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
them

Kind of a “love-hate” relationship

Distrust especially strong among younger voters
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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
unity.
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
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Party Coalitions Today
What Is a Political Party?
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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
them.
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
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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
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
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
people!
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
effectively
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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
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The Preparty Period

Elections vastly different from TODAY
 President and Vice President decided by electoral
college
 Electors frequently met in private caucuses to
propose candidates

George Washington opposed factional politics
 Because of neutrality, elected unanimously
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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
president

In election of 1800, both parties nominated candidates for
both president and vice president
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Figure 8.1
The Two-Party System
in American History
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The Twelfth Amendment

Election of 1800 saw top two vote-getters from
Democratic-Republican Party – but tied in Electoral
College!
 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
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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
parties
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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
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The Current Party System:
Democrats and Republicans

Antislavery forces organized Republican Party in
1854
 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
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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
times
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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
Depression
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William Jennings Bryan: When
Candidates Were Orators
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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
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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
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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
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Figure 8.2
Party Candidates for the U.S. House
in the 2010 Election
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Historical Third-Party
Successes

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
party

Third parties have better record as policy advocates,
and serve as safety valves
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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
slavery
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
referendum
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:
(1912)
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
unions
more protection of civil
liberties
“Democratic Splinters”:
States’ Rights “Dixiecrat” Party:
(1948)
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
1964
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
more…
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
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The Federal Basis
of the Party System

Party identification important political concept
 Most people identify with one of the two major
parties

Data show three tendencies:
 Republicans and Democrats together outnumber
Independents
 More Democrats than Republicans
 Democratic numbers shrinking over time
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Figure 8.4
Distribution of Party
Identification, 1952-2008
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Party Identification
Party identification predisposes but does
not mandate voting behavior
 Factors affecting party identification:

Income
Religion
Region
Age

Education
Gender
Ethnicity
Parental party identification also
important
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Figure 8.5
Party Identification by Social Groups
42
Fewer Citizens Are Partying
 Partisanship has declined since early
1950s
 Also true in many other democracies
 Reasons given include more education and
political sophistication
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Party Ideology and
Organization

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
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Figure 8.6
Ideologies of Party Voters and
Party Delegates in 2008
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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
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Building a Bigger Republican Tent?
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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
reforms

Both parties have made significant organizational
changes in recent years
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State and Local Party
Organizations

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
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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
government
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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
 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
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