is a rather broad definition, but it is the one that bests fits the two major political parties in the United States. The Republican and Democratic parties in the United States are not primarily principle oriented or issue oriented, they are ELECTION ORIENTED. A coalition is a union of many persons of diverse interest-who have joined together to try to get candidates elected to public office.

3 Political parties are essential to a democratic government: 1.) They serve as a link between those who govern and the governed 2.) they work to blunt conflict 3.) they help to unify the people The major functions of political parties in American government: 1. Nominating function-the major function of political parties is nominating candidates for political office. 2. The Informer-Stimulator function-Parties inform the people and stimulate their interest and participation in public affairs. Other groups also perform this function: mass media and interest groups

4 3. Seal of Approval-a party grants a seal of approval to its candidate. The parties try to find candidates of good character. 4. Government function-government in the US is government by party. 5. Watchdog function-parties act as a watchdog over the public’s business. This is especially true of the party out of power. Section 2 Minor party-definition-one of the less widely supported parties in the political system

5 The United States has a 2 party system-in a typical election, only the Democrats or Republicans have a realistic chance of winning. 4 reasons/factors contributing to the 2 party system in the United States: 1. historical basis-the framers of the Constitution were opposed to political parties, however, the ratification of the Constitution gave birth to the first political parties: the federalist and the anti- federalist 2. Tradition-once established, human institutions are likely to become self-perpetuating.

6 3. Electoral System-promotes the existence of a two- party system. Nearly all of the elections held in this country: 1.)are single district elections, which means 2.) only one candidate from the district is elected, which means 3.) they are winner take all elections. Plurality-the person receiving the largest number of votes cast for that particular office-Plurality does NOT have to be a majority. Majority means receiving more than half the votes cast. 4.) American Ideological Consensus-The United States is a Pluralistic Society-one consisting of several distinct cultures and groups. But, there is still a broad Consensus (general agreement among various groups on fundamental issues.)

7 Multiparty systems-a system in which several major and many lesser parties exist. An example, most European countries. 1One Party systems-in nearly all dictatorships today, there is only one political party-which can be compared to a “no party system.” Membership in certain political parties is voluntary, there are several factors that influence the party people join: 1.) family is the most important reason people connect to a political party.

8 2.)major events-for example, the Civil War, and the Great Depression have been the most significant in US History. 3.) Economic status-those with higher incomes are more likely to associate with the Republican party. The nickname for the Republican Party is the GOP, which stands for Grand Old Party. 4.) Age, place of residence, level of education and work environment.

9 In recent years, African Americans, Catholics, Jews and Union members have voted along Democratic party lines. White males, Protestants, and the business community have been more inclined to support the Republicans. Section 3 The beginnings of the American two party system can be traced back to the ratification of the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton-Federalist and Thomas Jefferson-Anti-Federalist.

10 The history of the American Party system can be divided into 4 periods: 1. Era of the Democrats, 1800-1860 2. Era of the Republicans, 1860-1932 3. Return of the Democrats, 1932-1968 4. New era, 1968-Present-The years since 1968 have been marked by a divided government, with one party controlling the Presidency while the other controls the Congress. Electorate-people that are eligible to vote.

11 Section 4-Minor Parties There are 4 distinct types of minor political parties: 1. ideological-those based on a particular set of beliefs, a comprehensive view of social, economic, and political matters. examples: Communist and Socialist parties 2. single issue-concentrate on a single public policy matter. examples: Free Soil(opposed the spread of slavery), Right to Life(oppose abortions) Most single issue parties fade into history as their issues fade.***

12 3. economic protest parties-these are rooted in times of economic discontent. 4. splinter parties-those which have split away from one of the major political parties. examples: Bull Moose -Theodore Roosevelt, Independent- Ross Perot A strong third party candidate can play a “spoiler” role in an election-it can deny one of the major parties a majority and cost them an election. An example-Ralph Nader in the election of 2000, Bush/Gore/Nader Section 5 The President is the automatic leader of the political party in power.

13 The 3 major elements of the 2 major political parties: 1. party organization 2. party’s loyal voters 3. party’s office holders Precinct-the smallest unit of the election administration. Ward-a unit into which cities are often divided for the election of city council members. Split ticket voting-voting for candidates of both parties for different offices on the same ballot. Political Action Committees-PACS-raise and distribute money to candidates who will further their goals.

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