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Political Parties

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  1. Political Parties READ CHAPTER 12!!

  2. Political Parties • Organized effort by office holders, activist, and voters to peruse their common interest by gaining and exercising power though the electoral process. • Parties are necessary, and they perform vital functions in American politics. However, they are complicated, disorganized, full of internal conflict and decentralized. • Parties are related a democratic political process. • They are Partisanship: The doing of governmental business based on a firm loyalty/ commitment to a political party

  3. Minor Parties (3rd Parties) • Although the U.S. has many minor parties, only the two major parties have much of a chance to win elections. • Multiparty systems are almost always found in countries that have a parliamentary government, in contrast to our presidential system. • Libertarian Party • Green Party • Reform Party • Protest Parties • Tea Party

  4. Minor Parties (3rd Parties) • Proportional representation used in Europe • Winner- take-all system and Electoral College diminish the opportunity for 3rd parties to win an election.

  5. Development…. • Federalist: Democratic-Republicans/ Anti-Federalist • 1900s political machines- gained control of local and state government • Modern: a weakening of party system gave rise to candidate-centered-politics (focus on the candidate, their particular issues, and character rather than party affiliation)

  6. Citizen Support & Party Realignment • Party Realignment: dramatic shifts in partisan preferences that drastically alter the political landscape. • - voter change parties • Critical elections: may polarize voters around new issues and personalities in reaction to crucial developments, such as a war or economic depression. • Secular Realignments_ gradual rearrangement of party coalitions, based more on demographics shifts than on shocks to the political system. • See figure 12.2 • Party Dealignment- weakening of partisan preferences that point to a rejection of both major parties and a rise in the number of Independents.

  7. National Party • National party organization sits at the peak of the party system in the U.S. • Function: establish a vision for partisan identifiers nationwide and to disseminate that vision to party members and voters. • Chairperson sits at the head of the committee. • Every 4 yrs the national committee organizes a convention designed to reevaluate policies and nominate a candidate for the presidency. (see figure 12.3) • National Chairperson and National Committee

  8. National Convention • Party meeting held in presidential election year for the purposes of nominating a presidential and vice president ticket and adopting a platform. • Nominates presidential and vice-president candidates. • The convention adopts the rules and the party platform

  9. Activities of American political parties • Rep and Dem Nat’l Committees • Parties rely on “get out the vote” GOTV on election Day. • National party platform: Every 4 years

  10. How parties raise and spent money?? • Contributions from individuals and interest groups to fund their activities. • Political parties influenced office holders, and the courts to pass and permit regulation of the source and amount of money people and groups can contribute and how much they can spend. Party Expenditures • coordinated expenditures: Party committees are permitted to make contributions to candidates and can spend a limited amount of money.

  11. Effects of the 2002 Campaign Finance Reforms (BCRA)

  12. Party Identification • Citizens’ personal affinity for a P.P. 1. Political Socialization - Parent influence!! 2. Group Affiliation: • Geographic region: South was solid Democratic, since 1944 Republicans mostly gained Congress • Gender: today 37% of woman are register as Democrat/ 25% Rep. • Race/Ethnicity: African Americans (60% Dem)/ Hispanic (Dem) with the exception of Cuban-American…why? Democrats remind them of political oppression by Fidel Castro and tend to vote Republican. • Age: Younger (Dem.)/middle-age (Rep.)/ • Social and Economic Factors: occupation, income, education IMPORTANT!/ College graduates tend to support Rep, although those with advance degree tend to support Dem as well as labor union members. • Religion: Catholics and Jewish (Rep)/ • Marital Status: married tend to vote Rep./ divorces (Dem)