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Political Parties


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  • 1. One Big Party??Actually, there are two…
  • 2. What is politics?• Politics – effort to influence the behavior and policies of the government• Political parties - groups of people who share similar beliefs about how the government should be run and how the issues facing our country should be solved
  • 3. Roles of Parties• Nominate candidates• Influence policy• Create policy• Unite government• Create balance – Majority – focuses govt. attention on issues important to them – Minority – opposes majority, keeps them in check• Inform citizens of issues and how the govt. works – beware of BIAS!!!!
  • 4. What do they believe?• Platform – what the party “stands on” – their views on specific issues (ex. The economy, national security)• Ultimate goal – GET THEIR CANDIDATE ELECTED!!!! – Once in office, the elected official creates policy that reflects the platform
  • 5. Party Systems• Single party – NOT democracies – no opposition (ex. China – ruled by the Communist party)• Two-party – third parties exist but rarely gain enough power to win elections (ex. The U.S.!)• Multi-party – three or more parties (sometimes more than 20!) – no party gains control of the govt. so they work together
  • 6. Both Reformers – fought for votes in the middle (Moderates)Liberal ConservativeEugene Woodrow Teddy Pres. Debs Wilson Roosevelt William Taft (Democrat) (Progressive/ (RepublicanSocialist Bull Moose incumbent) Party Party)
  • 7. The RESULTS• ¾ of Americans voted for parties of CHANGE Woodrow Wilson 41.48% Theodore Roosevelt 27.39% – T.R. and Taft – 7 million William Howard Taft 23.18% – Wilson - 6 million Eugene Debs 5.99% – Debs - 1 million Wilson didn’t have a majority, BUT Republicans split the vote – WILSON WINS!
  • 8. • How is this person influencing the outcome of an election, even though he thinks he is wasting his vote?
  • 9. • During the mid term elections in 1874, Democrats tried to scare voters into thinking President Ulysses S. Grant would seek to run for an unprecedented third term. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, depicted a Democratic donkey trying to scare a Republican elephant – and both symbols stuck.•
  • 10. Donkeys to the Left, Elephants to the Right• Political parties tend to have very different ideologies – basic beliefs about life, culture, government and society.
  • 11. • On the next slide, read about the Republican and Democrats’ views on major issues, and summarize each in your notes.
  • 12. Now, test your knowledge of the political spectrum• Complete the handout that you were given in class entitled “One Big Party?” – Going to Extremes – Left or Right?
  • 13. Pre Class• Complete the political ideology survey in your candidate packet. We’ll go over it together!• Rank the major issues according to which matter most of you (front page of your packet).
  • 14. Ideology Answer Key
  • 15. What’s at Stake in 2012??
  • 16. “Take the Other to Lunch”• Why is it dangerous to “otherize” people we don’t agree with?• What does Elizabeth Lesser suggest we do in order to understand people we don’t agree with?• What were her and the Tea Party woman most surprised to learn?
  • 17. Group Presentations• Session 1 – Jobs and the Economy – Education• Session 2 – Immigration – Social Issues• Session 3 – Healthcare
  • 18. TODAY!• Research your issue – – Click Election 2012 Resources – CNN Election Center and the Candidates’ websites are great resources!• REMEMBER – 10 facts for each candidate! –Quotes! –Why is this issue important?
  • 19. Today!• Go to and click “student login”• Join room mrsL108• Take the short quiz (be sure to enter your name)• Work on your candidate research!• If you finish – play the candidate matching game at the top of the election resources page!
  • 20. The Electoral College (up to date map)• Electoral college –• Swing state –• Polling -