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United States Political Parties

United States Political Parties

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United States Political Parties

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  1. United States Political Parties

  2. What Is A Political Party? An organized group of people with similar political aims and opinions, that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected to public office.

  3. What Do Political Parties Do? • Main tasks are…. • Soliciting and articulating public policy priorities and civic needs and problems as identified by members and supporters • Socializing and educating voters and citizens in the functioning of the political and electoral system and the generation of general political values • Activating and mobilizing citizens into participating in political decisions and transforming their opinions into viable policy options • Channeling public opinion from citizens to government • Recruiting and training candidates for public office

  4. Political Party Systems • 3 Political Party Systems in the World 1.) One Party System: Political party and the government are the SAME • Only 1 party, so no competing ideas • Party membership based on lineage, wealth, military power, religious power • Example: China (Communist Party)

  5. Political Party Systems 2.) Multi-Party System: Three or more parties compete for control of the government • Common in Europe, Israel, Japan • Advantage: provides voters with many different choices and ideas • Disadvantage: difficult for one party to get majority of votes, which leads to a Coalition: EXAMPLE – Italy (50 different govts. since WWII)

  6. Political Party Systems 3. Two-Party System: Two parties compete with each other to run the government. • Party system of U.S.: Democrats and Republicans • Advantages: Continuity • Disadvantages: Minority parties (third parties) receive little attention – focus is on two main parties

  7. Third Parties • What are Third Parties? • Parties representing minority opinions that challenge the Democrats and Republicans • Some successful Third Parties: • Populist Party – 1890’s • Progressive Party – split off from Rep. Part in 1912 • Libertarian Party – third most popular party in U.S. today

  8. Third Parties • 3 Kinds of Third Parties • 1. Parties Tied to a Single Issue: • Examples: • Prohibition Party: formed in 1872 to support banning of alcohol in the U.S. • U.S. Marijuana Party: formed to support the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. • Green Party: formed to protect the environment

  9. Third Parties • 3 Kinds of Third Parties • 2. Parties Tied to a Political Belief • Examples: • Libertarian Party • The Third Party • Socialist Parties

  10. Third Parties • 3 Kinds of Third Parties • 3. Parties Tied to a Single Candidate • Examples: • Reform Party – formed around Presidential candidate Ross Perot in 1996 • American Independent Party – formed around Presidential candidate George Wallace in 1968

  11. U.S. Political Parties:Beginnings • George Washington against political parties • “parties serve their own interests” • “parties not beneficial to American people” • Parties formed after his exit: • Anti-Federalists (Democratic-Republicans) 2. Federalists

  12. U.S. Political Parties:Beginnings • Anti-Federalists • Democratic-Republicans • Supported states rights • Supported economy based on agriculture • Power in hands of all people • Led by Thomas Jefferson

  13. U.S. Political Parties:Beginnings • Federalists • Supported strong national government • Supported economy based on industry • Power in hands of wealthy and educated • Led by Alexander Hamilton

  14. U.S. Political Parties:Characteristics The Democratic Party “Democrats believe that we're greater together than we are on our own—that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. Our party, led by President Obama, is focused on building an economy that lasts—an economy that lifts up all Americans.”

  15. U.S. Political Parties:Characteristics • Democratic Party • Tends to Attract • Working people (blue collar) • Liberals • Minorities • Union Members • People in favor of government involvement in social policies

  16. Democrats:The Issues • Abortion: • Pro Choice • Favors contraceptive education to prevent necessity of abortion

  17. Democrats:The Issues • Recreational Marijuana- • Overall very supportive of legalizing recreational marijuana use for people 21 years or older

  18. Democrats:The Issues • Immigration- • Grant amnesty to illegal immigrants • Do not build a fence along the Mexican border • Allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s license • Prevent the creation of a national ID card & database to track people in the country

  19. Democrats:The Issues • Gay Rights: • Should be protected from workplace discrimination and hate crimes • Should be given equal work benefits like more traditional families • Largely oppose President Bush’s proposal to ban gay marriage through a Constitutional Amendment

  20. Democrats:The Issues • Gun Control: • Ban all gun ownership by civilians, especially handguns and assault rifles

  21. Democrats:The Issues • Health Care: • Push for more Heath Care funding (Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program) • In favor of program to ensure all Americans have quality, affordable health care. (100% government funded)

  22. U.S. Political Parties:Characteristics The Republican Party (The GOP) “The pursuit of opportunity has defined America from our very beginning. This is a land of opportunity. The American Dream is a dream of equal opportunity for all. And the Republican Party is the party of opportunity.”

  23. U.S. Political Parties:Characteristics • Republican Party • Tends to attract • Business people (white collar) • Religious people • Conservatives • Non-minorities • Non-union supporters • People against government involvement in social policies

  24. Republicans:The Issues • Abortion: Pro-life; Anti-Choice • Prefers funding go towards marriage education and abstinence only campaigns • Have tried several times to pass statutes that would allow prosecution of acts that harm fetuses

  25. Republicans:The Issues • Recreational Marijuana- • Overall not supportive of the legalization of recreational marijuana

  26. Republicans:The Issues • Immigration- • Prevent amnesty for illegal immigrants • Do not allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses • Supportive of fence on Mexican border • Create a national ID card • Proponents of legal immigration

  27. Republicans:The Issues • Gay Rights: • Against giving gays equal rights in the eyes of the law • “We do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law” • Oppose idea of gay marriage; seek to define marriage as union between man and woman • Supports amendment to the Constitution defining marriage

  28. Republicans:The Issues • Gun Control: • Favors allowing the sale of firearms to proceed more easily, and with fewer safety precautions • Opposes any new gun-control laws • Fought the regulation and banning of assault weapons

  29. Republicans:The Issues • Health Care: • Believes health care should work within the free market system where competition will lower the costs of healthcare (no federal govt. involvement)