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PS 101 Political Parties Summer 2008
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PS 101 Political Parties Summer 2008

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  • 1. Political Parties Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  • 2. What is a political party?
  • 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. 2
  • 5. Parties give citizens the capacity to act together
  • 6. Enables people from diverse backgrounds with diverse interests to unite behind a single alternative
  • 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. Party Coalition the groups and interests that support a party
  • 9. The Necessity of Coalitions
  • 10. Democratic coalition tends to draw from society’s “underdogs”
  • 11. Democratic Party Coalition • Blacks • Jews • union members • Gays and • the poor Lesbians • Urban dwellers • and other • Hispanics minorities
  • 12. Republican Party Coalition • White, less-educated working- class (mostly male) • Upper-class Protestants • Southern evangelicals • Socially-conservative Catholics •
  • 13. Image (c) 2007 Young America Foundation
  • 14. Republican Party Coalition • GOP tends to do better in the suburbs, the South and Midwest, and among white fundamentalist Christians.
  • 15. The Reagan Coalition Social Conservatives Fiscal Neo- Conservatives Conservatives
  • 16. Party Organization the formal organizational apparatus of a political party
  • 17. 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
  • 18. Some of these functions are being taken over by 527 groups
  • 19. Nomination selection of individual who will run as the party’s candidate in the general election.
  • 20. VS.
  • 21. Change in Nomination Process + Decline in Patronage __________________________ Decline in Party Organizations
  • 22. VS.
  • 23. Republicans: Ahead of the Game?
  • 24. Democrats: Lagging Behind but Catching Up
  • 25. Blogs & the Emerging “Netroots”
  • 26. 3 Types of Party Systems
  • 27. One-party system A political system in which representatives of one political party hold all or almost all the major offices in government.
  • 28. Two-party system A political system in which only two political parties have a realistic chance of controlling the major offices of government.
  • 29. 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.
  • 30. Why does the US have a two party system? • Electoral Rules • Restrictions on Minor Parties • Attitudes of the American Public
  • 31. Most democratic nations use a proportional representation system.
  • 32. United States uses a Plurality, Single-Member District system
  • 33. “Winner Takes All”
  • 34. US system discourages rise of Third Parties (cc) 2005 Grant Neufeld - Creative Commons, Some Rights
  • 35. Why does the US have a two party system? • Electoral Rules • Restrictions on Minor Parties • Attitudes of the American Public
  • 36. 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
  • 37. Qualification rules for third-party presidential candidates can create financial difficulties… (cc) 2006 Steven Hoang - Some Rights Reserved
  • 38. 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
  • 39. Why does the US have a two party system? • Electoral Rules • Restrictions on Minor Parties • Attitudes of the American Public
  • 40. The broad belief in The American Creed leaves little room for parties outside the mainstream. (cc) 2006 Samuel Eichner - Some Rights Reserved
  • 41. People grow comfortable with the system they are used to… (cc) 2006 Mattias Berg - Some Rights Reserved
  • 42. “Human institutions have an impressive capacity to perpetuate themselves, or at least to preserve their form.” ~V.O. Key
  • 43. Minor parties in the two-party system
  • 44. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  • 45. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  • 46. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  • 47. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  • 48. PROTEST IDEOLOGICAL Types of Minor Parties SINGLE-ISSUE SPLINTER
  • 49. The Role of Minor Parties
  • 50. Articulate and popularize new ideas
  • 51. Allow people with grievances to express themselves in a way not possible within the major parties.
  • 52. 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.
  • 53. 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.
  • 54. Realignment Why are they caused?
  • 55. Realignment When do they tend to occur?
  • 56. Critical elections?
  • 57. 1932

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