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Political Parties

A presentation about political parties in the United States. It matches the Virginia SOL standards and the Fairfax County POS. There are handouts that go along with the Prezi. You can email me for them.

Adam Schechter

on 14 March 2016

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Transcript of Political Parties

Political Parties
What are political parties?
A group of people who have similar ideas about how government should run

Political parties play a key role in government.
There are 2 major poltical parties:
Democrats and Republicans
Functions of Political Parties
Recruiting and Nominating candidates
Educating the electorate about campaign issues
Helping candidates win elections
Monitoring the actions of officeholders
Political parties find people
to run for public office
Political parties have resources such
as money, volunteers, and materials
to help candidates.
Political parties watch what
their opponents do so they can make
their own party look good.
Political parties tell voters
why they have the best
What are the differences between political parties?
The ideas of a political party
Typically they are a list of what actions
a political party would take if elected into power.
Platforms or ideas is the major difference between parties!
What is a Platform?
Democrats believe that the power of government can be used to help people. This is especially true of programs to help the poor and the less fortunate. They are politically "liberal."
Republicans think that government should be small. They believe if there is less government, there will be more opportunities for people to help themselves. They are politically "conservative."
How are Political Parties Similar?
Organize to win elections
Or: they help their candidates win
Influence public policy
Public Policy: What the government does to solve problems
Reflect both liberal and conservative views
Each party has some ideas that are "liberal" and "conservative"
Define themselves in a way that wins majority support by appealing to the political center. This means they want their views to match the most people
The Political Spectrum
Political spectrum: a visual representation (diagram) of political opinions. The further from the center you are, the stronger your ideas are.
Most voters are here on the spectrum
Third Parties
Smaller political parties that don't fit into the two major parties
Introduce new ideas or press for a particular issue
Often revolve around a political personality
Rarely win, but draw votes from the other political parties
Full transcript