PS 101 Political Parties

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Slide show prepared for a series of lectures on Political Parties for PS 101 American Government at the University of Kentucky, Fall 2007. Dr. Christopher S. Rice, Lecturer.

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  • an excellent presentation on parties. Would it be possible to obtain a copy for use in my AP Gov't classes?
    jocostley@hotmail.com
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PS 101 Political Parties

  1. 1. Political Parties Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. What is a political party?
  3. 3. Political Party An ongoing coalition of interests joined together in an effort to get its candidates for public office elected under a common label.
  4. 4. 2
  5. 5. Parties give citizens the capacity to act together
  6. 6. Enables people from diverse backgrounds with diverse interests to unite behind a single alternative
  7. 7. “ It is the competition of [parties] that provides the people with an opportunity to make a choice. Without this opportunity popular sovereignty amounts to nothing.” - E.E. Schattschneider
  8. 8. Party Coalition the groups and interests that support a party
  9. 9. The Necessity of Coalitions
  10. 10. Democratic coalition tends to draw from society’s “underdogs”
  11. 11. Democratic Party Coalition <ul><li>Blacks </li></ul><ul><li>union members </li></ul><ul><li>the poor </li></ul><ul><li>Urban dwellers </li></ul><ul><li>Hispanics </li></ul><ul><li>Jews </li></ul><ul><li>Gays and Lesbians </li></ul><ul><li>and other minorities </li></ul>
  12. 12. Republican Party Coalition <ul><li>Consists primarily of white, middle-class Protestants (largely evangelical). </li></ul><ul><li>GOP tends to do better in the suburbs, the South and Midwest, and among white fundamentalist Christians. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Republican Party Coalition <ul><li>Consists primarily of white, middle-class Protestants (largely evangelical). </li></ul><ul><li>GOP tends to do better in the suburbs, the South and Midwest, and among white fundamentalist Christians. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Party Organization the formal organizational apparatus of a political party
  15. 15. Party Organizations <ul><li>Roles and Functions of Party Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of Party Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Differences between Republican and Democratic Party Organizations </li></ul>
  16. 16. Roles and Functions of Party Organizations <ul><li>Primary purpose of a party organization is to run candidates for election. </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregate Interests </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify Alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulate Interest in Politics and Government </li></ul>
  17. 17. Some of these functions are being taken over by 527 groups
  18. 18. Structure of Party Organizations
  19. 19. loose associations of national, state and local party organizations
  20. 20. Cooperation, not control
  21. 21. Levels of Party Organizations <ul><li>Local </li></ul><ul><li>State </li></ul><ul><li>National </li></ul>
  22. 22. VS.
  23. 23. Republicans: Ahead of the Game?
  24. 24. Democrats: Lagging Behind but Catching Up
  25. 25. Blogs & the Emerging “Netroots”
  26. 26. Change in Nomination Process + Decline in Patronage __________________________ Decline in Party Organizations
  27. 27. Nomination selection of individual who will run as the party’s candidate in the general election.
  28. 28. 3 Types of Party Systems
  29. 29. One-party system A political system in which representatives of one political party hold all or almost all the major offices in government.
  30. 30. Two-party system A political system in which only two political parties have a realistic chance of controlling the major offices of government.
  31. 31. Multi-party system A political system in which three or more political parties effectively compete for political office and no one party can win control of all offices.
  32. 32. Why does the US have a two party system? <ul><li>Electoral Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictions on Minor Parties </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes of the American Public </li></ul>
  33. 33. Most democratic nations use a proportional representation system.
  34. 34. Source: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)
  35. 35. CLOSED LIST OPEN LIST SOURCE: ACCURATEDEMOCRACY.COM
  36. 36. United States uses a First Past The Post (FPTP) System
  37. 37. aka, Plurality, Single-Member District system
  38. 38. “ Winner Takes All”
  39. 39. US system discourages rise of Third Parties (cc) 2005 Grant Neufeld - Creative Commons, Some Rights Reserved
  40. 40. Why does the US have a two party system? <ul><li>Electoral Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictions on Minor Parties </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes of the American Public </li></ul>
  41. 41. The major parties often establish rules that make it difficult for other parties to get on the ballot. (cc) 2006 Adrian Liem - Creative Commons Some Rights Reserved
  42. 42. Qualification rules for third-party presidential candidates can create financial difficulties… (cc) 2006 Steven Hoang - Some Rights Reserved
  43. 43. Suspension of the FCC’s “equal time” and “fairness doctrine” requirements creates difficulties for third party candidates to get invited to the debates. (cc) 2000 Ruby Sinreich - Some Rights Reserved
  44. 44. Why does the US have a two party system? <ul><li>Electoral Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictions on Minor Parties </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes of the American Public </li></ul>
  45. 45. The broad belief in The American Creed leaves little room for parties outside the mainstream. (cc) 2006 Samuel Eichner - Some Rights Reserved
  46. 46. People grow comfortable with the system they are used to… (cc) 2006 Mattias Berg - Some Rights Reserved
  47. 47. “ Human institutions have an impressive capacity to perpetuate themselves, or at least to preserve their form.” ~ V.O. Key
  48. 48. Minor parties in the two-party system
  49. 49. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER Types of Minor Parties
  50. 50. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER Types of Minor Parties
  51. 51. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER Types of Minor Parties
  52. 52. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER Types of Minor Parties
  53. 53. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER Types of Minor Parties
  54. 54. The Role of Minor Parties
  55. 55. Articulate and popularize new ideas
  56. 56. Allow people with grievances to express themselves in a way not possible within the major parties.
  57. 57. Minor parties are usually not as cautious as the major parties <ul><li>Tend to be loud, unambiguous about policies, ideologically committed. </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the scope of conflict in American politics. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase interest and attention among at least some segments of the public. </li></ul><ul><li>Bring a few more Americans into the political process. </li></ul>
  58. 58. Realignment When a new party system has taken the place of the old system because of a fundamental shift in the types of groups that support the parties.
  59. 59. Realignment Why are they caused?
  60. 60. Realignment When do they tend to occur?
  61. 61. Critical elections?
  62. 62. 1932
  63. 63. Dealignment Transformation of the party system in which a previously dominant party loses its dominant status but no new party takes its place.
  64. 64. Parity isn’t just for the NFL or College Basketball!
  65. 65. Public identifies less with either party , increasingly becomes alienated from them , less confident parties can solve nation’s problems (cc) 2006 photoreciprocity - Some Rights Reserved
  66. 66. Evidence supporting dealignment analysis: <ul><li>Decline in strong party identifiers among American citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>Rise in those claiming to be independents. </li></ul><ul><li>Wide-spread distrust in capacities, intentions of both parties & their leadership. </li></ul><ul><li>Proliferation of independent candidates and third-party efforts, 1992-2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Americans did NOT support a conservative shift in national policies in the 1994, 2000 elections. </li></ul>

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