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Political Parties explained...

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by

Shay Briggs-Sternaman

on 27 October 2016

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Transcript of Political Parties explained...

*Political parties and voting explained...
*What is a political party?
*What's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?
*Nothing. The truth is that there is really no difference between the people that claim to be Republicans and Democrats. However, there are a few things that they have different beliefs about:
Suffrage:
*Suffrage
is the right to vote. In this country, it has come at different times for different people.
*Requirements to vote in the U.S.
*1. Only U.S. citizens may vote.
*2. You must live in the area that you are voting in.
*3. You must be 18 to vote.
*4. Every state, except 1 (ND), requires that people register to vote. This is done to prevent fraudulent voting.

Banned Requirements:
a) Literacy tests (you had to prove you could read in order to vote).
b) Tax payments (property or poll taxes)
*So why don't people vote?!?
People don't vote for a number of reasons...

*A political party is a group of people who want to control government by winning elections.
*In our nation, we have
2 major political parties
:
*1) The Republicans (the elephant)
*2) The Democrats (the donkey)
*The political parties have a few purposes:
*a) They want to get as many people as possible to join their party (so they can win).
*b) They try to inform people of their stances on big issues (called the
informer-stimulant function
).
*c) They put their
"seal of approval"
on the candidate they choose at their National Conventions.
*d) They nominate people to office, in the hopes that the person wins the election and the office they were seeking (called the
nominating function
).
*Differences in
political party beliefs:
One of the ways that D's and R's are different is because of how they view things.
*On social issues R's tend to be
conservative
(someone who prefers for things to stay the same) and D's tend to be
liberal
(someone who prefers for things to change with the times).
*D's are often called more
progressive
, This means that they look for places in government that they can make change happen (LBGT rights, womens rights, BlackLivesMatter movement, etc.).
*R's would like to have as little government as possible (they want the government to not be involved in their lives).
*The
15th Amendment
gave all black men the right to vote (well, really it was any man of color), it was ratified in 1870.
*The
19th Amendment
gave all women the right to vote, black and white women. It was ratified in 1920.
Even though people of color were allowed to vote, it does not mean that they felt safe to do so. There were people who threatened the lives of those who attempted to vote. There were also
*poll taxes
, a tax that you had to pay in order to be able to vote. If you didn't have the $, you didn't vote.
*1) A lot of people are convinced that their vote will make
NO DIFFERENCE ANYWAYS
, so they don't vote.
*2) A lot of people have
trust issues
when it comes to politics and politicians. They might think that politicians are being swayed by certain groups (w/$).
*3) It is sometimes
inconvenient
to vote, with long lines at the polls, long ballots, and registration issues.
*4)
Bad weather
(especially in the North) will keep people away from the polls on voting day.
*5)
Time-zone problems
are an issue on the West Coast because many may not vote if they feel the East Coast has already made the decision.
*6) Many people have what is called
voter apathy
, this is when someone has a complete lack of interest in voting.
*So who DOES vote???
*Most of the people who vote in this country tend to be those who are educated and those who make more $ than the average person.
This does not mean that every rich, educated person in the country is going to vote, but statistically, they are more likely to that someone who is poor or uneducated.
*Sociological factors for why people vote the way that they do

(All of these are guesses based on statistics. Please keep that in mind).
*Income & Occupation
: Voters who make more than $35k/yr. tend to be Republican. Voters who earn less than $15k/yr. tend to be Democrat.
*Education
: People who are college educated tend to be Democrats. Those with less education tend to be Republicans (no shade).
*Gender & Age
: Women and people under 30 tend to vote Democrat. Men and people over 30 tend to vote Republican.
*Religious & ethnic groups
: Minority and ethnic groups, such as Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, etc., have STRONGLY supported the Democratic Party since about the 1950s. In fact, no other group has more strongly supported the Democrats than African-Americans. About 70% of blacks vote Democratically.
*Geography
: Where you live can often determine how you vote. People who live in urban areas (the city) tend to be Democrats. People who live in rural areas (the country) tend to be Republican.
*Family & group affiliation
: Nothing affects how you vote like your family and the people around you. 9 out of 10 times, children will vote like their parents do. This process is called
political socialization
. It is the way that you develop your political beliefs throughout your lifetime.
*Why does America have a 2-party system?
There are definitely more than 2 political parties in the United States, but they rarely make the headlines when it comes to national elections (except for maybe this year...).
*There are several different kinds of parties:
*1)
Ideological parties
-These are groups of people that have a common set of beliefs. They share the same "ideas". [
Examples
of this would be the Communist Party, or the Green Party. They are much more concerned with their ideas than they are about getting elected to office.]
*2)
Single-issue parties
-These parties usually focus on a single public policy issue (like abortion, prohibition, etc.). These groups usually fade away with time because issues change all the time. [
Examples
would be those who were fighting for people to be allowed to marry who they want, those who fight to keep or end abortion, etc.]
*3)
Economic protest parties
-These parties usually start up during times of crisis. Once the nation starts doing better, these parties will start to fade out.
*4)
Splinter parties
-These are smaller parties that have split away from the larger parties. These parties can really mess up an election because they may end up splitting votes and costing both themselves, and the group they split from the election. [Examples would be the Bull Moose Party of 1912 and the Tea Party from now.]
*How does each party elect their candidates?
*Each party has a
national convention
, which is like a huge party/meeting where the party members all try to get behind their new candidate. It was interesting this last summer at the RNC (Republican National Convention) because many Republicans are NOT in support of Trump. The DNC (Democratic National Convention) was also interesting because Bernie supporters did NOT want him to endorse Hillary.
*Vocabulary I should probably know:
*An
incumbent
is the person who already holds office.
*The
electorate
are all of the people who are eligible to vote. There are currently 210 million people that CAN vote, but only about 137 million are registered to vote.
*IDIOT
: Someone who is unwilling to be involved in politics.
*An
independent
is someone who doesn't really agree with either of the 2 major political parties, so they choose to not affiliate with either party.
*The
most important factor to determining how a person votes
depends on how they feel about the candidates and their issues.

This could get a Republican to vote Democratically and a Democrat to vote Republican.
*A
precinct
is a voting district, it usually has about 500-1000 people, unless you live in an area with a high concentration of people.
*A
polling place
is the place that people go to cast their vote.
*A
ballot
is what people fill out to cast their vote in an election.
*The Nomination Process:
*Nomination
is the naming of people who will seek public office. These are the people who may eventually represent us in office. *There are several ways for people to get nominated:
*1) I can just announce that I intend to run for office and go ahead and do it. This is called
self-announcement
.
*2) 13 states and 2 U.S. territories still use a
caucus
to help elect their representative. It's basically a meeting for party members to talk about who they want to nominate and how that process should happen.
*3) The
conventions
we already spoke about; this is when groups of people from the same party get together and nominate a candidate.
*4) A
primary
is an early election, where the electorate casts ballots for people that they want to run for office. There are several types of primaries:
*a)
Closed primary
: Only people from that political party can vote.
*b)
Open primary
: Every eligible voter can vote.
*c)
Nonpartisan primary
: The party background of each candidate is withheld, so voters have to do their research before going to the polls.
*d)
Presidential primary
: The election to see who will be nominated to run for President.
Full transcript