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Transcript of Political Parties
Types of Party Systems:
Parties are the main means by which the will of the people is made known to the gov'ts
--2 major parties hold all the power, 3rd parties exist but do not play a role, most common: US
modify extreme views and provides stability
number of candidates and parties to choose from
--provides more choice & represents diversity, but less stability, 3 or more parties holding office, no party has control so must work together, i.e. Australia (7), Denmark (11)
--single party, no opposition or choice, i.e. China
History of Political Parties in the U.S.
Political Spectrum: Where Do the Parties Stand?
Radical--favors extreme change to create an altered or entirely new social system
Liberal (Democrat)--believes government must take action to change economic, political , and ideological policies thought to be unfair
Moderate--Holds beliefs that fall between liberal and conservative views, usually including some of each
Conservative (Republican)--seeks to keep in place the economic, political, and social structures of society
Reactionary--favors extreme change to restore society to an earlier, more conservative state of affairs
Influence of Political Parties on Policy
pol. parties do not pass policies, impact the way policy is shaped
organize people--put pressure on legislators
bring officials on local, state, national level together to achieve common goals
support candidate's platforms and make sure elected officials follow through on supporting the party's platform
What is a political party?
What is one of the functions of a political party?
Why do political parties exist?
What is something you strongly believe in? Write about your belief and why you feel so strongly about it.
(For example, treating others with respect, having no regrets, etc...)
Political Parties: Brainstorm
Write Democrat and Republican on your index card.
Under Democrat and Republican brainstorm and write words and/or phrases you associate with each party.
a group of individuals outside of government that organizes to win elections, to operate government, and to determine policy
Political Parties form:
2 political parties formed after our nation began
difference between the 2 parties today is their beliefs about how much the government should be involved in Americans' lives
2 party system:
Today in the US we have a 2 party system
means 2 parties---the Democrats and the Republicans---dominate national politics
help to promote or advance ideas that were at 1st hotly debated or unpopular
single-issue: form to promote a social, economic, or moral issue (i.e. Prohibitionist party)
Ideological party: support a particular philosophy or political doctrine (i.e. Socialist Labor Party and Communist Party USA)
Ideology (set of beliefs about human nature and gov't institutions)
Third parties, continued...
Independent candidates--form around leaders who cannot get support from one of the 2 parties (i.e. Ralph Nader)
**Overall 3rd parties rarely win major elections due to the tradition of the 2 party system, fund raising, needing more signatures to get on the ballot.
What political parties do:
inform the public
coordinate policy making
balance competing interests
act as a watchdog over government
serve as a link between levels of government
Organization of political parties:
each party has a national committee (representatives from each state)
help to raise $$ for presidential elections/conventions
National convention--held once in 4 years, where party members nominate their candidates for pres. and vice pres.
choose delegates from primary elections and caucuses (meetings)
How parties differ:
each party has a
--a series of statements expressing the party's principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues
each individual part of the platform is called a
Read the handout on democrats and republicans.
On your paper, write down some of the things each party believes in (their platform).
You should write 3-5 bullet points for each topic.
Be prepared to share with the class.
Democratic National Convention:
State and Local Organization:
"I believe that it is a woman's right to decide for herself whether or not she should have an abortion. The government should not be able to tell a woman or anyone, how to behave in their private lives."
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not?
High college tuition denies many students the opportunity to go to the schools they wish to attend after high school. Do you think college should be free?
Write your arguments in support of or against this statement.
Should gay couples be allowed to get married and receive spousal benefits from states and the federal government?
Why or why not?
state committees focus on electing party candidates to state offices (i.e. governor)
each city or county is divided into election districts or precinct--a geographic area that contains a specific number of voters
Precincts combined=ward=larger election unit
political parties nominate candidates for public office
Direct primary--election in which voters choose candidates to represent each party in a general election
closed primary--only declared members of a party are allowed to vote for the party's nominees
open primary: voters don't need to declare their party preference to vote for a nominee
In general, do you believe we have enough laws relating to the control of handguns or do we need more laws? Why or why not?
Do you think health care plans that cover prescriptions should be required to pay for the cost of prescription birth control? Why or why not?