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The Political System. A government by the people American Government Unit 2. Chapter 5: Political Parties. Political Party: a group of persons who control government through elections and holding office Incumbent: already in power Challenger: seeking or challenging for power

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the political system

The Political System

A government by the people

American Government Unit 2

chapter 5 political parties
Chapter 5: Political Parties
  • Political Party: a group of persons who control government through elections and holding office
    • Incumbent: already in power
    • Challenger: seeking or challenging for power
  • Purpose of parties:
    • Unite (bond) people on issues; make decisions on partisan (party) platforms
    • Nominate candidates for executive office
    • Majority parties: split majority support-
    • Necessary to avoid an abuse of power or too much power with one group.
    • Keeps the president in check
    • Minority parties: raise single issues
two party system in america history lesson
Two party system in America: history Lesson
  • Nations first parties:
    • Federalists: supported a federal (central) government
    • Anti-Federalists: Did not support a central government supported state governments– became the Democrats
  • Democrats and Republicans
    • Democrats opposed the Federalists and supported a system of democracy– states rights and small power (1800-1820)
    • Split into groups in 1820
      • Democrats: Southerners and Western Farmers
      • Whigs: Eastern and Northern Bankers and Business- faded away in the Civil War
    • Republicans developed in 1850 as a “minority third party” as an “anti-slave” party. Republican North and Democratic South
after the civil war political system platforms
After the Civil War: Political System platforms
  • Republicans:
    • Supported: Northeastern interests: Big Business, factories, railroads
    • Dominated history from the end of the Civil War until the Great Depression
  • Democrats:
    • Supported: Southern and Western interests: farmers, plantations, small business, labor unions (masses of the poor)– game changer!
    • Won the presidency during the Great Depression and maintained the presidency until Nixon was elected in 1972.
  • Since 1972, the party in power has changed every couple of presidencies–
what do the parties stand for today
What do the Parties stand for today?
  • Be very careful to assume that we know what the political parties stand for today. Each party represents various interests and a variety of people.
  • Most Americans are moderates (in the middle of the two parties and choose affiliation based on family or certain issues such as religion, abortion, gay and lesbian rights etc.)
  • Generally:
    • Democrats support
      • large central government
      • Supports higher taxes to fund government expenses
      • small business
    • Republicans support
      • Small central government, power with the state governors
      • Lower taxes to minimize government involvement
      • Big Business and investment
minor parties
Minor Parties
  • Why are they important?
    • Raise awareness to issues in society.
    • Can offer the people another “choice”
    • Allows people to vote their conscience in protest of the major parties.
    • Forces the two majority parties to listen to and address single party issues
  • Types of Minority Parties:
  • Ideological parties:
    • Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Libertarianism
  • Single Party issues:
    • Green party: environmentalism
    • Libertarianism: freedom to choose party– LGTB Alliance, Gun Advocacy,
  • Economic Protest Parties
    • Occupy Movement: against “Wall Street” and irresponsible government spending
  • Splinter parties: Party protest break off of the major parties with a popular candidate
    • Independent party: Ross Perot (split the Republican party)
    • Independent party: Ron Paul’s first attempt (split the Republican party
6 stages of voting rights history lesson
6 Stages of Voting rights History Lesson
  • 1st stage: Protestant white men who own property
  • 2nd stage: All white men
  • 3rd stage: 15th Amendment: all men who could pass the voter registration exam
  • 4th stage: 19th Amendment: all men and women who could pass the voter registration exam with a literacy exam and could pay the poll tax were allowed to vote: ***most people could not pass the exam or afford the tax.
  • 5th stage: 24rd and 26th Amendments (Civil Rights Act): All men and women over the age of 18 could vote
chapter 6 voters in the system
Chapter 6: Voters in the system
  • Vocabulary:
    • Suffrage: right to vote
    • Franchise: right to vote
    • Electorate: voting population
  • Requirements to vote:
    • Citizen of the United States
    • Resident in the County where you vote
    • Registration that you intend to vote
  • Cannot be denied the right to vote for:
    • Literacy: Literacy used to be used in the exams
    • Poll tax: payment required was banned
rock the vote
Rock the Vote:
  • A little over ½ of the American population votes.
  • Read Chapter 6, Section 4 carefully about voting behavior and why people choose whether to vote
  • Be informed of who you are and how the politicians manipulate you– how silent are you?
  • Extra Credit (2 options– yes you can do both):
    • Should you vote or not vote? Why? After reading Chapter 6, Section 4, define who you are based on demographics included in the book and then explain why you will or will not vote.
    • Find a copy of the literacy test from the 1960’s online: print it, take it, and turn in your results with a reflection about the experience.
    • Each response should be typed, with 1” margins, double spaced, 12 pt font and over 1 page in length. Credit points will be awarded based on how thoughtfully the questions are answered.
    • Due by: December 6th (two weeks)
chapter 7 the electoral process
Chapter 7: The Electoral Process
  • Vocabulary:
    • Nomination: naming the political candidates.
      • Who is going to run?
    • General elections: scheduled elections to confirm the political candidates
      • Make the candidates official
  • How can a person run for President?
    • Self-announcement: you say it and run
    • Petition: nominees receive signatures from a minimum number of citizens– Can also be used for recall and passing referendums
    • Caucus: private, powerful group meets and selects nominee– replaced by convention– sometimes used locally
    • Convention: representatives are sent to a meeting to choose representatives: became corrupt with political bosses
    • Direct primary: intra-party election: several representatives compete for votes within the political party.
elections
Elections:
  • Free, honest and accurate:
    • no coercion or forced voting.
  • Secret ballot
    • your choice is private
  • Election Day: Set on specific days with polling places
    • 1st Tuesday following the first Monday in November, during election years = Election day
    • Primary voting is set by the States from March to June.
  • Absentee Voting: vote by mail: used for people who are disabled or out of town (business travelers, college students, military)
show me the money
Show me the Money!
  • Elections cost billions of dollars each year. Presidential election years are obviously the most expensive years:
  • Each presidential candidate (Obama, Romney) spent nearly $1 Billion each in their campaign.
  • We must also consider money spent by “third party candidates”
  • We have to include “anti-money” money spent to defeat a candidate that wasn’t spent by the opponent.
  • We must also include monies spent by other politician in other elections (local, state, federal).
  • We must also calculate money spent on initiatives, laws, props, etc.
feca federal election campaign act
FECA: Federal Election Campaign Act:
  • No business or bank can contribute or donate money in a political election –
    • why would this be important?
    • Why can’t Walmart contribute to a political campaign?
  • Regulated by FEC (Federal Election Commission)
    • Underfunded, understaffed, ineffective in catching loopholes ($100,000 dinners, etc…)
  • Large contributors must be disclosed.
    • Why would this be important?
    • Why would it be important to know the owner and CEO of a major energy company donated to the Obama campaign?
    • Why would it be important to know the owner of Chick Filet donated to the Romney campaign?
  • If a candidate accepts FEC monies, then they can be subject to FEC inspections and limited campaigns- most candidates decline the money so they can’t be limited.
chapter 8 mass media and public opinion with all of this money do you ever have an impact
Chapter 8: Mass Media and Public Opinion:With all of this money… do you ever have an impact?
  • Public affairs: matters, issues that affect the public.
  • Public opinion: how do the majority of the people feel about or a view public affairs.
  • Where do our opinions come from?
    • Family
    • Friends (peer groups… people you work with)
    • School (teachers… yes we impact you)
    • Media (MTV, movie stars, commercials, etc)
    • Internet
    • Historic events (9/11, Hurricane Sandy, a scandal)
how do we know how the public feels
How do we know how the public feels?
  • Elections:
    • If we are happy, we re-elect the incumbents
    • If we are unhappy, we elect new representatives, including the President.
  • Public opinion polls:
    • People can agree to take a poll (usually on the phone)
    • Polls are supposed to be a “random sample” of the universal population.
what s wrong with polls
What’s wrong with Polls?
  • People lie
  • People refuse to take the poll (usually only people who are bored or believe strongly about an issue takes the poll)
  • Polls can’t determine “feelings”
    • Really like, kinda like, don’t like, etc.
    • Answer choices doing always “fit” how a person feels
  • Polls ask “trick questions” and “lead you”
what is mass media
What is “Mass Media”
  • Mass media is the “medium” or go between for politicians and people.
    • Television commercials
    • Debates
    • Talk shows
    • Newspaper
    • Internet
    • Twitter
    • Radio
    • Magazines
    • Websites
  • The Greatest Impact with media is to use “sound bytes”
    • Slogans and Mottos
    • Brief statements (30 seconds or less)
    • Public appearances
slide21
Chapter 9 Interest Groups: Real Power: Pressure groups focus on individual issues to represent the voice of the people.
  • How do you feel about gun control?
  • How do you feel about prayer in school?
  • How do you feel about having to recite the pledge?
  • How do you feel about abortion rights?
  • How do you feel about gay marriage rights?
role of interest groups
Role of Interest Groups
  • Educate the public about issues important to society:
    • Gun laws
    • Abortion laws
    • Educational Reform
    • Drug laws
    • LGTB Rights
  • Unite people on political platforms and give voice to otherwise ignored issues.
  • Interest Groups try to affect the way we vote for props, initiatives, and candidates
  • Help Congress write and pass laws.

Interest groups include:

MADD and SADD

Chamber of Commerce

Invisible Children

American Cancer Society

types of interest groups
Types of Interest Groups:
  • Business , Labor, Agricultural organizations that protect the majority of workers and laborers: such as
    • Trade Unions
    • Labor Unions
    • Farm Bureau
    • American Medical Association
    • Hundreds of others!!!
  • Cause groups that represent the interests of “issues”
    • ACLU
    • NAACP
    • NAWSA
    • Sierra Club
    • Right to Life Committee
    • AARP
    • Wounded Warriors and Veteran’s Affairs
    • Religious groups
interest groups at work
Interest Groups at Work:
  • Influence Public Opinion
    • To supply the public with information that support and promote the groups goals and agenda
    • To build a positive image for support
    • PAC support and lobbying to pass laws
  • Propaganda: a technique to persuade and manipulate public opinion
    • Fear is a number one propaganda tactic
    • Nationalism and pride
    • Compassion