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Unit 2: Political Parties, Voting, and Elections. American Government & Law Winslow High School. 2012?. Ideology & Political Spectrum Parties & What They Do 2 Party System 2 Party System in History The Minor Parties Party Organization Constitution & the Right to Vote

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unit 2 political parties voting and elections

Unit 2: Political Parties, Voting, and Elections

American Government & Law

Winslow High School

unit topics

Ideology & Political Spectrum

  • Parties & What They Do
  • 2 Party System
  • 2 Party System in History
  • The Minor Parties
  • Party Organization
  • Constitution & the Right to Vote
  • Voter Qualifications
  • Nonvoting
  • Voter Behavior
  • The Nominating Process
  • Elections
  • – 2013 Mock Election?
  • – 2013 PROJECT FIRST VOTE?
Unit Topics
what about these celebrities

Mr. Thurston

  • Mr. Browne
  • Mr. Smith
  • Ms. Beckwith
  • Mr. Andresen
  • Mr. Goldsmith
  • Ms. Meehan
  • Mr. Hendsbee
What about these celebrities?
what is a political party

A group of people…

  • Who share a common ideology…
  • And who seek to control the government…
  • By winning elections.
What is a Political Party?
liberals

LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy.

  • They generally support a government-funded "safety net” to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business.
  • Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and accept diverse lifestyles.
Liberals
conservatives

Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates "traditionalvalues."

  • They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure.
  • Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.
Conservatives
applying the spectrum to the parties

Democrats tend to favor lots of government control of economic issues, and little government control of personal issues.

  • Republicans tend to favor lots of government control of personal issues, and little government control of economic issues.
Applying the Spectrum to the Parties:
what do political parties do
What Do Political Parties Do?

American Government & Law Winslow High School

requirements to really be a political party

Political party v. pressure group

  • Three elements must exist:
    • Shared beliefs
    • Program
    • Realistic chance of success
Requirements to really be a political party
what do parties try to accomplish

Organize a political majority

  • Provide electable candidates
  • Educate voters
  • Finance campaigns
  • Run the government
  • Act as the “watch-dog”
What do parties try to accomplish?
the two party system in america
The Two Party System in America

American Government & Law Winslow High School

why do we keep the 2 party system

Desire for stability

  • National election laws
  • Size of the federal system
  • “Throw the bums out” tradition
Why do we keep the 2-party system?
the minor parties

Dozens of minor parties (pressure groups)

  • At times difficult to describe & classify
  • Most have been short-lived
  • Some are centered around a single issue…others are more broad
The Minor Parties
the role of minor parties

So…what’s the point?

  • They have had an impact
  • “Spoiler” role
    • 2000 Election
    • 25 electoral votes in FLA
    • Bush – 246 Gore – 267
    • 270 to win
    • Bush - 2,912,790
    • Gore - 2,912,253
    • Nader – 97,488
    • Bush – 271
    • Gore - 266
    • Just give Gore 51%
    • Bush – 2,960,559
    • Gore – 2,961,972
  • Critic
  • Innovator
  • http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm
The Role of Minor Parties
elections and voting

What limits were once placed on the right to vote? (suffrage – franchise)

  • What limits remain today?
  • What does party membership have to do with voting?
  • How does the American secret ballot work?
  • How do Americans select their parties and candidates?
  • Why do so many Americans choose not to vote?
Elections and Voting
what limits were once placed on the right to vote

Property ownership

  • Religious belief
  • Poll Tax
  • Gender discrimination
  • Condition of servitude
  • Literacy tests
What limits were once placed on the right to vote?
constitutional protections

The original Constitution and amendments guarantee:

    • Voting equality – the only real protection in the original document
    • No racial discrimination
    • No gender discrimination
    • No poll tax
    • 18 year olds
Constitutional Protections
what limits remain today

Limitations vary by state

  • Citizenship
  • Residency
  • Age
  • Registration
  • Legal disfranchisement:
    • Vagrants
    • Mentally challenged
    • Convicted felons
    • Inmates in public institutions
What limits remain today?
your party and voting

General elections and voting

    • 1st Tuesday after the first Monday of November of an even-numbered year.
  • Primary elections
  • Party identification at registration
  • Do people ever change?
  • Closed vs open primaries
Your Party and Voting
the american ballot

Many different types used

  • Paper & hand count
  • Voting machines with levers
  • Punch card ballots
  • Scanner ballots
  • Touch-screen
  • Mail-in ballot
  • All produced at public expense
  • Write-ins
The American Ballot
how do we decide

Parents

  • Residence
  • Geography
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Age
  • Income
  • Education
  • Occupation
How do we decide??
new trends in american voting

The previous slide shows trends…how much do they really matter?

  • Two new patterns beginning to blur the old certainties:
    • Split-ticket voting
    • Voting for the person
New Trends in American Voting
voter turn out

Presidential election turnout

  • 2004:
    • 216.5 million
    • 70%
    • 122.3 million
    • 62 million
    • 29.5%
  • Off-Year turnout
  • Primary election turnout
  • Special election turnout
Voter Turn-out
causes for low voter turnout

“Cannot” voters

  • Difficult registration process
  • Complex election issues
  • One-party domination
  • “Alienated” voters
  • Simple apathy
Causes for Low Voter Turnout
slide40

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  • ~Edmund Burke