Political parties
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Political Parties. Introduction to Chapter 9. Political Parties . Political parties are groups with broad common interests that seek to elect candidates to offices to influence the government. Supply candidates labels to help the electorate identify.

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Political Parties

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Political parties

Political Parties


to Chapter 9

Political parties1

Political Parties

  • Political parties are groups with broad common interests that seek to elect candidates to offices to influence the government.

  • Supply candidates labels to help the electorate identify.

  • Our political parties have become decentralized like our government.

Arenas of politics for parties

Arenas of Politics for Parties

  • Label

    • In the minds of voters—weakening

    • More split –ticket voting

  • Organization

    • Recruiting and campaigning for candidates—parties have weakened

  • Set of leaders

    • Organize and try to control the legislative and executive branches

Us parties v parties abroad

US Parties v. Parties Abroad

  • Labels more important than candidates names

    • Parties nominate their candidates for office-No primaries

    • Campaigns run by the party

    • Most election decisions made at the national level

    • Legis. Controls who chief executive will be

    • Join parties by paying dues & attending meetings

  • Parties sponsor unions, clubs & social activities

  • Candidate names w/ labels

  • Individuals choose to run

  • Campaigns run by the candidate

  • States & localities make decisions about elections

  • Voters choose party’s nominees in primaries

  • Exec. & Legis. Branches are separate

  • People do not “join” parties

    • Social & political lives rarely overlap

    • Try to win to influence government

    • Provide a label to assist voters

    • Help recruit candidates to run

    • Loyalty to parties has decreased everywhere

    Chart summary

    Chart Summary

    • European parties are disciplined gatekeepers.

      • Voters are very loyal, but is declining

    • US Federal system decentralizes power.

      • Early on, government decisions were made at state and local levels & held most jobs

      • National parties were coalitions of local parties

      • As political power became centralized, parties decentralized & weakened

    Chart summary1

    Chart Summary

    • State and federal election laws weakened parties.

    • Candidates chosen today mainly through primaries-not by parties.

    • President elected separately from Congress.

    • Presidential appointees are drawn from many sources.

    American political culture

    American Political Culture

    • Parties relatively unimportant in day-to-day life.

    • Most Americans do not “join” parties like Europeans—simply vote.

      • Dues, attend meetings, control unions, etc.

    • Americans separate political parties from other aspects of life.

      • Most parts nonpartisan, growing number of independents

    The rise decline of political parties

    The Rise & Decline of Political Parties

    The Founding (to 1820’s)

    • Founders disliked parties-factions

    • For parties to be acceptable, distinction between policy disputes and challenges to the legitimacy of government had to be made.

    The founding to 1820 s

    The Founding (to 1820’s)

    • What’s in a name?

      • Jefferson’s Democratic Republicans

      • Hamilton’s Federalists

    • What were the results of the rivalry?

      • Elections

      • Speeches

      • Successors

      • Few homogeneous interests, heterogeneous coalitions

    Jefferson versus hamilton

    Jefferson versus Hamilton

    • What are the major differences between the 2 visions?

    • Whose vision for America was best during the Washington administration & why?

    • Which side’s view is best for our country today? Why?

    The jacksonians to civil war

    The Jacksonians (to Civil War)

    • Political participation became a phenomenon.

    • More voters to be reached.

      • More voters enfranchised

      • By 1832, pres. Electors selected by popular vote in most states.

    • Party built from the bottom, up.

    • Abandonment of party caucuses composed of Congress members

    • Beginning of party convention, allowing local control

    The civil war sectionalism 1860 1930 s

    The Civil War & Sectionalism (1860-1930’s)

    • Jacksonian system unable to survive civil war

    • Why did the new Republican dominate?

      • Began as 3rd party

      • Relied on Union pride during war

      • WJ Bryan’s creation of sectionalism

        • North Republican, South Democrat

    The civil war sectionalism 1860 1930 s1

    The Civil War & Sectionalism (1860-1930’s)

    • Most states were dominated by one party

      • Factions emerged in each party

        • Republicans “Old Guard” (party people) versus “mugwumps” (reformers, issues)

        • Progressives often shifted loyalty initially, but then attacked Republican partisanship

    The era of reform

    The Era of Reform

    • Progressives pushed measures to curtail party power and influence.

      • Primaries over party conventions

      • More nonpartisan elections locally & some statewide

      • No party-business alliances due to corruption

      • Strict voter registration requirements to reduce fraud

      • Civil service to replace patronage

      • Allow initiatives and referendums for voters

    The era of reform1

    The Era of Reform

    • Effects of the Progressives

      • Reduced the worst forms of political corruption

      • Weakened all political parties

        • Office holders less accountable to parties

        • Less coordination across the branches

      • Reduced voter turnout

      • Succeeded in using media to promote ideas

    Party realignments

    Party Realignments

    • Critical or realigning periods: Periods during which a sharp, lasting shift occurs in the popular coalition supporting one or both parties. Issues that separate the two parties change, and so the kinds of voters that support each party change.

    Party realignments1

    Party Realignments

    • There have been 6 distinct realignments so far in US history:

      • 1800: Jeffersonian “Republicans” defeated the Federalists

      • 1828: The rise of Jacksonian Democrats

      • 1860: The collapse of the Whigs, Rise of the Republicans

      • 1896: The Republicans defeat of WJ Bryan

      • 1932: The Democrats under FDR

      • 1972: Social Movements & Southern Shift

    What are the kinds of realignments

    What are the kinds of realignments?

    • Disappearance of a major party

      • Examples: 1800, 1860

    • Voters shift from one party to another

      • Examples: 1896, 1932

    • The clearest cases of realignment are over social and economic issues…1860, 1896, 1932

    Recent trends

    Recent Trends

    • Why was 1980 not a realignment? 2 reasons…

    • How has the South shifted in Presidential elections? Why?

    • Why may dramatic realignments not occur again? (De-alignment)

    Party decline

    Party Decline

    • What is the proof that parties are declining?

      • Party id declining-More independents

      • More split ticket voting

      • Office Bloc Balloting

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