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Government - Unit Two
Transcript of Government - Unit Two
"Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it."
Members of the
Party in Government
Members in the voting electorate
What are Political parties?
(cc) image by rocketboom on Flickr
The Party organization
A group of people who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office
What do Political Parties do?
Major function --> what they were created to do
Select candidates, present them to voters
Have to pick our leaders somehow, is this the best way?
Informing and activating supporters
How do political parties activate support?
Bond=like posting bond
Political parties vouch for candidates
Partisanship & Cooperation
Changing the Constitution
Act as Watchdogs
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."
Why do we only have two parties?
One party system?
Why did we end up with a two party system?
History & Tradition
Homogeneous yet plural
Major differences are few and far between
Americans in general tend towards moderate
How we started out...
Framers thought TOO many factions were bad
Single member districts you win with a plurality
Major parties work to pass laws to continue system
"It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error, it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error" - US Supreme Court
"We must complain. Yes, blunt complaint, ceaseless agitation, unfailing exposure of dishonesty and wrong - this is the ancient, unerring way to liberty and we must follow it." W.E.B. DuBois
"The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open"
Why do Minor Parties form?
Based on a SET of beliefs
Comprehensive view of what we should do as a country
Libertarian Party, Communist Party
Single Issue Parties
...focus on one issue
Only last as long as the issue
Free Soil, Know-Nothing
Economic Protest Parties
Dont have any particular set of beliefs or view of what it SHOULD be, just dont like the way it IS
Populist party started off this way, evolved into an ideological party
Small groups that have broken away from one of the major parties --> usually form around a strong leader
Bull Moose from the Progressive Party
Tea Party from the Republicans
You could call it voting...
...you could use different words that mean voting...
...you know...just to be difficult...
the right to vote
Racial suffrage = 1869
Women's suffrage = 1919
Native American suffrage=1924
American citizenship has not always guaranteed suffrage.
Timeline of SUFFRAGE
The Constitution goes into effect
Today a man owns a jackass and is entitled to vote. Tomorrow he sells the jackass and is not entitled to vote. Now, in whom is the right of suffrage? In the man or the jackass?
Religious qualifications are all eliminated
Property requirements all eliminated
Civil War Amendments:
13th - ends slavery
14th - est. citizenship
15th - right to vote no matter race
Systematically DISFRANCHISE black voters
19th Amendment = Universal womens Suffrage
Wyoming started trend in 1869, by 1920 half of states allowed women to vote
19th guarantees all women the right to vote in all elections = universal suffrage
23rd Amendment = Suffrage for citizens living in D.C.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
24th Amendment = No poll tax
26th Amendment = 18 year old suffrage
Native American Suffrage
The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 declares all non-citizen Indians born within the United States to be citizens, giving them the right to vote.
The Constitution allows the states to set the requirements, as long as it conforms to the national Amendments
Who can vote?
WHAT ARE THE FIVE NATIONAL AMENDMENTS?
Sometimes those in the process of becoming citizens (Naturalization process) are allowed to vote --> western states
Usually a time period you must live in the state to be able to vote there
Prevents fraud and border hopping
Allows time to become familiar with local politics
Courts have banned long waiting periods --> conflicts with 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause
Who does this hurt?
Reason for the 26th?
Some states (Alaska and Hawaii) used to have the voting age above 18 to prevent students from voting in local school district elections
18-24 year olds are the least likely group to vote --> over 65 year olds are the MOST likely
"Vote early, vote often"
To vote you must register --> WHY?
Deadline varies by state --> First week in October before November of 2012 elections in MO
Motor Voter Act 1993
Should registering to vote in order to be able to vote be required?
Does registering have a negative impact on voting? --> does it discriminate?
Who CAN'T Vote?
Mentally incompetent, or in a mental institution
Convicted of a serious crime (usually felony)
Who DOESN'T Vote?
The word Idiot comes from the Greek Idiotes = citizens who did not vote
There are approximately 228 million people who qualify to vote - yet in the 2008 election only about 121 million showed up to the polls
People who DONT Vote
People who DO Vote
Factors that influence voting
WHY People Vote
CANNOT voters (resident aliens, ill or physically disabled, mentally disabled, Religious beliefs - idolatry)
Apathy (lack of efficacy)
Long term residents
Strong Party identification
Like voting - belief in voting (efficacy)
Good competition between parties
Income & Occupation
Candidates and Issues
(cc) photo by twicepix on Flickr
Religion, Ethnic Background
Family and Groups
Attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics
Approval Rating for the President
Who is going to win the 2012 elections
Politicians use public opinion polls to know if America supports their ideas.
Where do your Public Opinions come from?
First 2012 Campaign advertisement for President Obama
Michelle Bachman Campaign Ad
Rick Perry Negative Campaign Ad
Ron Paul Campaign Ad
Herman Cain 9-9-9 plan
School & Peer Groups
Chapter 7: The Electoral Process
A Quick Review of What we have done
Chapter 5: Political parties
Looked at why parties are formed, their history, and what they do today
Created political party, and candidate
Chapter 6: Voting Behavior
Looked at who can vote, why they vote (or dont vote...idiots...)
Created an advertisement to convince voters to vote for your candidate
Chapter 8: Mass Media and Public Opinion
Looked at how our political officials gather information to see if we agree or disagree with their policies
Created an opinion poll and gave it to the class
...We have looked at all the preparations...
...Now we look at the elections themselves....
HOW do we elect our officials in America?
Only ONE President
How do we choose?
(As of July 2011)
Getting your name on the ballot
Getting yourself elected
The Nomination Process
Seriously one of the most confusing things I will teach you
But don't worry, we will get through this together
Candidate nominates themselves
Usually for an independent party
A caucus is a group of like-minded people getting together to make a decision
Originally a closed meeting held by parties --> became unpopular very quickly
Seen as being a "behind closed doors decision"
Caucuses are now open to the public
Depending on the state either anyone can participate, or anyone in a political party
Began in the 1830s as an answer to the back room caucus system
All major party presidential candidates are selected this way
At the local precinct level local caucus' choose a candidate
So how do states choose these delegates?
...well not really, they choose a candidate that they want their states delegates to to vote for
PRIMARIES: Choosing Delegates to the Convention
Positives and Negatives of this process
Closed Primary plusses:
Primary election turnout is usually HALF of the general election
25 states have closed primaries
Only declared members of a party can participate in the primary
...except in some states where you dont have to be registered, but you can only vote for ONE party...
ANY registered voter can participate
17 states have this
TWO Ballots: Voters are allowed to vote for a candidate from EACH party.
...50 states means 50 ways of nominating a candidate...
...2 parties mean the process is doubled at each level....
Prevents "raiding" from other parties
Makes voters choose a party
Makes candidate more responsive to their party, rather than pandering to everyone
Closed Primary negatives:
Forces voters to declare for a party, compromises secrecy
Excludes independent voters (...except in states where it doesn't....)
Voters are not forced to declare party preference
Independent voters are not excluded
Get a certain number of voters to sign your petition and you can get your name on the ballot
The "primary season" usually begins in January of the election year for the Presidency, or a few months before a local election.
So now we have selected a candidate, and held conventions and nominated a candidate
NOW, we actually hold elections....
CONGRESS & The President
Time of Elections
Congressional elections are held the first Tuesday after the first Monday of even numbered years
Presidential elections are held on the same date every fourth year
Polling places have to be open 12 hours
Required the use of secret ballots - Australian ballot
1.) Provided at public expense
2.) Lists names of all candidates
3.) Given out only at polls, one for each qualified voter
4.) MARKED IN SECRET
Precincts are voting districts
Congress allows states to set the area of precincts
500-1000 people in a precinct - prevents crowding on election day - set by county clerk or election board
Help America Vote Act of 2002:
Update voting machines
- Better train election officials
- Computerize voter rolls
- Provide for provisional voting
November 8th, 2011 Kansas City Ballot
A group of people who hold strong opinions, and work to shape public policy (laws) to their benefit.
Result of DEMOCRACY and our PLURALISTIC society
What is the difference between a
POLITICAL PARTY and an INTEREST GROUP
Seek to control the government through winning elections - INTERESTED IN THE WHO
Concerned with a wide range of issues
Accountable to the public
Support candidates that support their issues
Seek to control the policies of government - INTERESTED IN THE WHAT
Concerned with ONE issues
Accountable to the members of their group
Our Founding Fathers HATED them...
...called them "factions" and said their conflicting beliefs would tear apart America...
GOOD things about Interest Groups
Make people thing about public affairs
Another form of representation for the people that agree with them
Can provide topic-specific information to the government to help them make decisions
Provide another way for people to participate
Is a check on government
Act as a check on each other
BAD things about Interest Groups
Push their interest - sometimes above the public good
Influence the gov't through moneyout of proportion to the number of people they represent
Can't be sure how many people they really represent
Can claim to speak for whoever they want, even if they don't...
Influence through money....which is a slippery slope...
So good or bad, interest groups exist and their MAIN purpose is to influence laws
So HOW do they try and influence laws?
Lobbying is the process by which interest groups attempt to affect the decisions and actions of public officials
Lobbyists try and persuade officials to do what their interest group wants them to do.
30,000 lobbyists in Washington D.C.
$2 billion a year
All lobbyists must register now
Lobbying Congress - testify before congress, make public speeches, draft legislation, make campaign contributions
Lobby at the committee level, with individual legislators, in both houses
Lobbying Executive Branch - many laws are written broadly, so lobbyists try and effect HOW the law is enforced
Lobbying Judicial Branch - lawsuits to overturn laws, AMICUS CURIAE briefs
Grassroots lobbying - motivating people at the local and state level
Give speeches, letters, phone calls, emails, petitions, solicit donations, stage protests, organize "get out the vote"
Shapes public opinion, encourages people to contact their elected officials - propaganda and electioneering
500,000 elected officials in this country, but we do not know how much money is spent on each election
$1 million on House seats
$20 million on Senate
$1 billion each on Presidency bids in 2008
Where does this money come from?
Wealthy individuals and friends
Candidates fund themselves
Political Action Committees (PACS)- fund raising arm of interest groups
SuperPACS (Citizens United)
Public funds from government
Regulating all that money
Federal Election Commission
....not enforced at all
Timely disclosure of campaign financials
place limits on campaign contributions
limits on expenses
provide public funding for several parts of presidential election process
Cant give $ in someone elses name, made to one campaign committee for each candidate, money over $200 must be tracked by donator, all contributions over $5000 must be reported to FEC
Individual - $2300 a year to a prmary, $2300 to a general election, $5000 to a PAC, $28,500 to a national party, $108,200 in an election cycle
PACS - some limits, but SuperPACs have NO limits.
SuperPACs don't have to report who gives them money, and can donate unlimitedly
Major parties automatically qualify for public money
3rd parties have to win 5% of the popular vote in the last election - only Ross Perot has ever even come close
Vote because something is at stake - job or salary
Section 1: Parties and What they Do
Members of the
Party in Government
Members in the voting electorate
The Party organization
Role of Presidency
Mirrors National structure
Structure usually set up around electoral districts (wards, precincts)
Most powerful, most contact
The Right to Vote
What do we call the GROUP of people who have the right to vote?
Section 6.2: Voter Qualifications
6.4 Voter Behavior
6.3 Suffrage & Civil Rights
Practice Outlining the Section
8.1: The Formation of Public Opinion
8.2: Measuring Public Opinion
8.2 Note-taking practice worksheet
8.3: The Mass Media
8.3 Note-taking practice worksheet
The majority of election law is at the STATE level...BUT there are SOME rules in the Constitution
Money & Elections
9.2: Types of Interest Groups
9.3: Interest Groups At Work
Economic Interest Groups
United States Brewers Association
National Association of Manufacturers
Trade associations: American Trucking Association; National Restaurant Association
Organization of workers who share the same type of job or work in the same industry
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Assoc. of Automotive, Aerospace, & Agricultural Workers
Less than 2% of people live on farms --> still a LOT of subsidies
American Farm Bureau Federation
National Farmers Union
Occupations that require extensive formal training, and often need to be licensed to do it
American Medical Association
American Bar Association
National Education Association
Other Interest Groups
Issue Oriented Groups
Promote one cause or idea
National Rifle Association
Brady Campaign Against Handgun Violence
Organizations for Specific Groups
Promote the welfare of certain groups of people
Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Council of Churches
National Catholic Welfare Council
American Jewish Congress
Public Interest Groups
Seek to increase the public good
League of Women Voters