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Comparison between American and French political parties

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Margaux Msr

on 4 January 2014

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Transcript of Comparison between American and French political parties

Comparison between American and French political parties
The roles of political parties in France
The different political parties in France
- 21 political parties
- Represent the beliefs of French citizens
- Before -> 2 major parties (UMP vs PS)
- Plethora of parties not like in US

What is a political party ?
- organized group with ideas and political positions
- specific name and symbols (democrats -> donkeys)
- run for the government
- Universal suffrage allowed their development

- Political parties often have a bad image in public opinion (don't fulfill their promises) -> high rate of abstention
-But they still play a major role
- The essential role -> participate in the political life

- The intermediaries between the people and the government
- Have a leadership role: exercise of power in order to implement the policy announced
- Function to selecting candidates and political elites
Creation of political parties in France
- The first political party was created in 1901 -> Radical Party (Left-wing)
- The Right party takes longer to be formed
- In 1984 the political parties were institutionalized with the Article 4 of the French constitution
- Political parties have the status of association (1901 laws)

1. Creation of political parties
2. The roles of the parties
3. The several parties in France
The Socialist party
- Left Party
- It is the successor of the SFIO, the 1st party in France
- In 1971 the SFIO became the PS
- They support equality, democracy, humanism, feminism
- Currently the Socialist party is on the government with the president F. Hollande
Union for the Popular Movement
- Right-wing party
- The successor of the RPF created in 1947
- UMP established after the presidential elections of 2002
- Gaullist movement
- Liberal movement
- Always supported the construction of the European Union

The FN
The Front National
- Created by JM Le Pen in 1972
- Far right party
- Composed of very different groupuscules: nationalist, traditionalist Catholics, veterans but also collaborator
- The FN become more and more important
- The FN is primary concerned by insecurity and immigration
- According to a survey published the 06/11/13, the FN comes 1st of the vote in the next European election
The French Communist Party
- Far Right party
- Very important until the 80s when the Soviet Union was discredit
- Marxist Leninist approach
The Greens Europe Ecology
- The major political party of the environmental movement
- Created in 2010 by the merger of the Greens and the Europe Ecology
- They support the respect of the environment and are against the nuclear program
The Radical Left Party


The New Centre

The Left Party
The United-States of America
Roles of French political parties
- Two-thirds of Americans are devised between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party
- There are dozens of small parties but only two dominate American politic -> Two-Major parties system
- When the United States was founded, the Constitution didn't give role to political parties
- The right to vote was only given to an elite of men who were owners of land
- When people getting the right to vote political parties became necessary to mobilize voters

Political parties's structure
The role of American political parties
- Recruitment of candidates (with good knowledge of the issues, deep ties to the community and the ability to raise money)
- Raising money. During the period of election, parties raise hundreds millions of dollars. Republicans had consistently outpaced the Democrats
- Campaign support: opposition research (to discredit their competitors), phone banking, voter lists
- Government organization: party members in the legislative branch select the leadership, introduce legislation and confirm executive branch appointments
- Advocacy of political issues: define the issues and recommend a position

- Democratic and Republican parties dominate the political life since the American Civil War
- These parties have won every presidential election since 1852 and have controlled the United States Congress since 1856
- However third parties appeared but they achieve a minor representation at national and state levels

The Democratic Party
- Before becoming the current Democratic Party it was the Democratic Republican Party created by Thomas Jefferson against the Federalist Party of George Washington
-Democrats Republicans are close to the values of the French Revolution (the party doesn't want a financial elite)
- The Democratic Republican party split in 1825 and the Democratic party was created
- Democrats support a progressive income tax, US army out of Iraq, gay rights and healthy care reform
- Barack Obama, the current president, is a democrat

The Republican Party
- Also called the GOP (Grand Old Party)
- It was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party
- Nowadays the party is defined as right-wing and conservative
- It promotes individual responsibility, entrepreneurialism, 2nd amendment, the death penalty, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

The minor US parties



None of them have a seat on the House of the Representatives
The National Assembly since 2012
The comparison between the two countries
- System of funding of political parties running for the government is different (private donation, government donation)

- French and American political parties have different roles in the political life (opposition research)

- France -> diversity of parties Us -> Two-Major party

Do you have any questions ?
Blue: Democrats 200 seats
Red: Republicans 232 seats
White: Vacant 3 seats
Full transcript