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Chapter 9: Political Parties!!!

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Title: Chapter 9: Political Parties!!!


1
Chapter 9 Political Parties!!!
2
INTRO TO POLITICAL PARTIES3 components of
parties
  • Party-in-Government - Party leaders occupy
    positions in
  • Presidency
  • Congress
  • State governors
  • State legislature
  • E. Local governments (though sometimes these are
    nonpartisan positions)

3
POLITICAL PARTIES
  • 2. Party-in-Electorate
  • A. Registered Democrats
  • Democratic identifiers or leaners
  • C. Registered Republicans
  • Republican identifiers or leaners

4
POLITICAL PARTIES
  • 3. Party Organizations - Parties are
    decentralized, along federal lines
  • National level
  • a. National Convention Highest authority
  • b. National Committee. When convention not in
    session
  • c. National Chairperson
  • d. Congressional Campaign committees (for House
    seats)
  • e. Senate Campaign Committees
  • f. State Committee
  • Local Committees city, ward, precinct levels

5
POLITICAL PARTIES
  • Neither DNC or RNC can punish state/local
    committees if they stray from the party line
    again, parties are decentralized
  •  

6
Functions of Political Parties
  • A. Nominate candidates
  • 1. Previously caucuses ---gt nominating
    conventions ---gt now primary elections
  • 2. W/expansion of primaries, nominating function
    now seriously lessened. Party leaders no longer
    control nominations ? more candidate-centered
    politics than party-centered politics. Contrast
    with responsible party system in Europe where
    officeholders are more accountable to their
    parties

7
Functions of Political Parties
  • B. Raise and spend campaign funds ---gt declining
    importance w/advent of "candidate-centered"
    campaigns
  • C. Register voters
  • D. Simplify decisions for voters Provide a
    "shorthand" through which busy and uninterested
    voters can base a voting decision -- use of
    "party lens" by voters

8
Functions of Political Parties
  • E. Unify diverse interests
  • 1. Example FDR's grand coalition urban
    dwellers, labor unions, Catholics, Jews,
    poor, South, blacks and farmers
  • 2. However, to appeal to such a wide variety of
    party
  • members, parties must avoid taking strong
    stands
  • Charges of "tweedledee/tweedledum" and
  • "not a dime's worth of difference
    between the parties"
  • 3. U.S. not as party-centered as Western Europe
  • U.S. more of a candidate-centered system

9
Functions of Political Parties
  • F. Act as moderating influence on government
  • 1. To win elections, parties must usually
    nominate moderate candidates who appeal to the
    vast center of the American electorate. Fringe
    elements squeezed out
  • 2. Again, this is in contrast to the European
    multi-party system, where fringe parties and
    candidates are common

10
Functions of Political Parties
  • G. Reduce diffusion of power in govt
  • 1. In theory, a party brings govt together in
    order to overcome the systems of separation of
    powers and checks and balance - parties act as a
    unifying force
  • 2. In reality, people tend to split their
    tickets ---gt divided government
  • 3. Office-column ballot facilitates split-ticket
    voting (as opposed to party column ballot, which
    facilitates straight ticket voting)

11
Functions of Political Parties
  • H. Provide patronage
  • 1. Rewarding loyal individuals for their support
    through government positions
  • 2. Butappointment of people with political
    connections has often resulted in corruption and
    incompetence (e.g., Harding's "Ohio Gang,"
    Nixon's "Palace Guard")

12
Functions of Political Parties
  • I. Inform public through party platforms
  • J. Provide loyal opposition (after the
    honeymoon period)
  • Main purpose Linking mechanism between people
    and government

13
PARTY WEAKNESSES
  • Parties lack strong rank-and-file membership/lack
    strong grass roots organization
  • A. Anyone can join merely by registration
  • B. No duties or dues
  • C. Most activities occur only at election time
  • D. Most Americans are mere spectators, rather
    than participants, in party activity
  • E. Small percentages of Strong Democrats and
    Strong Republicans
  • F. Increase in percentage of Independents (though
    most of these are leaners)

14
Group Work
  • With a partner choose what you believe to be the
    two most important functions of political
    parties. Write your functions and your
    supportive evidence on a piece of paper.

15
U.S. Political Parties
  • The Two Major Parties
  • Smaller Third Parties
  • Democratic (DNC)
  • Republican (RNC)
  • The Big Three third parties
  • Constitution Party
  • Green Party of the United States
  • Libertarian Party
  • America First Party
  • American Party
  • American Independent Party
  • Americas Independent Party
  • American Nazi Party
  • American Reform Party
  • American Third Position

16
  • Boston Tea Party
  • Communist Party USA
  • Freedom Socialist Party
  • The Greens/Green Party USA
  • Independence Party of America
  • Light Party
  • Modern Whig Party
  • Objectivist Party
  • Peace and Freedom Party
  • Prohibition Party
  • U.S. Marijuana Party
  • U.S. Pacifists Party
  • Workers World Party
  • Working Families Party
  • Veterans Party of America
  • Socialist Workers Party
  • Socialist Labor Party
  • Socialist Action
  • Socialist Party USA

17
RISE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
  • I. Origins
  • A. Dangers of factions mentioned by Madison in
    Federalist 10 and Washington's warning about the
    "baneful effects of the spirit of party"
  • B. Nevertheless, parties became necessary in
    order to get things done in government, e.g.,

18
RISE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
  • C. Historical development the Six Party Systems
    in American history. Realignment occurs roughly
    every 36 years or so.
  • 1. 1796-1820 the 1st party system
    Federalists v. Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans
  • 2. 1824-1856 the 2nd party system Jacksonian
    Democrats v. Whigs
  • 3. 1860-1892 the 3rd party system Republican
    dominance as the party against slavery and the
    party that put the Union back together.
  • 4. 1896-1928 the 4th party system Second
    period of Republican dominance with its coalition
    of big business and the working classes against
    the Democratic rural interests.

19
RISE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
  • 5. 1932-1964 the 5th party system Democratic
    dominance begun under FDR and the New Deal
  • FDRs grand coalition included urban dwellers,
    labor unions, Catholics, Jews, the poor,
    Southerners, Blacks, farmers
  • 6. 1968-present the 6th party system Era of
    Divided Government/Dealignment
  •  

20
Group Outline of The Rise and Decline of the
Political Party to answer the following FRQ
  • P. 194-201
  • I. The Founding (to 1820s)
  • II. The Jacksonian (to Civil War)
  • III. The Civil War and sectionalism (to 1930s)
  • IV. The Era of Reform (beg. In 1900s but chiefly
    since the New Deal)
  • V. Party Realignments
  • VI. Party Decline

21
FRQ Question
  • Explain three ways political parties have changed
    over time, and discuss the results of these
    changes.

22
Third Parties (Do They Matter?)
  • A. Types
  • Ideological parties apply a general philosophy
    to wide variety of issues (e.g., Green Party,
    Libertarian Party)
  • Splinter Parties rogue factions of major parties
    (e.g., Teddy Roosevelts Bull Moose Progressive
    Party)
  • Single-Issue only concerned with one topic or
    issue, usually short lived (e.g., Free Soil Party
    (slavery) Right To Life Party (anti-abortion))
  • Economic Protest motivated by economic
    discontent (e.g., Ross Perot's Reform Party)

23
Third Parties
  • B. Contributions of third parties
  • 1. Raise issues that other parties must address,
    and often incorporate into their own party
    platforms
  • 2. Voice for the fringe elements in society
  • 3. Safety valve for discontent in society

24
Third Parties
  • C. Effects of third parties
  • 1. Rarely win elections
  • 2. Influence the outcome of presidential
    elections (e.g., 1968, 1992, 2000) spoiler
    role.

25
Third Parties
  • D. Obstacles
  • 1. Two-party tradition
  • Single-member districts, winner-take-all district
    system for congressional seats (more associated
    with two party systems), as opposed to the
    multi-member,
  • proportional system (more associated with
    multi-
  • party systems) that is common in Western
    Europe
  • 3. Electoral college's winner-take-all system,
    e.g.,
  • Perot won 19 of the vote in 1992, but had
    zero
  • electoral votes since he did not win any
    states
  • 4. Getting candidates on the ballot
  • 5. Money
  • 6. Media coverage
  • 7. Exclusion from TV debates

26
IMPACT OF PARTIES ON GOVERNMENT
  • I. Congress
  • Majority party has a majority on all committees
    and subcommittees
  • Majority party has chairmen on all committees
  • Minority party has a ranking member on each
    committee
  • The ranking member often becomes the chairman
    when party control of Congress changes
  • 5. Majority party controls key leadership
    positions
  • 6. Staffers are partisan

27
IMPACT OF PARTIES ON GOVERNMENT
  • II. Executive branch
  • Nearly all appointments to White House Office are
    partisan (political appointees). Many go to
    people from election campaigns
  • Nearly all appointments to top positions in other
    parts of executive branch are partisan
    (political appointees)
  • Development of Civil Service System has greatly
    reduced party influence over the bureaucracy

28
IMPACT OF PARTIES ON GOVERNMENT
  • III. Judicial branch
  • Federal
  • Nearly all appointments are partisan
  • State and Local
  • 1. Most state govt. positions are partisan
  • 2. Many local govt. positions (e.g., school
    board, city council) are nonpartisan

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts
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