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Political Parties and Interest Groups

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Title: Political Parties and Interest Groups


1
Political Parties and Interest Groups
2
Linkage Institutions
  • Political Parties
  • Interest Groups
  • Mass Media
  • All Promote United States Democracy by Linking
    Citizens to the Political Process

3
Political Parties
4
Definition of Purpose
  • Group of individuals who seek to control
    government by sponsoring candidates for public
    office
  • Elect People to Office
  • Gain control of Government
  • Political Parties and the Constitution
  • The issue of political parties is not addressed
    in the Constitution

5
Functions
  • Nominators
  • Policy Makers linkage institution
  • Organizers of government machinery
  • Informers
  • Approvers
  • Watchdogs

6
Party Systems
  • One party authoritarian, dictatorship, Solid
    South
  • Two Party US, historical, third parties have
    challenges
  • Multiparty Some European nations, contributes
    to coalitions, often unstable due to no clear
    majority

7
Party Structure
  • Membership
  • Party in the electorate
  • Party Structure
  • Party in Government

8
Party Structure
  • Party Leader
  • Party in the White House
  • Barack Obama is the leader of the Democratic
    Party
  • Republican leader?
  • Highest ranking Republican in Congress
  • Nominee for 2016
  • Chair of RNC

9
National Structure
  • National Chairperson
  • National Committee
  • Handle convention, party affairs
  • Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Work to get party members elected to Congress
  • Control decision making
  • Coattail Effect
  • Who elects President if no candidate wins
    majority in Electoral College?
  • National Convention
  • Purpose write/adopt platform, nominate
    President and Vice-President

10
Other Characteristics
  • Federalism Parties are DECENTRALIZED!
  • Separate and Largely Independent Party
    Organizations Exists at National, State and Local
    Levels
  • Intraparty rivalry is real
  • State and Local Parties purpose is to get party
    members elected to state and local positions in
    government

11
Moderation
  • Attract as many voters as possible
  • Nominate a moderate candidate
  • Presidential Elections have become more focused
    on individual candidates
  • Platforms historically are not distinctly
    different
  • Since early 1980s, Republican Party platform has
    been increasingly influenced by Evangelical
    Christians
  • Democratic Party platform becoming increasingly
    influenced by minority groups (2012 Election-
    Hispanic Groups, Women)

12
Are political parties becoming extinct?
  • Increase in the number of independents
  • Split ticket voting is increasing
  • Rising use of technology
  • Media and independent expenditures
  • Interest groups influence has increased

13
Persistence of Political Parties
  • Electoral College Single-Member District
    Electoral System
  • Domination of the Legislature by Two Political
    Parties
  • Funding is still high
  • Party unity score is high
  • Partisanship still the best indicator of how
    someone will vote

14
Third Parties (Minor Parties)
  • Challenges
  • Rep and Dem control the process therefore the
    minor parties are left out
  • Wasted Vote in the Mind of the Voter
  • Excluded from the Political Process
  • Funding
  • Debates
  • Electoral College
  • Influence
  • Force issues
  • Ross Perot and budget deficit in 1990s

15
Third Parties (Minor Parties)
Candidate Election Year Party Popular Vote Electoral Vote
Fillmore 1856 Know Nothings 22 8
Breckinridge 1860 Secessionist 18 72
T. Roosevelt 1912 Bull Moose 27 88
LaFolette 1924 Progressive 17 13
Wallace 1968 American Independent 14 46
Perot 1992 United We Stand 19 0
16
Types of Third Parties
  • Bolter or Splinter
  • Doctrinal (Ideological)
  • Economic Protest
  • Single Issue

17
Third Parties Splinter Parties
  • Separates from major party
  • Progressive Party in 1912 (R)
  • American Independent in 1968 (D)

18
Third Parties Ideological
  • Reject prevailing attitudes/beliefs
  • favor a more active government
  • Socialist Party

19
Third Parties Economic Protest
  • Creation based on economic crisis or policy
  • Greenback Party

20
Third Parties Single Issue
  • Formed to promote ONE issue
  • Right to Life Party (pro-life)
  • Prohibition Party

21
Minor Parties
  • Q What tends to happen to single issue parties?
  • A Issues may get picked up and their reason for
    existence is eliminated
  • Q Which type of minor party has been the most
    successful in winning votes?
  • A Splinter
  • Q Which type of minor party has been the longest
    lived?
  • A Ideological

22
Failure of Alternative Parties
  • No viable national campaign
  • Limited fundraising
  • Institutional obstacles
  • Single member voting district
  • Winner take all system in electoral college

23
What about the Tea Party Movement?
  • http//www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id6408472nta
    gcontentMaincontentBody

24
Realigning Elections
  • Critical Elections are Most Associated with Party
    Realignment
  • When groups of voters have changed their
    traditional patters of party loyalties

25
Dealignment Movement in Which Voters Abandon
Both Parties
  • Factors less and less identifying with the major
    parties (1/3 independent)
  • Effects on Campaigns
  • Moderate stance
  • Target independent or swing voters
  • Focus on issues that will differentiate party
  • As elections become more candidate-centered,
    political parties become less important.
  • No one party dominates. The country is evenly
    divided.
  • Voters are more cynical about politics.
  • Citizens increasingly engage in split-ticket
    voting

26
Interest Groups
27
Definition
  • Groups of individuals or businesses who have a
    common goal of making the political system change
    policy which in turn benefits members.
  • Focus? Influence public policy

28
Types of Interest Groups
  • Economic - NAM
  • Business - Farm Bureau
  • Increased in number most substantially since the
    mid-1970s
  • Ideological - Christian Coalition
  • Public Interest - Public Citizen Inc.
  • Foreign Policy - Pro-Israel Groups
  • Government - National Governors Assn.
  • Professional - ABA, AMA, NEA, etc.
  • Use caution, names can be deceiving

29
Functions of Interest Groups
  • Stimulate interest
  • Represent members
  • Means of participation
  • Provide data
  • Collective action or grass roots efforts
  • Checks and balances watchdogs
  • Coalition Building- Interest Groups can Join
    Together to Increase Influence

30
How do Interest Groups Provide Data to Government?
  • Lobbying
  • Publicity
  • Litigation (class action lawsuits, amicus curaie
    briefs with Supreme Court)
  • Sway Regulations
  • Electioneering

31
What is lobbying?
  • The communicating of ideas or beliefs about
    government to a government policy maker.
    Objective is to influence public policy.
  • Qualifications?
  • Common backgrounds? Former elected officials,
    lawyers, PR, journalists
  • Job responsibilities? Paperwork, testify,
    grassroots efforts, media, endorsements,
    providing legislators with information on
    technical issues (the most significant!)

32
What are the Criticisms of Interest Groups?
  • Special Interests
  • Too much influence in relation to size
  • How many are actually represented?
  • Dont represent the views of those that they
    claim
  • Corruption
  • Pluralist system violates the majority
  • Poor arent represented

33
What is the Role of the PAC?
  • Political Action Committee
  • Political arm of an association- campaign
    contributions to gain access to legislators
  • Effects? (incumbents?)
  • Regulated by the FEC
  • Federal Election Commission

34
What is a Sub-Government or Iron Triangle?
35
Differences Between Political Parties and
Interest Groups
  • Political Parties
  • Interest Groups
  • Election
  • Policy Generalist- Represent a Broad Array of
    Issues
  • Issue
  • Do Not Nominate
  • Policy Specialist- More Likely to Focus on Narrow
    Set of Issues

36
Recap Interest Groups
  • ACtions
  • Lobbying
  • Litigation
  • grassroots
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