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Chapter 5 Political Parties

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Title: Chapter 5 Political Parties Author: staff Last modified by: PSD Created Date: 11/16/2004 8:41:59 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 5 Political Parties


1
Political Parties
and
What They Do
2
What Is A Political Party?
  • A group seeking to control government by winning
    elections and holding public office
  • Can be principle, issue, or election oriented

3
The Two Main Parties in the U.S. Are . . .
  • DEMOCRATS
  • REPUBLICANS

4
What Do Parties Do?
  • Provide options to the people
  • Link between government and the people
  • Bring conflicting groups together

5
The Nominating Function
  • Selecting Candidates for public office
  • Its an exclusive job for the parties, which
    helps set them apart from all of the other groups
    in politics

6
The Informer-Stimulator Function
  • Inform people and activate their interest in
    pubic affairs
  • They campaign, define issues, and criticize other
    candidates with the end goal of winning votes

7
The Seal of Approval Function
  • They choose candidates who are qualified and of
    good character

8
The Governmental Function
  • Helps legislative and executive branches work
    together
  • Appoints made to executive branch are according
    to party allegiance

9
The Watchdog Function
  • The party out of power criticizes the policies
    and behavior of the party in power
  • Done so to convince the voters that they should
    vote for them in the next election

10
Why A Two-Party System? Historical Basis
  • Debate over the Constitutions ratification
    created the first political parties
  • Federalists Anti-Federalists

11
The Force of Tradition
  • Most Americans support the two-party system
    because it has always existed.
  • People are reluctant to support minor parties
    therefore they made little headway.

12
The Electoral System
  • Single-member districts (winner take all)
    discourage voters from wasting votes on minor
    parties
  • Election laws are deliberately written to
    discourage minority parties

13
American Ideological Consensus
  • Americans tend to agree on fundamental issues
  • Our major political parties take moderate stands
    and are built on compromise

14
Why Dont Other Systems Work? Multiparty Systems
  • Each party represents a very different
    interest(s)
  • Creates an unstable government
  • American institutional and ideological ideas make
    a multiparty system unlikely

15
One-Party Systems
  • No-Party System
  • Nearly all dictatorships have one-party systems

16
How Do We Choose A Party?
  • Membership is voluntary and generally composed of
    a mixture of the population
  • Segments of the population tend to support one
    party or the other (for a period of time)
  • Example Unions favored Democrats

17
Reasons For Choosing a Party
  • Family
  • Major Events war, depression
  • Economic Status
  • Place of Residence
  • Level of Education
  • Work Environment

18
The Two-Party System in American History
19
The Nations First Parties
  • Federalists (pre 1800)
  • Led by Alexander Hamilton
  • Supporters were rich and from upper class
  • Democratic-Republicans (1800 1820)
  • Led by Thomas Jefferson
  • Supporters were the common people

20
The Era of One-Party Domination
  • The Era of the Democrats, 18001860
  • The Era of the Republicans, 18601932
  • The Return of the Democrats, 19321968
  • The Start of a New Era
  • Since 1968 the Republicans dominated the White
    House, while Democrats controlled Congress

21
Minority Parties in the US Ideological Parties
  • Based on a specific set of beliefs, including a
    comprehensive view of social, economic, and
    political matters
  • Example Libertarian Party
  • Receive little votes, but are long-lived

22
Single-Issue Parties
  • Concentrate on a single public policy matter
  • Examples Know Nothings,
  • Right-to-Life
  • Faded into history as issues disappear

23
Economic Protest Parties
  • Focus on economic discontent
  • Example Greenback and Populist Parties

24
Splinter Parties
  • Groups that break off from one of the two major
    parties
  • Examples Bull Moose Party and Dixiecrats

25
The Key Role of Minority Parties
  • Introduced useful ideas in American Politics
  • Can play a splinter role in an election when
    the two major candidates are evenly matched.
  • Most important is their roles as critics and
    reformers

26
The Organization of Political Parties
27
Reality of Political Parties
  • Two major parties are highly decentralized
    (internal fighting)
  • No real chain of command
  • States parties loosely tied to national
  • Local parties independent of states

28
The Role of the President
  • The Presidents party is usually more solidly
    united than the opposing
  • The President is the party leader
  • The other party has no comparable leader

29
National Party MachineryFour Elements
  • 1. National Convention
  • Meet to nominate the presidential and vice
    presidential candidate every 4 years
  • 2. National Committee
  • Handles the partys affairs between conventions

30
National Party MachineryFour Elements
  • 3. National Chairperson
  • Heads up the national committee
  • 4. Congressional Campaign Committees
  • Job to increase partys congressional seats

31
State and Local Party Machinery
  • State job is to further the partys interests
    in that state
  • Local follow the States electoral map, most
    active a few months before an election

32
Three Elements of the Party
  • Party Organization
  • leaders, activists, and hangers-on who control
    party machinery
  • Party in the electorate
  • loyalists who vote their candidates
  • Party in government
  • officeholders at all levels of government

33
The Future of the Majority Parties
  • Political Parties have been in a state of decline
    since the late 1960s
  • Parties are unlikely to disappear as long as they
    continue to perform necessary functions

34
Reasons for Decline
  • Larger number of voters registering as
    independent
  • SPLIT-TICKET VOTING voting for candidates of
    both parties for offices at the same election.

35
Reasons (cont)
  • Greater internal conflict
  • Changes in technology of campaigning.
  • Growth of single-issue organizations who side
    with a candidate on a specific issue.
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