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Today’s Agenda. Electoral Institutions (Elec. College) Are Political Parties like sports teams? What happens to voters when the “teams don’t wear uniforms?” If so, are interest groups like Nike, Reebok, and Adidas?. Why would we do this, instead of a national election?

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Today s agenda

Today’s Agenda

  • Electoral Institutions (Elec. College)

  • Are Political Parties like sports teams?

    • What happens to voters when the “teams don’t wear uniforms?”

  • If so, are interest groups like Nike, Reebok, and Adidas?


Electoral college

Why would we do this, instead of a national election?

Comes from state sovereignty

Individual states are important!

Why is it so hard to change?

(you know this one)

Who has an incentive to change it?

Electoral College


How does it work

How does it work?

  • Basically each state gets to choose their preferred candidate

  • Each state gets a # of “votes” for President

    • 2 for each Senator (100 total)

    • # of House members (435 total)

    • DC gets 3 votes

    • 100 + 435 + 3 = 538 total electors (These are the elites who choose our President!)


How does it work1

How does it work?

  • When you vote for president, you are simply choosing electors who have promised to vote for your party’s candidate.

  • Whichever candidate gets 270 electoral votes wins!

    • (See how that works? Majority of 538? See?)


How does it work2

How does it work?

  • 48 states use the winner-take-all

    • (CO too!)

  • 7 House members

  • 2 Senators

  • 9 votes!


How does it work3

How does it work?

  • 48 states use the winner-take-all

  • Nebraska and Maine are special

  • Swing states (battleground states) get a LOT of attention

  • Strong partisan states are ignored


What are political parties

What are Political Parties?

  • A political party is a group of voters, activists, candidates, and office holders who identify with a party label.

    • They recruit and run candidates for public office under the party label.

    • They try to organize and coordinate the activities of government officials under the party name.


What are political parties1

What are Political Parties?

  • A political party is a group of voters, activists, candidates, and office holders who identify with a party label.

    • They recruit and run candidates for public office under the party label.

    • They try to organize and coordinate the activities of government officials under the party name.

    • They want to win elections!


Party websites

Party Websites

  • Democrats

  • http://www.democrats.org/

  • Republicans

  • http://www.gop.com/

  • Libertarians

  • http://www.lp.org/

  • Green Party

  • http://www.gp.org/


The role of political parties in a democracy

The Role of Political Parties in a Democracy

  • Many political scientists believe that parties are essential to democracy.


The role of political parties in a democracy1

The Role of Political Parties in a Democracy

  • Many political scientists believe that parties are essential to democracy.

  • The political party is seen by some as the main instrument of popular sovereignty and majority rule.


The role of political parties in a democracy2

The Role of Political Parties in a Democracy

  • Many political scientists believe that parties are essential to democracy.

  • The political party is seen by some as the main instrument of popular sovereignty and majority rule.

  • Parties provide a way for the people to keep elected officials responsive and responsible through competitive elections.


Parties and majority rule

Parties and Majority Rule

  • Parties’ mobilize and educate people about politics.


Parties and majority rule1

Parties and Majority Rule

  • Parties’ mobilize and educate people about politics.

  • Elections create an incentive to include as many voters as possible, with a majority being the goal of each party.


Parties and majority rule2

Parties and Majority Rule

  • Parties’ mobilize and educate people about politics.

  • Elections create an incentive to include as many voters as possible, with a majority being the goal of each party.

  • Parties try to broaden their appeal by running candidates from many ethnic, racial, and religious groups.


The two party system

The Two-Party System

  • Most nations have either one-party systems or multiparty systems.

  • Most Western democracies have multiparty systems.

  • But two parties have dominated the political scene in the United States since 1836.


Why only 2 american parties

Why Only 2 American Parties?

  • Winner-take-all system:

    • Legislative seats awarded only to first place finishers.

    • Losers get nothing

    • People do not want to “waste” vote on third place finisher

  • Single-member districts

  • Parties have incentive to gobble up third parties close to them


What happens in other democracies

What happens in other Democracies?

  • “Proportional representation”

    • Each party gets a share of the votes they receive in the election

    • So the Senate and House would be made up of the percentage of votes each party received.

    • Germany


Tradeoffs

Tradeoffs?

  • Proportional representation means MORE groups given a seat at the table

    • Small parties get some voice

  • Two-party system means less participants, but perhaps more efficient.

    • Less bargaining with fewer people


Parties getting worse

Parties getting worse?

  • Scandalmonger


Historical animosity

Historical animosity

  • On May 22, 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks, wielding a walking stick, strode into the U.S. Senate chamber. Seated at his desk, answering routine correspondence, was Senator Charles Sumner, whose oration earlier that week had energized anti-slavery activists in the North.

  • The South Carolinian strode to Sumner's desk and struck the senator across the head with his cane. As Sumner, dazed and bleeding, struggled to get to his feet, Brooks continued to rain blows upon him for about a minute, until his wooden cane shattered.

  • Sumner was stitched up by a doctor, but took years to fully recover. Brooks was arrested and released on bail, and was considered a hero throughout the South. People sent him canes to replace the one he had broken beating Sumner.


Parties getting worse1

Parties getting worse?


Parties getting worse2

Parties getting worse?


Grover cleveland democrat or republican

Grover Cleveland – Democrat or Republican?

  • United States President Grover Cleveland vetoed an expenditure that would have provided $10,000 of federal aid to drought-stricken Texas farmers. When explaining to Congress why such an appropriation of taxpayer money was inappropriate, he stated:I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people. ... The friendliness and charity of our fellow countrymen can always be relied on to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood


Realignment democrat or republican

Realignment – Democrat or Republican?

  • United States President Grover Cleveland vetoed an expenditure that would have provided $10,000 of federal aid to drought-stricken Texas farmers. When explaining to Congress why such an appropriation of taxpayer money was inappropriate, he stated:I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people. ... The friendliness and charity of our fellow countrymen can always be relied on to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood


Party advertising negative

Party Advertising – negative?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_zTN4BXvYI

  • Citizen’s United

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtjFY29-4FY

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoG1fbu3IYA

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWKTOCP45zY


Party organization mass elites

Party organization – mass, elites

  • May’s law of curvilinear disparity


Party responsibility

Party Responsibility

  • What institutional factors help parties be responsible?

  • Western Europe versus the U.S.

  • Regional differences – note regionally, the distribution of preferences differ – what effect does that have on party responsibility.

  • Effect of party responsibility on voting

  • The expensive turkey sandwich (according to Dr. Baird)


Party decline

Party Decline?


Interest groups

Interest groups

  • Like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok, interest groups like to be on the winning team (regardless of who that is).


What is the difference

What is the difference?

  • Interest groups DO NOT run their own candidates for office (they don’t own a sports team).

  • They typically do NOT seek mass membership like Political Parties do


What are interest groups three definitions

What are Interest Groups?Three Definitions

  • Neutral: Private organizations or associations that seek to influence government policies as a way to protect or advance some interest or concern.

  • Negative: Special interests that seek advantage over other groups and against the public interest.

  • Positive: Another way by which Americans can influence their government.


Questions assessing the role of interest groups

Questions: Assessing the Role of Interest Groups

  • Do interest groups, on balance, help or hurt the practice of democracy in the United States?

  • Do interest groups, on balance, help or hurt the fashioning of coherent and effective public policies?


What are factions

What are factions?

“… a number of citizens (either a majority or minority number) who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens…”

James Madison, Federalist #10


Madison on factions

Madison on “Factions”

“There are two methods of curing the mischief of faction:”

  • “By removing its causes”

  • “By controlling its effects”

    James Madison, Federalist #10


Madison on factions1

Madison on “Factions”

“There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction:”

  • Get rid of individual liberty

  • Make everyone think the same

    (Both are B-A-D)

    James Madison, Federalist #10


More on interest groups

More on interest groups…

  • Teams Without Uniforms

  • Interest groups are EVIL

  • Interest groups are key to a healthy democratic government

  • What do interest Groups DO?


Non partisan elections

Non-Partisan Elections

  • What happens when “teams don’t wear uniforms?”

    • When is this?


Non partisan elections1

Non-Partisan Elections

  • What happens when “teams don’t wear uniforms?”

    • When is this?

      • Primaries

      • Local elections

    • What does this allow us to do?


Non partisan elections2

Non-Partisan Elections

  • What happens when “teams don’t wear uniforms?”

    • When is this?

      • Primaries

      • Local elections

    • What does this allow us to do?

      • Test for Partisan Effects! Yeehaaa!


Non partisan elections3

Non-Partisan Elections

  • What happens when “teams don’t wear uniforms?”

    • People switch to other “cues”

      • Gender

      • Race/ethnicity

      • Profession

      • Past experience

      • Etc.


Non partisan elections4

Non-Partisan Elections

  • What happens when “teams don’t wear uniforms?”

    • People switch to other “cues”

      • Gender

      • Race/ethnicity

      • Profession

      • Past experience

    • Lower turnout!

    • Less interest!

    • Elite voters determine your lives!


Assessing the role of interest groups

Assessing the Role of Interest Groups

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBELC_vxqhI&feature=related


Assessing the role of interest groups1

Assessing the Role of Interest Groups

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzrBurlJUNk


Theories of interest group politics

Theories of Interest Group Politics

  • Elite Theory

  • Pluralist Theory

  • Hyper-pluralist Theory


Theories of interest group politics elitism

Theories of Interest Group Politics: Elitism

  • Societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule,

    • regardless of the formal niceties of government organization.

  • The presence of many groups means nothing, the power is not equally divided among them

    • some groups have more.


Theories of interest group politics elitism1

Theories of Interest Group Politics: Elitism

  • Power is strengthened by a system of interlocking agreements between corporations and other institutions.

  • Lobbying is a problem because it benefits the few at the expense of the many.


Interest group ratings

Interest Group Ratings

  • ACLU (Am. Civil Liberties Union)

  • http://action.aclu.org/site/VoteCenter?congress=109&location=S&page=congScorecard

  • ACU (American Conservative Union)

  • http://conservative.org/ratings/ratingsarchive/2011/unified.html#CO


Theories of interest group politics elitism2

Theories of Interest Group Politics: Elitism

  • Power is in the hands of elites

    • Money

    • Access

    • Officeholders in their pockets

  • They control what policies we get

  • Average people have no chance at influencing policy


Theories of interest group politics pluralism

Theories of Interest Group Politics: Pluralism

  • Definition:

    • Groups provide the key link between the people and the government.

    • Politics is mainly a competition among groups, not individuals,

    • Many centers of power exist with many diverse groups competing for power.


Theories of interest group politics pluralism1

Theories of Interest Group Politics: Pluralism

  • Key Assumption:

    • No group becomes too dominant, i.e., no group wins or loses all the time.


Making friends

CANDY MANUFACTURERS

BARBECUE INDUSTRY

DAIRY AND LIVESTOCK

FARMERS

ORGANIZATIONS TO

AID THE BLIND

SPORTING GOODS

COMPANIES

Making friends!

  • what do these groups have in common?

ANSWER:

AN INTEREST IN DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME


Pluralism in colorado

Pluralism in Colorado?

  • 3M Traffic Control Materials DivisionABATE of ColoradoABC Preschool, LTD.ADT AutomotiveAFL-CIO, COAFLAC, American Family Life Assurance CompanyAFSCME Council 76ARC of ColoradoARCO Coal CompanyASARCO Inc.AT and T Wireless Services of COAT&TATC/VANCOM, Inc.Academy School District 20Academy of Audiology, COAccess, COAckerman Information CorporationAcupuncture Association, COAdvantage Network Systems, Inc.Aerial Applicators Assoc, COAgile Stone/I.N.A.P.Air Transport AssociationAirtouch CellularAlcohol and Drug Service Providers, CO Association ofAlliance (The)Alliance for Managed CareAlliance of American InsurersAllied Jewish Federation of COAllstate Insurance CompanyAmalgamated Transit Union, Local 1001Ambulatory Surgical Centers Association, COAmerican Academy of Pediatrics, CO ChapterAmerican Automobile Manufacturers AssociationAmerican Cancer Society, CO DivisionAmerican Community InsuranceAmerican Council of Life InsuranceAmerican Express CompanyAmerican Family InsuranceAmerican Family Insurance CompanyAmerican Home Products CorporationAmerican Institute of Architects - COAmerican Insurance AssociationAmerican Legion (The)American Mobilehome AssociationAmerican Republic InsuranceAmerican Society of Mechanical EngineersAmerican Subcontractors Association COAmoco CorporationAnderson and AssociatesAnheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.Apartment Association, CO


Pluralism in colorado1

Pluralism in Colorado?

  • Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.Apartment Association, COArapahoe HouseArkansas River Power AuthorityArmstrong and AssociatesArthritis FoundationArthur Andersen LLPAsphalt Paving CompanyAssessors' Association, COAsset Investment Management LLCAssociated Credit Bureaus of COAssociated General Contractors of COAssociated Governments of Northwest COAssociated Students of CO State UniversityAssociation for Health/Phys Ed Recreation, COAssociation of Chiefs of Police, COAssociation of Commerce and Industry, COAssociation of Community Centered Boards, COAssociation of Community Corrections Boards, COAssociation of Distributors, COAssociation of Home Builders, COAssociation of Independent Title Insurance Companies, COAssociation of Life Underwriters, COAssociation of Municipal Utilities, COAssociation of Naturopathic Physicians, COAssociation of Nonprofit Organizations, COAssociation of Nurse Anesthetists, COAssociation of Private Resources Agencies, COAssociation of Public Employees, COAssociation of School Boards, COAssociation of School Executives, COAssociation of Ski Towns, COAssociation of Transit Agencies, COAudubonAurora Public SchoolsAuto-Matic CreditAutomobile Recyclers, COBank One Colorado Corp.Bankers Association, COBar Association, COBarr Laboratories, Inc.Baxter Healthcare CorporationBeer Distributors Association, COBehavioral Healthcare Council, COBeneficial Management Corporation of AmericaBicycle ColoradoBigelow and CompanyBingo Raffle Association of Volunteers (BRAVE)Biotech Industry OrganizationBlackhawk Casino Owners' AssociationBledsoe, Defilippo, Rees, LLC


Pluralism in colorado2

Pluralism in Colorado?

  • Bradford Publishing CompanyBrain Injury Task ForceBreit, Bosch, Levin and Coppola PCBronco Billy's CasinoBrotherhood of Locomotive EngineersBrotherhood of Maintenance of Way EmployeesBrownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Strickland, PCBusiness Alliance, COCF and I Steel, LPCIGNA HealthcareCO UnityCPA NetworkCable Television Association, COCafca, Inc.Car and Truck Renting and Leasing Assoc of COCasino Owners Assoc of COCatholic CharitiesCatholic Conference, COCatholic Rural Life, Archdiocese of DenverCattle Feeders Association, COCattlemen's Association, COCenter for Energy and Economic DevelopmentCenter for Reproductive Law and PolicyCentura HealthChamber of Commerce, South MetroChevron USA, Inc.Child Care Association, COChildren's CampaignChildren's HospitalChildren's Legislative CooperativeChiropractic Association, COChiropractic Society, COChristian Home Educators of COChristian Pro-Life CoalitionChronic Care Coalition, COCitibank EBT ServicesCiticorp Diners ClubCitizens for Responsible Government, Inc.Citizens for Right to Work, COCitizens for Victims' RightsCity and County of DenverCity of ArvadaCity of AuroraCity of Black HawkCity of BoulderCity of BurlingtonCity of Central ColoradoCity of Colorado SpringsCity of Greenwood VillageCity of LakewoodCity of LovelandCity of Sterling


Pluralism in colorado3

Pluralism in Colorado?

  • Classified School Employees AssocClean Water ActionCloverleaf Kennel ClubCoalition Against Domestic Violence, COCoalition for a Secure Insurance MarketCoalition for the Homeless, COCoalition of Exclusive Agents Association of COCoalition of Land Trusts, COCoastal CorporationCole and AssociatesColoradans for Consumer Choice in ElectricityColorado Cellars (Winery)Colorado Communique, Inc.Colorado ConcernColorado Dismas, Inc.Colorado Legislative Services, Inc.Colorado School of MinesColorado Serum CompanyColorado Ski Country USAColorado Springs Chamber of CommerceColorado Springs Independence CenterColorado State University FoundationColorado State University System and FoundationColorado and Wyoming Railway CompanyColowyo Coal CompanyCommittee for Colorado BoxingCommnet Cellular Inc.Common CauseCommunique/CO Veterinary Medical Association, COCommunity Associations InstituteCommunity Corrections Coalition, COCommunity Health Network, COCommunity Health Plan of the Rockies, Inc.Compensation Insurance Authority, COConcept II Research ConsultantsConcerned Citizens of Las Animas CountyConservation Services, Inc.Consulting Engineers Council of CO, AmericanConsumer Credit Counseling ServiceConsumers Union of the US, Inc.Contemporary Services CorporationContinuum Care, Inc.Contract Administration FundContractors Association, Inc., COCooperative Council, COCoopers and Lybrand LLPCoors Brewing CompanyCopic Insurance CompanyCorn Growers Association, COCoroners Association, COCotter CorporationCouncil of Churches, CO


Theories of interest group politics pluralism2

Theories of Interest Group Politics: Pluralism

BUT …

"The flaw in the pluralist heaven is that the heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper-class accent." -- E.E.Schattsschneider


What makes an interest group successful

What Makes an Interest Group Successful?

  • The Surprising Ineffectiveness of Large Groups

    • “Free-Rider” problem (logic of collective action)

    • Consumer groups have a particularly difficult time organizing


What makes an interest group successful1

What Makes an Interest Group Successful?

  • Bigger group = bigger free-rider problem.

  • Small groups are better organized and more focused on the group’s goals.

  • Groups provide “selective benefits” to overcome size


Inside and outside lobbying

INSIDE AND OUTSIDE LOBBYING

  • inside lobbying

    • information

    • policy making

    • bureaucratic rule making

    • litigation

  • outside lobbying

    • public relations

    • grassroots organization

    • electioneering

      • activism

      • PACs


How groups try to shape policy

How Groups Try to Shape Policy

Lobbyists:

  • are a source of information.

  • can help politicians plan legislative strategy

  • can help politicians plan campaigns

  • can provide policy ideas and innovations


How groups try to shape policy1

How Groups Try to Shape Policy

  • Electioneering

    • Direct involvement in the election process.

    • PAC’s: Used by groups, corporations and unions to donate money to candidates.

    • Groups can do more than just donate money.


What makes an interest group successful2

What Makes an Interest Group Successful?

  • Financial Resources

    • Not all groups have equal amounts of money.

    • Groups are often picky about who gets money.

    • Money (typically) = access


The rise of political action committees

The Rise of Political Action Committees


How groups try to shape policy2

How Groups Try to Shape Policy

  • Litigation

    • courts may be able to provide a remedy.

    • “amicus curiae” briefs

    • “Class action lawsuits” can give small groups big power


How groups try to shape policy3

How Groups Try to Shape Policy

  • “Going Public”

    • Groups try and cultivate a good public image.

    • Groups will purchase advertising to motivate the public about an issue.


How groups try to shape policy4

How Groups Try to Shape Policy

  • “Going Public”

    • Groups try and cultivate a good public image.

    • Groups will purchase advertising to motivate the public about an issue.

      http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipes/default.asp

      http://www.gotmilk.com/

      http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/descript.html


The benefits of interest groups for citizens

The Benefits of Interest Groups for Citizens

  • Promote interest in public affairs

  • Provide useful information

  • Serve as watchdogs

  • Represent the interest of citizens


The negatives policy consequences

The Negatives: Policy Consequences

  • Incoherence – Policies can be inherently incompatible

  • Gridlock – Failure to compromise produces failure to respond to problems


The negatives violations of political equality

The Negatives: Violations of Political Equality

  • Representational inequalities

  • Resource inequalities

    • PACs/ Soft money/ Independent expenditures

  • Access inequality

    • The “privileged” position of business


What you need to know

What you need to know!

  • Our system rewards organized interests!

  • Even if you are small in number, or resource-poor, ORGANIZED Interests GET Attention!


What you need to know1

What you need to know!

  • Our system rewards organized interests!

  • Even if you are small in number, or resource-poor, ORGANIZED Interests GET Attention!

  • BUT…It is extremely hard to organize resource-poor groups


Interest groups as instruments of democracy

Interest groups as instruments of democracy


Iron triangle

Iron Triangle


Clint eastwood

Clint Eastwood


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