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Political Parties


Contributions of third parties The Nat l Convention (from the Anti-Mason party, 1831) Initiative and referendum in local gov t (from the Populist party, 1890s ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Political Parties

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Political Parties
  • The dance floor is now in session!

Quick Review
  • Government ensures collective action.
  • Government costs a group time, effort, and
    resources (transaction), and obligates the group
    into collective action (conformity).
  • A democratic type of government attempts to
    reduce transaction and conformity costs as much
    as possible.
  • In a true democracy, the majority rules and
  • the minority are powerless

Quick Review
  • A democracy is rule by the people themselves
    whereas a republic is rule by the people through
  • The democracy of the United States is a republic
    (representative democracy).
  • The system of government is a federal government.

Quick Review
  • Proper behavior of a citizen
  • Learning your rights
  • Learning your responsibilities
  • Guarding them both

Democratic Systems of Govt
  • Unitary Voters ? Central Govt ? State and Local
  • Confederate Voters ? State and Local Govt ?
    Central Govt
  • Federate Voters

Central Govt
State and Local Govt
5.1 Parties and what they do
  • Political parties are in the business of winning
  • Political party a group of persons, joined
    together on the basis of certain common
    principles, who seek to control govt in order to
    bring about the adoption of certain public

5.1 Parties and what they do
  • Coalition a union of many persons of diverse
    interests who have come together to get their
    candidates elected to public office.
  • The dominant parties are Republican and Democrat

5.1 Parties and what they do
  • Political parties
  • Are essential to democratic government
  • Ensure collective action the ability of
    individuals to come together toward a goal or
  • Help create compromise (the primary function of
  • Helps soften the impact of fringe and extremist

5.1 Parties and what they do
  • The Five (5) functions of a Political Party
  • 1) The Nominating Function
  • The major function of political parties b/c we
    live in a republic
  • Name candidates to various public offices and
    present them to the people to vote

5.1 Parties and what they do
  • 2) The Informer-Stimulator Function
  • Inform people and stimulate their interests in
    public affairs to the advantage of the political
  • Campaign for their candidates, take stand on
    issues, and criticize opponents
  • Advertises, educates, mass produces paraphernalia
    (buttons, pamphlets, etc.) aka propaganda

5.1 Parties and what they do
  • 3) The Seal of Approval Function
  • Approves candidates whom political parties see as
    qualified, of good character, and represents
    their interests
  • Ensures accountability for those candidates b/c
    their performance reflects the party
  • 4) The Government Function
  • Congress and State legislators are organized on
    party lines and conduct their business on a
    partisan basis

5.1 Parties and what they do
  • Partisan to show bias and support toward one
    group, issue, situation, etc.
  • Parties ensure the legislative and executive
    branch work together b/c there are cohesive
    groups in power rather than individuals

5.1 Parties and what they do
  • 5) The Watchdog Function
  • Political parties watch over the conduct of other
    political parties (candidates, platforms, etc.)
  • Out of power parties scrutinize and criticize the
    parties in power mostly in the attempt to throw
    their opposition out of power and get their party
    in power

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • America has a two-party system only two
    political parties are dominant at any given time
  • Minor partiesor third partieswill virtually
    never have any real significance on the political
    scene in the U.S.

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • Four (4) reasons for the Two-Party System
  • 1) Historical
  • The ratification of the Constitution saw the
    development of the first two political
    partiesthe Federalists (Hamilton) and the
    Anti-Federalists (Jefferson)

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • 2) Force of Tradition
  • B/c the U.S. started with a two-party system, the
    tradition continued
  • B/c there has always been a two-party system, it
    is widely accepted by the people (the status quo)

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • 3) The Electoral System
  • The shape and function of the U.S. electoral
    system allows for only two parties at a time
  • Single-member district elections contests in
    which only one candidate is elected
  • Only needs to receive a plurality more than the
    other candidates, not a majority (lt50)

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • Single-member district elections discourage more
    than two viable candidates from being picked b/c
    voting for minor parties is seen as throwing away
    your vote
  • Laws in America discourage minor parties and
    protect the two-party system by making it hard to
    get their candidates on ballots

The Two-Party System
Proportional Representation
Blue Party Red Party Green Party
District A 5 3 2
District B 2 5 3
District C 6 2 2
District D 7 0 3
  • Blue gets two representatives
  • Red gets one representative
  • Green gets one representative

The Two-Party System
Two Party System / Winner-Take-All
Blue Party Red Party Green Party
District A 5 3 2
District B 2 5 3
District C 6 2 2
District D 7 0 3
  • Blue gets three representatives
  • Red gets one representative
  • Green does not get representatives

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • 4) The American Ideological Consensus
  • Over time, the American people have shared much
    of the same ideals, basic principles, and
    patterns of beliefs
  • This has produced two major parties that are in a
    lot of cases alikebut not completely alike

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • Alternate Systems
  • Multi-party systems major and minor parties
    exist who have realistic power in a nation
  • This is the way w/ a lot of democracies in Europe
    as well as Japan, Israel, Canada, and others

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • Various parties are based on some particular
    interest (economic class, religious belief,
    political ideology, etc.)
  • This system is unstable b/c no one party can gain
    a majority and so have to form coalitions with
    other parties
  • Parties constantly shift in power coalitions
    dissolve, shift, and/or form in new ways

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • One-party systemput simply, a dictatorship it
    is really a no-party system b/c the one party
    rules and competition is virtually non-existent

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • Political Membership
  • Membership to political parties in the U.S. is
    purely voluntary
  • As a result, the major parties try to be as
    broadly based as possible to attract as many
    members as possible

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • Historically, there have been trends In the last
    few decade
  • African Americans, Catholics, Jews, union members
    ? Democrat Party
  • White males, Protestants, the business community
    ? Republican Party (GOP)
  • 2/3 of people follow the party allegiance of
    their parents

5.2 The Two-Party System
  • Major events change party allegiances
  • Civil War
  • Republicans white male, anti-slavery, bigger
  • Democrats white male, pro-slavery, smaller
  • The Great Depression
  • Democrats bigger govt, activist govt
  • Republicans smaller govt, non-interventionist

5.4 Minor Parties
  • Also called a third party a political party
    formed as a dissenting or independent group from
    members of one or both of the two prevailing
    major parties.

5.4 Minor Parties
  • 1) Ideological Parties
  • Those based on a particular set of beliefs toward
    social, economic, and political matters
  • Ex. Libertarian Party individualism, doing
    away with most of todays govt function and

5.4 Minor Parties
  • 2) Single Issue Parties
  • Those concerned with a single matter
  • Example American (No Nothing) Party opposed
    Irish-Catholic immigration in the 1850s

5.4 Minor Parties
  • 3) Economic Protest Parties
  • Parties that are rooted in economic discontent
  • Parties that are disgusted with the major parties
    and want better economic times
  • Example Populist party agrarian discontent
    (farmers), public ownership of railroads,
    telephone, and telegraph companies, lower
    tariffs. 1890s

5.4 Minor Parties
  • 4) Splinter Parties
  • Parties that have split away from the major
  • Example Bull Moose Party led by T. Roosevelt
    split from the Republican party, 1912
    progressive ideals and reform

5.4 Minor Parties
  • Contributions of third parties
  • The Natl Convention (from the Anti-Mason party,
  • Initiative and referendum in local govt (from
    the Populist party, 1890s)
  • Spoiler role takes votes away from one major
    candidate which causes the other to win

5.5 The Organization of Political Parties
  • National Party Machinery
  • national committee RNC DNC
  • national chairperson
  • - RNC Reince Priebus
  • - DNC Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • national convention every 4 years
  • - nominate president and vice president
  • - write platform
  • - unify party

5.5 The Organization of Political Parties
  • State Local Party Machinery
  • - State Organization
  • State Central Committee
  • State Chairperson
  • - Local Organization
  • County Central Committee
  • Precinct Committee persons

5.5 The Organization of Political Parties
  • 3 elements of the Party
  • the party organization
  • the party in the electorate
  • the party in the government

5.5 The Organization of Political Parties
  • The Future of the Major Parties
  • 1. sharp drop in straight party voters more
    registered independents
  • 2. increase in split-ticket voters
  • 3. open party primaries to other voters

5.5 The Organization of Political Parties
  • 4. candidates less dependent on party
  • 5. rise of PACs super PACs
  • 6. not going away

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