PS 101 Political Parties Fall 2008

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PS 101 Political Parties Fall 2008

  1. 1. Political Parties Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. What is a political party?
  3. 3. Political Party Organizations created for the purpose of winning elections and governing once in office.
  4. 4. “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
  5. 5. 2
  6. 6. Party Coalition the groups and interests that support a party
  7. 7. The Necessity of Coalitions
  8. 8. Democratic coalition tends to draw from society’s “underdogs”
  9. 9. Democratic Party Coalition • Blacks • Jews • union members • Gays and • the poor Lesbians • Urban dwellers • and other • Hispanics minorities
  10. 10. Republican Party Coalition • White, less-educated working- class (mostly male) • Upper-class Protestants • Southern evangelicals • Socially-conservative Catholics •
  11. 11. Image (c) 2007 Young America Foundation
  12. 12. Republican Party Coalition • GOP tends to do better in the suburbs, the South and Midwest, and among white fundamentalist Christians.
  13. 13. The Reagan Coalition Social Conservatives Fiscal Neo- Conservatives Conservatives
  14. 14. Party Organization the formal organizational apparatus of a political party
  15. 15. Roles and Functions of Party Organizations • Primary purpose of a party organization is to run candidates for election. • Aggregate Interests • Facilitate Participation • Simplify Alternatives • Stimulate Interest in Politics and Government
  16. 16. Nomination selection of individual who will run as the party’s candidate in the general election.
  17. 17. VS.
  18. 18. Change in Nomination Process + Decline in Patronage __________________________ Decline in Party Organizations
  19. 19. VS.
  20. 20. Democrats: Ahead of the Game
  21. 21. Blogs & the Emerging “Netroots”
  22. 22. Republicans: Behind the Times (but can they catch up?)
  23. 23. 3 Types of Party Systems
  24. 24. One-party system A political system in which representatives of one political party hold all or almost all the major offices in government.
  25. 25. Two-party system A political system in which only two political parties have a realistic chance of controlling the major offices of government.
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. Why does the US have a two party system? • Electoral Rules • Restrictions on Minor Parties • Attitudes of the American Public
  28. 28. Most democratic nations use a proportional representation system.
  29. 29. United States uses a Plurality, Single-Member District system
  30. 30. “Winner Takes All”
  31. 31. US system discourages rise of Third Parties (cc) 2005 Grant Neufeld - Creative Commons, Some Rights
  32. 32. Electoral College
  33. 33. Why does the US have a two party system? • Electoral Rules • Restrictions on Minor Parties • Attitudes of the American Public
  34. 34. 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
  35. 35. Qualification rules for third-party presidential candidates can create financial difficulties… (cc) 2006 Steven Hoang - Some Rights Reserved
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. Why does the US have a two party system? • Electoral Rules • Restrictions on Minor Parties • Attitudes of the American Public
  38. 38. The broad belief in The American Creed leaves little room for parties outside the mainstream. (cc) 2006 Samuel Eichner - Some Rights Reserved
  39. 39. People grow comfortable with the system they are used to… (cc) 2006 Mattias Berg - Some Rights Reserved
  40. 40. “Human institutions have an impressive capacity to perpetuate themselves, or at least to preserve their form.” ~V.O. Key
  41. 41. Minor parties in the two-party system
  42. 42. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  43. 43. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  44. 44. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  45. 45. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  46. 46. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  47. 47. The Role of Minor Parties
  48. 48. Articulate and popularize new ideas
  49. 49. Allow people with grievances to express themselves in a way not possible within the major parties.
  50. 50. Minor parties are usually not as cautious as the major parties • Tend to be loud, unambiguous about policies, ideologically committed. • Expand the scope of conflict in American politics. • Increase interest and attention among at least some segments of the public. • Bring a few more Americans into the political process.
  51. 51. 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.
  52. 52. Realignment Why are they caused?
  53. 53. Realignment When do they tend to occur?
  54. 54. Critical elections?
  55. 55. 1932

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