What they do.AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES :NOT AS MUCH FUN AS THEY SOUND Why only two?
WHAT DO PARTIES DO?What is the goal of the two major parties?To win electionsRead p. 116 2 nd column: Is this still true?Five Major FunctionsNominate CandidatesInforming SupportersBonding AgentGoverningWatchdog
NOMINATING CANDIDATES-- primary responsibility-- presidential nomination is afunction of the parties
INFORMING AND ACTIVATING SUPPORTERS-- campaign for their candidates-- write platformsAre presidential candidates beholden totheir party platforms?How do parties “inform” the voters?Advertising, buttons, bumper stickers etc.
BONDING AGENT-- try to pick good candidates-- try to make victorious candidates govern wellWhy?
GOVERNING-- Congress is organized around party
WATCHDOG-- The party out of power holds the ruling party accountable fortheir actions.Does this function ever work against the American people?
WHY ONLY TWO PARTIES?Historical BasisTraditionElectoral SystemAmerican Ideological Consensus
HISTORICAL BASIS-- no mention of parties in Constitution-- started with two parties (Federalist and Anti -Federalists
ELECTORAL SYSTEM-- winner-take-all elections encourage two, moderate parties-- voters view third parties as a “wasted vote”-- dif ficult for third party pres candidates to appear on allballots-- Gary Johnson (47 states)
IDEOLOGICAL CONSENSUS-- American politics played within the 40 yard lines-- Both parties are moderateHow does the size of the US impact its politics?What is the fundamental dif ference between the two parties?
MULTI-PARTY SYSTEMS-- Most European democracies are multi -party-- Smaller, more narrow parties-- Provide clear choices-- Parties must form a coalition to govern
ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF MULTI-PART Y SYSTEMADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
PARTY MEMBERSHIP PATTERNS-- Party membership is voluntary-- Parties try to attract as many people as possible-- Factors influencing party membership: Family Economic Status Major Events Age Residence Level of Educationh t t p : / / w w w . s a c b e e . c o m / 2 01 2 / 1 1 / 0 6 / 4 9 6 6 4 31 / 2 01 2 - e l e c t i o n - e x i t - p o l l - s h o w s . h t m l