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CHAPTER 5 PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUPS: ELEPHANTS, DONKEYS, AND CASH COWS

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Title: CHAPTER 5 PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUPS: ELEPHANTS, DONKEYS, AND CASH COWS


1
CHAPTER 5PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUPSELEPHANTS,
DONKEYS, AND CASH COWS
  • Why the Democrats cant stand Ralph Nader and
    senior citizens have political power

2
Political parties
  • Political parties are organized groups of
    individuals that support, nominate, and run
    candidates for office.
  • The role of political parties has declined in
    recent decades.

3
The Roles of American Parties
  • The two party system has been used to resolve
    political and social conflicts.
  • Mobilizing Support and Gathering Power
  • A Force for Stability
  • Unity, Linkage, Accountability
  • The Electioneering Function
  • Party as a Voting and Issue Cue
  • Policy Formulation and Promotion

4
National parties vs. state parties
  • Within states, parties are much more diverse and
    much more ideological than parties at the
    national level.
  • State parties are the primary organizing units
    behind national parties.
  • National parties are highly organized and active
    in every state, but the degree of organization
    among states varies according to population and
    available resources.

5
Party Platform
  • A formal statement of beliefs, opinions, and
    policy stands tied together by a set of
    underlying principles based on the partys
    ideological orientation.

6
The Evolution of American Party Democracy
  • Hamilton and Jefferson, as heads of the
    Federalist and Anti-Federalist groups
    respectively, are often considered 'fathers' of
    the modern party system.
  • By 1800, this country had a party system with two
    major parties that has remained relatively stable
    ever since.

7
Democrats and Republicans The Golden Age
  • From the presidential elections of 1860 to the
    present, the same two major parties have
    contested elections in the United States
    Democrats and Republicans.
  • Reconstruction -- Republican dominance
  • 1876-1896 -- closely competitive
  • 1896-1929 -- Republican dominance
  • 1930s and 1940s -- Democratic dominance
  • 1950s and 1960s -- closely competitive
  • 1970-present -- neither party dominant

8
Coalition - major political groupings that have
shaped American policy.
  • New Deal Coalition
  • 1932 - F.D. Roosevelt

9
A New Deal liberal believes
  • Using the power of govt to solve problems
  • a strong presidency
  • curb big business, help the underdog
  • not much objection to taxes or deficits
  • favors labor and working persons
  • minorities
  • supports govt action to foster employment
  • help those unable to help themselves
  • civil liberties

10
Loyalty Trends (today)- Democratic
  • Labor union members tend to vote Democratic
  • Democrats have a lead in garnering the women's
    votes
  • Over 80 of African Americans and Hispanics vote
    3 to 1 Democratic
  • Young people are again more Democratic
  • Most blue collar workers and unemployed are
    Democrats
  • Catholics and Jews are mostly Democrats
  • The widowed are mostly Democrats
  • Liberals tend to be Democrats

11
A Classic Conservative believes
  • Best govt is the least govt
  • less taxes
  • oppose deficits, balance budget
  • de-centralization
  • de-regulation (laissez-fair capitalism)
  • stress patriotism and strong defense
  • strong Congress
  • appeals to affluent and middle class

12
Loyalty Trends (today) - Republican
  • Chambers of Commerce tend to vote Republican
  • The West tends to be more Republican
  • Men tend to split fairly evenly between the two
    parties
  • Cuban Americans are generally Republicans
    (anti-Castro)
  • Professionals, executives, and white collar
    workers tend to be Republican
  • High status Protestants tend to be Republican
  • Married couples tend to be Republican
  • Conservatives tend to be Republican

13
Websites
  • Major Parties
  • Democratic National Committee
  • www.democrats.org
  • Republican National Committee
  • www.rnc.org
  • Third Parties
  • Third Party Central
  • www.3pc.net/index.html
  • Libertarian Party
  • www.lp.org
  • Reform Party.
  • www.reformparty.org

14
The Party-In-The-Electorate
  • The party-in-the-electorate is the mass of
    potential voters who identify with specific
    party.
  • American voters often identify with a specific
    party, but rarely formally belong to it.
  • Party identification is often a voter's central
    political reference symbol.
  • Party identification generally come from one's
    parents.
  • However party id can be affected by a number of
    factors such as education, peers, charismatic
    personalities, cataclysmic events, and intense
    social issues.

15
Party in the electorate
  • Voter identification with the two major parties
    has declined, resulting in an increase in the
    number of individuals identifying themselves as
    independents.
  • At the national level, party politics focus on
    the ability to capture the swing voter.
  • At the state level, voters are much more
    ideological, resulting in larger number of
    factional splits than at the national level.

16
One-Partyism
  • A significant trend of recent times is the demise
    of one-partyism (one party dominance of elections
    in a given region).
  • The formerly "Solid South" is no longer only
    Democratic.
  • There are no Republican or Democratic states at
    this time.
  • Many individuals split their vote between the
    parties, and sometimes vote for third parties.

17
Party in government
  • Degree of interparty competition within states
    varies according to the degree of party
    organization.
  • Nevertheless, political parties remain the
    primary means for organizing government.

18
Party in organization
  • Rise of candidate-centered politics has shifted
    the traditional role of political parties.
  • Candidates no longer run on party platforms but
    rather on individual characteristics.
  • Political parties serve a more fund-raising, and,
    particularly at the state level, a more
    consultant role.

19
From Mayor Daley to responsible politics
  • Party machines, patronage, and political
    corruption characterized party politics in the
    past.
  • As a result, political scientists advocated a
    responsible party model whereby parties presented
    clear choices to voters and were held accountable
    for such choices.

20
Primaries and party politics
  • Primary elections shift control of the nomination
    process from party leaders to individual voters.
  • Party leaders prefer closed primaries to open
    primaries because they discourage crossover and
    strategic voting.

21
Parties as fund-raisers and consultants
  • Candidates increasingly are turning to parties
    for assistance in raising money for televised
    campaign commercials.
  • State parties serve as consultants between
    candidates and individual voters.

22
The Green Party
  • States regulate parties through voter and ballot
    registration requirements.
  • By regulating the amount of external influence
    candidates receive from political action
    committees (PACs), states diminish the
    opportunities for minor parties to achieve
    political success.

23
Minor Parties Third-Partyism
  • Minor parties are not a threat to the two major
    parties.
  • Only eight third parties have won any electoral
    votes in a presidential contest.
  • The third parties that have had some success are
  • 1996 and 1992 Ross Perots Reform Party
  • 1968 George Wallaces American Independent Party
  • 1924 Robert LaFollettes Progressive Party
  • 1912 Teddy Roosevelts Bull Moose Party
  • 1856 Millard Fillmore's American Party

24
Swing states and presidential politics
  • Interparty competition remains relatively high at
    the state level.
  • One-party dominance among states is declining due
    to population shifts and increased voter
    mobility.

25
Why Nebraska Democrats are rare
  • A states political culture influences the
    success of particular political parties.
  • Democrats more successful in moralistic states
    Republicans more successful in traditionalistic
    states.

26
Why Democrats seem like Republicans and vice
versa
  • Given declining voter identification, parties
    attempt to appeal to as much of the electorate as
    possible.
  • Parties attempt to blur their positions to
    discourage opponents.
  • Declining party identification has increased the
    role of interest groups.

27
Ralph Nader and Ross Perot
  • Minor, or third, parties more successful at the
    state and local levels than at the national
    level.
  • Despite increasing support, minor parties face a
    number of institutional barriers to political
    success.
  • Major parties usually set ballot thresholds and
    registration requirements to discourage third
    party success.

28
Declining Party Loyalty?
  • The number of independents in the U.S. rose from
    19 in 1958 to 37 twenty years later.
  • Identification with the two major parties today
    is in the mid 80 range.
  • Pollsters often find that many self declared
    independents often 'lean' quite strongly to
    either the Democrat or Republican party.
  • Leaners do feel party affiliations, but choose
    not to self-identify with a party.

29
Who is in the drivers seat today?
  • New Deal Coalition
  • Conservative Coalition
  • Moderates
  • Ticket Splitters
  • Single Elite
  • ?

30
What Are Interest Groups?
  • Interest Group (special interests) is an
    organization of people with similar policy goals
    that tries to influence the political process to
    try to achieve those goals.
  • Interest groups try to influence every branch and
    every level of government.

31
Interest groups
  • Interest groups differ from political parties in
    that interest groups do NOT run candidates for
    office under their own labels.
  • Interest groups both support candidates for
    office and lobby existing officeholders.
  • Interest groups provide both financial and
    personnel resources to individual candidates.

32
Interest group behavior
  • Number of interest groups has increased
    dramatically in recent decades.
  • Rise of candidate-centered politics has increased
    the political access of interest groups and
    lobbyists in the nomination process.
  • Given the increasing role of states in regulating
    social and economic activity, lobbying has become
    highly professionalized.

33
The Roots and Development of American Interest
Groups
  • Interest groups have been part of the American
    political landscape since the countrys founding.
  • James Madison in Federalist 10 argued for a
    proliferation of groups so that no one group
    could get hegemony over the other groups.
  • The open nature of the American government
    invites organized political participation.

34
The Roots and Development of American Interest
Groups
  • National Groups Emerge (1830-80)
  • Progressive Era (1890-1920)
  • Organized Labor the American Federation of
    Labor (AFL) (1886)
  • Business and Trade Associations The National
    Association of Manufacturers (NAM) (1895)
  • The Rise of the Interest Group State (1960s and
    1970s)
  • Religious and Ideological Groups
  • Business Groups, Trade and Professional
    Associations
  • Organized Labor

35
What Do Interest Groups Do?
  • The most common and effective interest group
    technique is lobbying or seeking to influence and
    persuade others to support your group's position.
  • Lobbyists are hired by businesses, foreign
    countries, trade associations, and anyone else
    wanting their voice heard on policy matters.
  • A Lobbyists is someone whose task it is to
    influence legislation or policymaking.

36
PAC - Political Action Committee
  • A nonparty group that solicits contributions from
    its members and uses the money to influence the
    outcome of elections

37
PACS - Con
  • Pressure to make contributions
  • undue influence on public officials
  • funds go disproportionately to incumbents
  • corporate and business most numerous
  • hurt political parties

38
PACS - Pro
  • help finance the cost of elections
  • increase knowledge of members and public
  • encourage voting and participation
  • links the public with its representatives
  • a right protected by the First Amendment

39
Interest Groups Techniques
  • Direct Techniques
  • Lobbying
  • Private meetings
  • Testifying
  • Drafting Legislation
  • Social Occasions
  • Providing Political Info
  • Supplying Nomination suggestions
  • Indirect Techniques
  • Generating Public Pressure
  • Groundswell of public pressure
  • Use Constituents as Lobbyists
  • Building Alliances with other groups

40
Lobbyists
  • A lobbyist must be honest and truthful if he or
    she wants to remain effective.
  • Access to lawmakers is critical and if a lobbyist
    gets a reputation of being untruthful or
    disingenuous legislators doors will close.
  • Of course, lobbyists put their group's position
    in a favorable light but good lobbyists will also
    make lawmakers aware of the downsides of a bill
    and the arguments on the other side as well.

41
What Makes an Interest Group Successful?
  • In general three factors tend to lead to interest
    group success
  • Leaders having a prominent leader aids in the
    reputation of the group and enhances a group's
    ability to attain its goals.
  • Patrons and Funding funding is critical.
    Without money, it is hard to get your message
    out.
  • Members a group must have members to be
    successful. Organizing members allows for
    strength in numbers and pooling of financial
    support.

42
Pluralism and its Critics
  • Pluralist theory argues that interest group
    activity brings representation to all.
  • Interest groups compete and counterbalance one
    another.
  • Three criticisms of pluralism are
  • It gives short shrift to those who are not
    organized.
  • It fails to deal with the fact that some
    interests have more power than others.
  • It seems to leave no room for consideration of
    transcendent national interests.

43
Hyperpluralist Theory
  • Hyperpluralist argue that when interest groups
    become so powerful that they dominate the
    political decision-making structures they render
    any consideration of the greater public interest
    impossible.

44
Criticism Interest Groups
  • Interest Groups have been criticized for
  • Ignoring the wider interest of society
  • Producing confusion and deadlock in Congress
  • Generating so much emotion that they make
    reasoned discussion difficult
  • Having too much influence

45
Important Points to Think About
  • Interest Groups
  • Promote interest in public affairs
  • Provide useful information
  • Serve as watchdogs
  • Represent the interest of Citizens

46
Conclusion
  • Primary role of political parties is to nominate
    candidates for political office, but that role
    has changed with declining voter identification.
  • Rise of candidate-centered politics has led to
    national parties serving more of a fund-raising
    role while state parties serve more of a
    consultant role.

47
Conclusion (contd)
  • The rise of candidate-centered politics has also
    led to interest groups becoming more influential
    in the nomination process.
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