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UNIT 3 U. S. Political System


UNIT 3 U. S. Political System Chapter 8 Political Parties – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: UNIT 3 U. S. Political System

UNIT 3 U. S. Political System
  • Chapter 8 Political Parties

Linkage Institutions
  • A structure within a society that connects the
    people to the government or centralized
  • 1. Elections
  • 2. Political Parties
  • 3. Interest Groups
  • 4. Media

The Meaning of Party
  • Political Party
  • A team of men and women seeking to
    control the governing apparatus by gaining office
    in a duly constituted election. (Anthony Downs)
  • Parties can be thought of in three-headed
    political giant
  • 1. Party in the electorate (largest
  • 2. Party as an organization
  • 3. Party in government.

The Meaning of Party
  • Roles of the Parties
  • Linkage Institution The channels through which
    peoples concerns become political issues on the
    governments political /policy agenda (list of
    subjects or problems to which people inside and
    outside government are paying serious attention
    to at any given time). Parties Pick Candidates
  • Parties Run Campaigns
  • Parties Give Cues to Voters
  • Parties Articulate Policies
  • Parties Coordinate Policymaking

The Meaning of Party
  • Parties, Voters, and Policy The Downs Model
  • Rational-choice theory Assumes that individuals
    act in their own best interest, weighing the
    costs benefits.

The Party in the Electorate
  • Party identification is a citizens
    self-proclaimed preference for one party or the
  • Ticket-splitting
  • Voting with one party for one office and with
    another party for other offices.
  • Ticket-splitting has become the norm in American
    voting behavior.

The Party Organizations From the Grass Roots to
  • These are the people that work for the party.
  • Local Parties
  • Party Machines A type of political party
    organization that relies heavily on material
    inducements to win votes and to govern.
  • Patronage A job, promotion or contract given for
    political reasons rather than merit. Used by
    party machines.
  • Now urban party organizations are generally weak.

The Party Organizations From the Grass Roots to
  • The 50 State Party Systems
  • Closed primaries voters must be registered with
    their party in advance and can only vote for that
  • Open primaries voters decide on election day
    which party to participate in, and then only that
  • Blanket primaries voters get a list of all
    candidates and can vote for one name for each
    office, regardless of party label
  • State party organizations are on an upswing in
    terms of headquarters and budgets.

The Party Organizations From the Grass Roots to
  • The National Party Organizations
  • National Convention (Supreme Power)The meeting
    of party delegates every four years to choose a
    presidential ticket and the partys platform.
  • National Committee One of the institutions that
    keeps the party operating between conventions.
  • National Chairperson Responsible for day-to-day
    activities of the party.

The Party in Government Promises and Policy
  • These are the party members actually elected to
  • Candidates are less dependent on parties to get
    elected, but they still need help.
  • Coalition
  • A group of individuals with a common interest
    upon which every political party depends.
  • Parties politicians generally do what they say
    they will do.

The Party in Government Promises and Policy
Party Eras inAmerican History
  • Party Eras (pp. 247-253)
  • Historical periods in which one party has been
    the dominant majority party.
  • Critical Election
  • An electoral earthquake where new issues and
    new coalitions emerge.
  • Party Realignment
  • The displacement of the majority party by the
    minority party, usually during a critical

Party Eras inAmerican History
  • 1796-1824 The First Party System
  • Madison warned of factions
  • First party were the Federalists
  • 1828-1856 Jackson and the Democrats Versus the
  • Modern party founded by Jackson
  • Whigs formed mainly in opposition to Democrats

Party Eras inAmerican History
  • 1860-1928 The Two Republican Eras
  • Republicans rose as the antislavery party
  • 1896 election revolved around the gold standard
  • 1932-1964 The New Deal Coalition
  • Forged by the Democrats - relied upon urban
    working class, ethnic groups, Catholics and Jews,
    the poor, Southerners

Party Eras in American History
  • Party Coalitions Today (Figure 8.2)

Party Eras in American History
  • 1968-Present The Era of Divided Party Government
  • Party dealignment - disengagement of people from
  • Party neutrality - people are indifferent towards
    the two parties

Party Eras in American History
  • Partisan Control of State Governments 2005
    (Figure 8.3)

Third Parties Their Impact on American Politics
  • Political parties other than Democrat or
  • Rarely win elections
  • Third parties bring new groups and ideas into
  • Splinter groups- offshoot of a major party
  • Two-party system discourages extreme views try
    to stay moderate

Third Parties Their Impact on American Politics
  • Winner-take-all system
  • Legislative seats awarded only to first place
  • Proportional Representation
  • Legislative seats awarded based on votes received
    by the party - more votes, more seats
  • Coalition Government
  • Two or more parties join to run government

Individualism and Gridlock
  • Gridlock in policymaking is a consequence of
    allowing individualism.
  • This occurs when different parties control the
    executive and legislative branches.
  • No single party in the U.S. has firm control in

Understanding Political Parties
  • Democracy and Responsible Party Government
  • 1. Parties have distinct comprehensive programs.
  • 2. Candidates are committed to the program.
  • 3. Majority party must carry out its program.
  • 4. Majority party must accept responsibility.

Understanding Political Parties
  • American Political Parties and the Scope of
  • Lack of uniformity keeps government small
  • But, it also makes cutting government programs
    harder to do

Understanding Political Parties
  • Is the Party Over?
  • Political parties are no longer the chief source
    of information for voters (i.e. media interest
  • State and national party organizations are
    getting stronger
  • Majority of people still identify with a party,
    but still split their tickets
  • Parties will continue to be around
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