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Political Parties of The United States

Political Parties of The United States

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Political Parties of The United States

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  1. Political Parties of The United States The Two-Party System

  2. Who is Earl Dodge?

  3. What is a Two-Party System? A political system dominated by two major parties • The U.S. has a two party system • Republican and Democratic Parties Dominate • Very Difficult for a Third-Parties or Minority Parties to have their candidates elected

  4. Is This What Our Fore Fathers Wanted? However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. George Washington: Part of his Farewell Address September 17th, 1796

  5. Why The Two-Party System Continues • Fact that Nation began with two parties is a leading reason we will have two parties • Accepted because it has “always been” • Single-Member Districts help maintain the system • Means only one candidate can be selected from each district (Winner Take All) • Candidate must take a plurality to win (largest number of votes - does not need to be above 50%) • Votes for Minority Parties seen as “wasted vote” • Many States make it difficult to get Minority Party Candidates listed on ballot

  6. Ideological Consensus • Americans are diverse but share many fundamental beliefs • Historically it has been relatively rare for major disputes based on social class, economic class, religious beliefs, or other factors to occur • As a result strong rival political parties have not developed • Ideological Consensus also creates similarities between Republican and Democratic parties • Both Parties Are Relatively Moderate (think political spectrum) • Both Parties Need Undecided Voters to win elections

  7. Other Types of Political Party Systems Multi-Party System System in which several major and many lesser parties exist. • Most European Democracies are Multi-Party • Supporters believe it provides broader representation of the people • Supporters believe it’s more responsive to the will of the people • Supporters believe it provides voters with more meaningful choice in candidates • However, power to govern is shared by many parties, and requires parties to form temporary Coalitions or alliances to control government.

  8. Other Types of Political Party Systems One-Party Systems System in which only one party exists, in reality a “No-Party” System • Dictatorships almost always a one-party system • Regions within the United States at times have been considered “One-Party” • Until Civil Rights Era, Democratic Party dominated the South • Republicans Routinely Won New England • We think of many States as “Red” or “Blue” Today

  9. Conclusion: Critical Thinking • Is The Two-Party system the best option for the United States, or is one of the other options a better choice? Why/Why Not? • Have recent events weakened the strength of the two-party system at all? Do you minority/third parties will have more opportunities politically in the near future?