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Modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of political parties

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recruiting candidates, developing issues positions, local party machines, fundraising ... The modern Democratic Party emerged out of the Republican party ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of political parties


1
  • Modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of
    political parties
  • --E.E. Schattsneider

2
Whats a Party why would we want to go to one?
  • Political Parties Are Outgrowths of the Electoral
    Process.
  • For every district level where an election is
    held, there is a party unit.
  • The nature of the American electoral system
    encourages the two-party system.
  • political parties
  • organized groups that attempt to influence the
    government by electing their members to important
    government offices by
  • recruiting candidates, developing issues
    positions, local party machines, fundraising

3
Aspects of American Parties
  • According to political scientist V.O. Key, Jr.,
    there are three key aspects of political parties
  • Party-as-organization
  • Party-in-the-electorate and elections
  • Party-in-government

4
What good are parties?
  • Many political scientists believe that strong
    political parties are essential to the proper
    functioning of democracy.
  • national communities
  • Aids to efficient government
  • Aids to democracy linking mechanism
  • responsible party government
  • a set of principles that idealizes a strong
    role for parties in defining their stance on
    issues, mobilizing voters, and fulfilling their
    campaign promises once in office

5
Turn off the Lights The Partys Over
  • Todays weaker parties
  • Why did parties change?
  • Progressive era reforms, direct primary, voter
    changers
  • Post WWII technological developments in campaigns
    ( vs. people, polling, focus groups, direct
    mail, tv ads)
  • McGovern Fraser Reforms and the direct primary

6
Consequences of party decline
  • Problems in effective leadership
  • Single issue politics and interest groups
  • Less information, more alienation
  • Less participation, low turnout
  • Campaining further separated from governing
  • Decline in collective responsibility.

7
The Two-Party System in America
  • America has a stable two-party system that first
    emerged in the late 18th century as a conflict
    between Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton and
    Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson.

8
  • Democrats
  • The modern Democratic Party emerged out of the
    Republican party established by Thomas Jefferson
    in the late 18th century and revitalized by
    Andrew Jackson in the 1820s.
  • Republicans
  • The modern Republican Party emerged in the 1850s
    as an antislavery party and out of the remnants
    of the Whig Party.

9
Electoral Realignments
  • Realignments tend to involve
  • A large number of voters changing their party
    allegiance
  • A great deal of voter participation in an
    election
  • A stable change in the party controlling the
    government
  • electoral realignments
  • the point in history when a new party
    supplants the ruling party, becoming in turn the
    dominant political force

10
  • Realignments
  • 1800 ? Jeffersonian Republicans dominate.
  • 1828 ? Jacksonian Democrats democratize
    American politics.
  • 1860 ? The emergence of modern Republicans (and
    their victory in the Civil War) creates a
    post-Reconstruction competitive balance
    between Democrats and Republicans.

11
  • 1896 ? Republicans reassert their dominance.
  • 1932 ? Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal
    produce an extraordinary era of Democratic
    dominance.
  • 1968 ? Richard Nixons victory and the demise of
    the Democrats solid South produces a
    highly competitive era of divided party
    control of government.

12
  • Throughout these realigning eras, many third
    parties came and went.
  • Third Parties tend to be short-lived because
  • One of the two major parties adopts their issues.
  • The single-member plurality electoral system
    limits their opportunities for electoral success.
  • Third parties tend to compete against the two
    major parties in the United States and can have a
    great deal of influence over ideas and electoral
    outcomes.

13
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14
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15
  • Since the 1950s
  • Democratic party identification has slipped.
  • Republican party identification has remained
    stable.
  • There has been a substantial rise of independents
  • This decline of party identification and the
    rise of independent voters is referred to as the
    dealignment of the American electorate.

16
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17
  • Different demographic and ideological groups tend
    to support one party or the other.
  • Women are more likely to support Democrats than
    men are.
  • Jews are more likely to support Democrats whereas
    Protestants are more likely to identify with
    Republicans.
  • Socioeconomic class has an effect on party
    support with the wealthy being more likely to
    support Republicans.

18
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20
  • In 2004 exit polls revealed important
    differences in levels of support for Bush and for
    Kerry by different demographic groups.
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • 88 of African Americans voted for Kerry.
  • 54 of Latinos voted for Kerry.
  • Gender
  • 53 of men voted for Bush.
  • 48 of women voted for Bush.
  • Religion
  • 80 of white born-again Christians voted for Bush.

21
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
  • What do you think are the consequences of party
    decline?
  • What do you think explains the rise of
    independents in the second half of the 20th
    century?
  • Why do you think that some groups (like women or
    the less wealthy) prefer Democrats while others
    prefer Republicans? How might this affect
    political campaign techniques?

22
  • A somewhat unique aspect of party-in-government
    in the United States is the possibility of
    divided government.
  • In divided government, one party controls the
    executive branch while the other party controls
    at least one chamber of Congress.

23
  • Since the realignment of 1968, divided
    government has been more prevalent than unified
    government.
  • Periods of Unified Government
  • Carter Years, 1977-1981
  • Clinton Years, 1993-1995
  • George W. Bush Years, 2002-2006

24
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
  • What is good about divided party control of
    government?
  • How does divided government make it difficult for
    the voters to hold the party in power
    responsible?
  • How might unified party control of government
    subvert Madisons hope that the ambition of
    Congress would counteract the ambition of the
    president and vice versa?
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