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Transcript of Political Parties
What is a political party?
a group of people who try to control government by winning elections and holding public office.
The 3 elements of a political party
1. The Party Organization
3. The Party in the Electorate
2. The Party in Government
express the will of the people
What do parties do?
—find, recruit, prepare, and gather public support for qualified political candidates.
the public and try to
shape public opinion
Roles of Parties
How do political parties perform the duty of watchdog?
Broad ideological consensus
Favors extreme change to create an altered and entirely new social system.
Government must take action to change economic, political, and ideological policies thought to be unfair.
Holds beliefs that fall between liberal and conservative views, usually including some of each.
Seeks to keep in place the economic, political, and social structures of society.
favors extreme change to restore society to an earlier, more conservative state.
One Party System
Origin & History of Political Parties
The Nation's First Parties
Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist
Era of Democrats (1800-1860)
Democrats vs. Whigs
Wanted a limited national government.
The first time two parties fought for the presidency (
13 of 15 elections
Voting rights for ALL white males
Increase in the number of political offices.
South & West
Era of Republicans
14 of 18 elections
Era of Divided Government
The Republicans won 7 out of 10 presidential elections from 1968 to 2004.
The Democrats controlled Congress for most of this period.*
This division of power meant that neither party could easily control the agenda of the government without making compromises.
In recent years, control of Congress, particularly the Senate, has shifted back and forth between the major parties.
This has led to a coattail effect.
*waving the bloody shirt
based on a particular set of beliefs that usually involve society, politics, and the economy.
Single issue parties
emphasize one public policy issue.
Free Soil Party
opposed the spread of slavery to the West.
Most single issue parties fade away when their issue is resolved or no longer attracts public interest.
Economic Protest Parties
arise in periods of economic trouble.
They call for economic reforms.
split away from one of the major parties.
The Dixiecrat and American Independent parties split from the Democratic Party over states’ rights and civil rights issues.
The Progressive parties of Theodore Roosevelt and Robert La Follette split from the Republican Party.
The Bull Moose Party
George C. Wallace, governor of Alabama campaigned for President in 1968 as a member of the American Independent Party.
Minor Party Influence
Minor parties can also play a spoiler role.
By winning electoral votes or even enough popular votes to affect the outcome in a key state, a minor party can affect the outcome of an election.
Raising Public Awareness
The most important role of minor parties is to raise public awareness of controversial issues.
Women’s suffrage, income tax, and regulation of banking and railroads were all first championed by minor parties.
Minor parties challenge the major parties to take action on issues, often accusing them of being part of the problem.
The more successful minor parties’ efforts are to raise awareness of an issue, the more likely it is that major parties will put the idea into their own campaign platforms.
Neither party has an unbroken chain of command running through all levels of government.
This means that the party of the President is typically better organized than its rival party.
The President’s media exposure and power to make appointments is valuable, but does not give him or her complete authority over all party activities.
The President is the nominal leader of his or her party.
The Nominating Process
The nominating process can lead to competition within the parties.
Nominations are made
within the party and can divide party members if there is a dispute ove
The National Convention
What happens at each party’s national convention?
The national convention is held every presidential election year.
So when is that?
The convention names the party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates, adopts the party’s rules, and writes the official party platform.
The national committee handles party issues in between conventions.
Each party’s national committee includes a committee member from each state.
The national chairperson leads the national committee.
The chairperson is chosen after the national convention by the presidential nominee.
Each party also has a campaign committee for each house of Congress.
These committees work to get party members elected or reelected to Congress.
Both parties spend a great deal of effort to make sure the party’s officeholders stay in power.
State Party Organization
Local Party Organization
Local party structure varies a great deal.
In some places local party organizations are active year-round, but usually they focus their efforts on the few months before an election.
State law largely determines party organization at the state level.
Most states have a central party committee headed by a chairperson.
great deal of independence in conducting party affairs.
Committee members are chosen by a variety of methods: primaries, caucuses, or state conventions.
These officials try to promote party unity, find candidates, and raise funds.
What does the chart show about spending over the last several years?
Why might well-known party members be invited to speak at dinners?
1. The Party Organization
2. The Party In Government
3. The Party in the Electorate
Anti-tax party;strongly pro-life; pro-school prayer; opposes gun control, immigration,free trade, UN, gay rights.
Promotes Communist ideology;seeks complete restructuring of American political and economic institutions.
America First Party
Splinter from the Reform Party; promotes Christian beliefs and originalist interpretation of the Constitution; opposes immigration, free trade, UN.
Green Party of the U.S.
Committed to"environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice, and grass-roots damocracy."
Socialist Labor Party
Marxist party; seeks "a classless society based on collectivist ownership of industries and social services.'
Socialist Party USA
Staunchly anti-Communist; advocates democratic socialism;seeks "a non-racist, classless, feminist, socialist society."
Single Issue Party
8 Minor Political Parties
Single Issue Party
Formed by Ross Perot; advocates trade agreements to protect American jobs, balanced budget, tax and electoral reforms, term limits.
Stands for individual liberty; opposes taxes, foreign involvements, government intrusion into private lives.
Does Emotion Trump
What's Up With The Logos?
Party Identity: Past and Present
Cartoonist Thomas Nast has been credited with creating the party symbols.
1. Directs the work of the party headquarters
2. Works on the presidential campaign.
3. Builds party unity, raising money, and recruiting new voters for the next election.
leaders and activists
encourage accountability among their candidates
Key role in governing at all levels
Shapes electoral process
Provide communication between branches of government
How do they perform this function?
party watches the party in
to make sure they do not abuse their power
What's a Federalist?
Favored strong central government. Mostly rich "well-born" guys
Yeah but what about the common man?
- strong support of the party and its policies