Parties and Elections in California. American Political Institutions Fawn Gibson. Parties and Elections in California.
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Parties and Elections in California American Political Institutions Fawn Gibson
Parties and Elections in California • Campaigning in California poses many challenges. The vast size of the state, the diversity of its population, and ever changing campaign laws are just a few of the issues facing waging statewide campaigns
Parties and Elections in California • In order to create more transparency in the electoral process and make public the flow of money in political campaigns, several campaign finance laws have been enacted in California over the past 100 years
Parties and Elections in California • California voters are becoming less partisan as affiliation with the Democratic party declines. There has been a slight increase in the number of voters identifying with the five minor parties that have gained ballot access in California.
Parties and Elections in California • The Progressive movement viewed political parties as corrupt organizations operating in concert with big corporations with the intent of controlling and manipulating the political system for their own benefit
Parties and Elections in California • Third parties help to focus public attention on important political issues. Once an issue attracts enough public attention, it will be taken over by one or both of the two major political parties
Parties and Elections in California • The group experiencing the most increase is the independent voters, those declining to state a party affiliation. Independent voters now comprise 16 percent of all registered voters in the state
Parties and Elections in California Who Votes in California? • Anglo and African Americans have higher voting rates than Latino and Asian Americans. • Age, educational level, and eligibility help explain the lower voting rates of these populations.
Parties and Elections in California Referendum: allows voters to approve or reject statutes or amendments passed by the state legislature. Recall allows voters to determine whether to recall an elected official before his or her term expires.
Parties and Elections in California Initiative:procedure provides ordinary citizens the opportunity to bypass the unresponsive legislature and directly decide policies. • The Initiative process is also known as direct legislation
Parties and Elections in California Negatives of the Initiative process: • No longer used to check a corrupt or out-of-control legislature. Initiatives have are used by special interests pursuing a narrow, private agenda. • Blur the complexity of many issues and reduce them to cliches or sound bites upon which the voter is asked to make a yes/no choice.
Parties and Elections in California • threaten to subvert the American form of representative government by allowing millionaires and special interests to rewrite state laws. • California is now a multimillion-dollar business in which lawyers, campaign consultants, signature gatherers, and advertising agencies sell their expertise to interest groups or to do-gooders with private agendas
Parties and Elections in California Positives of Initiative process: • Should be considered one more check in our system of checks and balances. • Most bills, including "pork-barrel" bills, involve vote trading. • The legislative process doesn't serve the majority very well.
Parties and Elections in California • While a great deal of money is spent on initiatives, money also permeates almost all other areas of the political process. • Initiatives are not "laws without government.". The government is there to enforce laws, regardless of how they are made.
Parties and Elections in California • Special interest groups have realized that they could successfully use the initiative process to achieve political goals.
Parties and Elections in California • California currently operates under a modified closed primary system • The Supreme Court invalidated Proposition 198, which instituted a blanket primary system.
Parties and Elections in California • Business groups have put forth Proposition 62, which would have California Adopt the Louisiana-style blanket primary. • Republicans and Democrats have sponsored proposition 60, a constitutional amendment that would counter Proposition 62.
Parties and Elections in California • A political party primary is an election in which those voters identified with the party choose the candidates who will run in the November general election.
Parties and Elections in California MEDIA-DOMINATED CAMPAIGNS Because of the size of the state and its thirteen different media markets, candidates must spend enormous amounts of money producing political ads
Parties and Elections in California POLITICAL CONSULTANTS Professional campaign managers and various consultants-media consultants, pollsters, fund-raisers, direct mail experts, and voter mobilization professionals-all cost money.
Parties and Elections in California WEAK POLITICAL PARTIES Because of the weak party system in California, the party organizations are minimally involved in organizing and conducting the campaigns of candidates running for office
Parties and Elections in California How to Vote in California • Obtain a Voter Registration form from any U.S. Post Office • Visit a California Department of Motor Vehicles office. • Go to the Secretary of State's Web site and either register on-line or download a registration form.
Parties and Elections in California You will need to re-register to vote when: • you move • you change your name • you change your political party affiliation • You must register at least fifteen days before an election