2011 chapter8 - Kenston Local Schools

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Transcript 2011 chapter8 - Kenston Local Schools

Political Party: A group of persons joined
together on the basis of common principles
who seek to control government the
winning of elections.
There are two major parties in American
politics today:
Democrats & Republicans
Some argue this does not fit the
American version… the Democrats and
Republicans are election oriented, not
principle/issue oriented.
Political Parties & Their Functions
Some believe American politics would function
better without political parties
Others say political parties necessary for democratic
government, but at the same time, do not trust
Kind of a “love-hate” relationship
Distrust especially strong among younger voters
Why are Political Parties
important? The are the major
mechanisms behind broad
policies and leadership choices.
They act as a “the voice of the
governed” and some argue that
parties are how the will of the
people are best expressed.
Political parties bring conflicting
groups together to find “common
ground”. The soften extremist
views and seek compromise and
What Is a Political Party?
An organization that sponsors candidates for
political office under the organization’s name
Use a nomination process
Democracies must have at least two political parties
that regularly compete against each other
Party Coalitions Today
What Is a Political Party?
1) Nominating Candidates:
Political leadership requires certain qualities
The major function is to nominate, or name, candidates for
public office… and then they help them win their elections.
Parties can perform “quality control” by choosing candidates
Recruiting and choosing candidates and gathering support for
2) Structuring the Voting Choice
Work to reduce number of candidates on ballot to those with
chance of winning
Loyal party voters provide predictable base of votes
 Third-party candidate success difficult
Choice between only two parties reduces information needed
by voters
3) Informing and Activating Supporters:
Parties inform the people, spark their interest, inspire
them, and get them to participate in public affairs.
Voters are inspired to campaign for candidates, take
stands on issues, and criticize opponents.
Parties create campaign materials (buttons, posters,
bumper stickers) and propaganda materials (pamphlets,
TV, internet, newspaper and radio commercials, speeches,
and rallies) to show their issues in the best light.
4) Proposing Alternative Government Programs
Parties set out general policies candidates will pursue if they
gain office
Candidates tend to support party positions, although
exceptions occur
Some party names advertise policies, such as the Green
Party, Socialist Party, and Libertarian Party
America’s two major parties have relatively neutral names
Acting as Watchdog: Parties act as
watchdogs over the publics
business. The party out of power
usually takes this role by criticizing
the party and behavior of the party
in power (in the executive branch).
The party out of power tries to
convince voters that they should
“throw the rascals out”. The party
out of power tried to become “the
voice of the people” by expressing
their concerns. They become “the
loyal opposition”---- opposed to the
party in power but loyal to the
Coordinating the Actions of
Government Officials
 U.S. government’s separation of powers
divides responsibilities for policymaking
 Political parties major bridge for bringing
the separate powers together to govern
The Pre party Period
Constitution does not mention political parties
 Only factions, not parties, existed when
Constitution written
 Federalist No. 10 hoped federalist system would
prevent factional influences
 Factions of the time included Tories or Loyalists,
Whigs or Patriots, Federalists, and Anti-Federalists
The Preparty Period
Elections vastly different from TODAY
 President and Vice President decided by electoral
 Electors frequently met in private caucuses to
propose candidates
George Washington opposed factional politics
 Because of neutrality, elected unanimously
The First Party System:
Federalists & Democratic Republicans
Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton
Democratic Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson
Election of 1796 saw John Adams (a Federalist) elected
president, with Thomas Jefferson(Dem.-Rep.) elected vice
In election of 1800, both parties nominated candidates for
both president and vice president
Figure 8.1
The Two-Party System
in American History
The Twelfth Amendment
Election of 1800 saw top two vote-getters from
Democratic-Republican Party – but tied in Electoral
 Eventually Jefferson elected president
Ratification of 12th Amendment in 1804 split votes in
Electoral College for president and vice president
Democratic-Republicans won next four elections,
then fell apart
The Second Party System:
Democrats and Whigs
Jackson’s faction of Democratic Republicans
represented “common people”
 Preferred to be called Democrats
 Jackson ran for president in 1828; birth of today’s
Democratic Party
Increase in suffrage rights led to voters choosing
presidential electors
Greater numbers voting required changes from existing
Party Changes
Major parties began having national conventions to
select candidates and adopt party platforms
 First, Anti-Masonic Party in 1831; Democrats and
National Republicans followed in 1832
Coalition of those opposing Jackson formed Whig
Party in 1834
 Democrats and Whigs alternated presidency for
next 30 years
The Current Party System:
Democrats and Republicans
Antislavery forces organized Republican Party in
 John Fremont presidential candidate in 1856;
Abraham Lincoln in 1860
Election of 1860 first of four critical elections
 Led to electoral realignment , with northern states
voting Republican and southern states voting
Democratic for decades
Eras of Party Dominance
Since the Civil War
Democrats and Republicans major parties since
1860 election
 Two-party system
 Third parties rarely successful, except at state or
local level
Balance of power between two major parties
different in various parts of country and at different
Four Political Eras Since
Civil War
A Rough Balance: 1860-1894
 GOP (Grand Old Party, or Republicans) won eight
of 10 presidential elections
 House and Senate wins balanced
A Republican Majority: 1896-1930
 Democrats in trouble because of economic
depression in 1896
 Republican William McKinley won presidency;
Republicans basically in power until Great
William Jennings Bryan: When
Candidates Were Orators
Four Political Eras Since
Civil War
 A Democratic Majority: 1932-1964
 Voters unhappy with economic crisis swarmed to
support Democratic candidate Franklin Delano
Roosevelt in 1932
 Roosevelt won election; Democratic party won
majorities in both House and Senate
 A major electoral realignment
Four Political Eras Since
Civil War
A Rough Balance: 1968 to the Present
 Richard Nixon’s victory in 1968 a fourth critical
election; Republican presidential candidates have
done well since
 Congressional elections in this period mixed:
Democrats generally control House, Senate control
split about evenly
 Party loyalty within regions has shifted; possible
electoral dealignment
The American
Two-Party System
 While two parties are dominant, third
parties make contributions also
 Third parties usually one of four types:
 Bolter parties
 Farmer-labor parties
 Parties of ideological protest
 Single-issue parties
Figure 8.2
Party Candidates for the U.S. House
in the 2010 Election
Historical Third-Party
Third parties not very successful
 Rarely receive more than 10% of the vote
 Bolter parties have won more than 10% twice
Republican Party originated as single-issue third
Third parties have better record as policy advocates,
and serve as safety valves
Four types of minor parties:
1)Ideological Parties:
Based on set of beliefs
(social, economic, political)
e.g. socialist, socialist labor,
socialist worker, communist
Libertarians Party is non-socialist
Don’t win many votes, but have been
long lived.
2. Single-Issue Parties:
Concentrate on one public
policy matter
(usually short lived)
Names indicate primary concern:
Free Soil Party- end expansion of
Know Nothing Party (American Party)
- opposed immigration, particularly of
Irish Catholics
Right to Life Party- opposes abortion
3. Economic Protest Parties:
No clear cut ideological base, unlike
socialists which focus on economic issues
Focus on their “enemies” such as:
Monetary system, Wall Street Bankers, railroad,
foreign imports
Greenback Party: (1876-1884) appealed to
farmers- free silver, federal regulation of
railroads, income tax, labor legislation
Populist Party: (1890’s) public ownership of
railroad, telephone, and telephone. Wanted
lower tariffs, adoption of initiative and
These parties often form in times of economic
turmoil- also short lived
4. Splinter/BOLTER Parties:
Break away from major parties
(usually short lived)
“Republican Splinters”:
“Bull Moose” Progressive Party:
Theodore Roosevelt challenged Howard
Taft’s Republican nomination
called for women's suffrage
recall of judicial decisions
easier amending the U.S. Constitution social
welfare legislation for women and children,
workers' compensation
limited injunctions in strikes
farm relief
required health insurance in industry
new inheritance taxes and income taxes
“Republican Splinters”:
Progressive Party: (1924)
Candidate Robert La Follette
called for
government ownership of the
railroads and electric utilities,
cheap credit for farmers
outlawing child labor
stronger laws to help labor
more protection of civil
“Democratic Splinters”:
States’ Rights “Dixiecrat” Party:
Led by Strom Thurmond advocated
retention of Jim Crow laws
racial segregation.
American Independent Party (1968)
led by former Alabama Governor
George Wallace
who advocated
A reversal of the Civil Rights Act of
opposed to federal government
welfare programs.
One Party that does not fit into any
category is the
Green Party USA
(founded 1984).
Began as single issue party, but…
In 2000, Ralph Nadar accepted their
endorsement as President and adopted
a variety of issues:
environmental protection
universal health care
gay rights
restraints on corporate power
campaign finance reform
opposition to global free trade
Why a Two-Party System?
U.S. two-party system results from electoral process
and political socialization
 Elections based on majority representation, not
proportional representation
 Major parties make election laws
 Presidential politics and persistence drive survival of
Democratic and Republican parties
The Federal Basis
of the Party System
Party identification important political concept
 Most people identify with one of the two major
Data show three tendencies:
 Republicans and Democrats together outnumber
 More Democrats than Republicans
 Democratic numbers shrinking over time
Figure 8.4
Distribution of Party
Identification, 1952-2008
Party Identification
Party identification predisposes but does
not mandate voting behavior
 Factors affecting party identification:
Parental party identification also
Figure 8.5
Party Identification by Social Groups
Fewer Citizens Are Partying
 Partisanship has declined since early
 Also true in many other democracies
 Reasons given include more education and
political sophistication
Party Ideology and
Significant differences in ideology between
Republicans and Democrats
 Approaches to concepts of freedom, order, and
equality affect spending priorities
 Differences drive party platforms
Ideological differences more pronounced when
looking at party activists
Figure 8.6
Ideologies of Party Voters and
Party Delegates in 2008
National Party Organization
Some believe Republicans more organized as a party
than Democrats
Each party has four major organizational components:
National convention
National committee
Congressional party conferences
Congressional campaign committees
Building a Bigger Republican Tent?
National Party Organization
National parties not particularly powerful
 Do not direct or control presidential campaigns
Beginning in 1970s, Democrats made procedural
changes and Republicans made organizational
Both parties have made significant organizational
changes in recent years
State and Local Party
At one time, both parties had powerful state and
local party machines
Individual organizations vary in size and strength
National parties supply funding, candidate training,
poll data and research, and campaigning instruction
Decentralized but
Growing Stronger
American parties one of most decentralized in
the world
Even though party identification dropping,
political party organizations growing stronger
Still, not clear how well parties link voters to
The Model of Responsible
Party Government
Parties essential to making government responsive to public
opinion in majoritarian model
 Parties should present clear and coherent programs to
 Voters should choose candidates based on party programs
 Winning party should carry out proposed programs
 Voters should hold governing party responsible for
program execution at next election