Political parties
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Political Parties PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Political Parties. Voluntary associations of people who seek to control the government through common principles based upon peaceful and legal action. Political Parties. Political Parties are the link between people and the government. (Party in the Electorate)

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Political Parties

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Political parties

Political Parties

Voluntary associations of people who seek to control the government through common principles based upon peaceful and legal action.


Political parties1

Political Parties

  • Political Parties are the link between people and the government. (Party in the Electorate)

  • All parties are “extra-constitutional” and were created from custom and usage, not created or governed by the Constitution.

  • Appointed and elected officials represent the party (Party in Government)

  • Structurally, the parties are run by the national committee, state committee and local committee. (Party in Organization)


Functions of political parties

Functions of Political Parties

  • Make policy preferences

  • Set agendas

  • Help select candidates for office

  • Run campaigns

  • Educate the electorate

  • Organize the government

  • One of the access points of special interests and individuals seeking help from the system.


Factors which have weakened political parties

Factors Which Have Weakened Political Parties

  • Primaries

  • Alternative Methods of Raising Money

  • Political Action Committees (PAC’s)

  • Public Financing of Presidential Elections

  • Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission

  • Loss of patronage power

  • Government taking on social responsibility, i.e. welfare

  • Local Congressional offices for constituent services

  • Media Covers the candidate, not the party

  • Split-ticket voting


Criticism of parties

Criticism of Parties

  • Evade the issues

  • No new ideas

  • Pander to special interests and fail to deliver on promises

  • Corruption (influence of PAC’s, etc)

  • Divided government, Gridlock


The federalist 10

The Federalist #10

The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. James Madison


Party coalitions

Party Coalitions

  • The Republican Party appeals to rural and suburban dwellers, New Englanders (except Massachusetts), Mid-westerners, Westerners, white collar workers, older voters, WASPs, high income, high educated, the religious right, anti-abortion, conservatives.

  • The Democratic Party appeals to urban dwellers, African Americans, Jews, *Catholics, other minorities, blue-collar workers, union members, lower educated, lower income, intellectuals, gay rights, women, pro-choice.

  • Catholics and Southerners used to be Democrats, but are increasingly Republican.


Role of third parties

Role of Third Parties

  • Third Parties take three forms: ideological, issue party, protest, single-issue

  • Third parties tend to be ideological, i.e. The Green Party, United We Stand (Ross Perot) which became the Reform Party

  • The Electoral College system stacks the deck against third party candidates due to the winner-take-all system.


Structure and organization of political parties

Structure and Organization of Political Parties

  • National Convention

  • National Committee

  • National Chairperson

  • Congressional campaign Committee

  • State and Local Organization


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