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Modern Democracy: Parties, Elections, and Interest Groups

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Title: Modern Democracy: Parties, Elections, and Interest Groups


1
Modern Democracy Parties, Elections, and
Interest Groups
2
What is a Party?
  • Political Party- group of persons who seek to
    control government through the winning of
    elections and the holding of public office.
  • Major Parties-Democrats and Republicans

3
What do they do?
  • Nominate Candidates
  • Inform and activate supporters
  • Ensure good performance of its candidates
  • Partisanship- strong support of policy and party
  • Watchdog-overlook party in power

4
Democrats
  • Party of Jackson
  • Liberals
  • Donkey
  • The Left
  • Blue State
  • Stricter gun control
  • Pro-choice
  • Strong anti-discrimination laws are necessary
  • Higher tax percentage for higher income
  • More government programs to aid society
  • Decrease military spending
  • No death penalty
  • Pro Gay Marriage

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6
Republicans
  • Party of Lincoln
  • Conservatives
  • Elephant
  • The Right
  • Red State
  • GOP (Grand Old Party)
  • Opposes more gun legislation
  • Pro-life
  • Anti-discrimination is something that should come
    though better education individual conscience
  • Lower taxes overall benefit the economy
  • Less government programs, but more community
    programs
  • Strong military is important
  • For death penalty
  • Against Gay Marriage

7
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8
http//news.yahoo.com/who-knew/political-party-sym
bols-where-did-the-idea-for-the-democratic-donkey-
come-from-30495602.html
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12
Minor Parties
  • Ideological-based on a set of beliefs
  • Libertarian (individualism)
  • Communist, Socialist, etc.
  • Single Issue
  • Right to Life

13
Minor Parties (con.)
  • Economic Protest-exist when economy is in trouble
  • Tea Party
  • Splinter Parties
  • Bull Moose Party
  • Dixiecrats
  • Green Party

14
Why Minor Parties are Important
  • Minor Party actually started the convention
    concept (Anti-Masons 1831)
  • Spoiler Role
  • Critic or innovator

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16
Voter Behavior
  • Many choose to not vote during off-year elections
  • Why many do not vote
  • Illegal aliens
  • Travel or illness
  • Mental health facilities, jails, or religious
    beliefs
  • Feel does not make a difference

17
Other Factors
  • Inconvenient registration requirements
  • Long ballots
  • Long lines
  • Time Zone fallout (polls close earlier in east so
    feel no need to vote once hear results)
  • Lack of Interest
  • Bad Weather

18
Sociological Trends
  • Lower income
  • Manual Labor
  • Women
  • Younger
  • Catholics
  • Jews
  • African Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • Mexican/Puerto Rican
  • Native Americans
  • Inner cities
  • New England and West Coast
  • Higher Income
  • Professional Jobs
  • Business Jobs
  • College Graduates
  • Men
  • Older
  • Protestants
  • Caucasian
  • Cuban
  • Suburbs
  • South and Midwest

19
Other Trends
  • Tend to vote as your family does
  • Decrease in party identification
  • More Independents
  • The concept of straight-ticket voting
  • Increase in focus on issues to influence voting

20
Candidates on the 2008 AZ Ballot
  • OBAMA, BARACK Democrat
  • McKINNEY, CYNTHIA Green
  • BARR, BOB Libertarian
  • ALLEN, JONATHAN  (Write-In)
  • BALDWIN, CHUCK  (Write-In)
  • JAY, CHARLES  (Write-In)
  • NADER, RALPH  (Nomination by other than by
    Primary)
  • McCAIN, JOHN Republican

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23
Swing States
  • States that tend to be fairly independent in
    elections and that could swing to either party
    in any given election or that current election
    year
  • Recent examples FL, NV, CO, OH, MO, VA

24
Interest Groups
  • Organized effort to protect group interests
  • Influence public policy
  • Parties concerned with their views due to
    necessity of votes

25
Good?
  • Stimulate interest in public affairs
  • Represent members based on shared attitudes
  • Provide useful, specialized, and detailed
    information to government
  • Promote political participation
  • Add another element to checks and balances
  • Compete with one another in the public arena

26
Bad?
  • Influence beyond proportion to size, importance,
    or contribution to public good
  • Hard to tell who they represent
  • Do not represent views of people they claim to be
    for
  • Use tactics that potentially would undermine
    entire political system

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Types of Interest Groups
  • Business Groups
  • Labor Groups
  • Agricultural Groups
  • Professional Groups
  • Groups that Promote Causes
  • Organizations that Promote the Welfare of Certain
    Groups
  • Religious Organizations

29
PACS
  • Political action committee (PAC)-any organization
    in the United States that campaigns for or
    against political candidates, ballot initiatives
    or legislation.
  • Federal level-receive or spend more than 1000

30
Citizens United v. FEC
  • PACs who did not give to candidates, parties, or
    other PACs could accept unlimited contributions
    from individuals, unions, and corporations (both
    for profit and not-for-profit) for the purpose of
    making independent expenditures
  • Result-Corporations can influence elections and
    have free speech like citizens

31
Super PACs
  • No limit
  • Cannot coordinate directly with a candidate or
    party
  • Can support a party or candidate
  • Can go against a party or candidate

32
Super PACs (con.)
  • Restore Our Future (Romney)
  • Priorities USA Action (Obama)
  • American Crossroads (Anti-Dems)
  • Freedomworks for America (Tea Party)
  • 100 individual super PAC donors in 20112012 made
    up just 3.7 of contributors, but accounted for
    more than 80 of the total money raised

33
http//www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-17-2
012/colbert-super-pac---not-coordinating-with-step
hen-colbert
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