A History of Political Parties in the US

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1 A History of Political Parties in the US

2 What is a Political Party? A Political Party is a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office Usually have like-minded beliefs and philosophies on government s purpose and specific policies 3 Parts of a Political Party: The Party Organization the leaders, activists, and donors who run the party at the national, state, and local levels The Party in Government Those who run for or hold elected or appointed offices in government (thousands at the national, state, and local levels) The Party in the Electorate The millions of voting citizens who identify with a certain party and will cast their votes based on party affiliation (loyal to their party)

3 The 2 Party System 2 Party system begins with the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans Federalists favored wealthy/elite class and big govt. led by Alexander Hamilton Democratic-Republicans Favored Yeoman farmers and small govt., led by Thomas Jefferson Party Platform formal set of principle goals, objectives, or agenda of a Political Party/Candidate Both the Federalist and Democratic-Republican Parties had platforms based around issues on the start of the US

4 Notable Political Party History 1815 the once powerful Federalist Party crumbles after being perceived as traitors and anti-american, leaving only the Democratic Republican Party and the era of good feelings 1824-The Democratic-Republican Party splits into two parties John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay start the National Republican Party based on their idea to build up the nations resources after the War of 1812 Andrew Jackson founds the Democratic Party with his supporters, maintained a strong belief in democracy by the common man

5 Notable Political Party History The National Republican Party changes their name to the Whig Party Changed name so it was the same as the British Political Party that favors Government Reform The boiling issue over Slavery prior to the Civil War destroyed the Whig Party Turned into the Free Soil Party which included citizens against expansion of Slavery Free Soil Party changes its name to the National Union Party which gained even more popularity in the North

6 Notable Political Party History Abraham Lincoln is the first President elected as a member of the National Union Party, which is starting to be referred to as the new Republican Party National Union Party officially changes its name to Republican Party after the Civil War Ever since Civil War, the 2 Major parties have been the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, though their platforms have evolved over time

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8 The Political Spectrum Things to Consider Political Spectrum can be very complicated to decipher personally, people may take many different points of view across the spectrum At its most basic, the political spectrum is essentially a difference in viewing how much Government involvement there should be in society A more complicated world has made the Political Spectrum more complicated

9 The Political Spectrum Different aspects to consider on Political Spectrum Many different types of issues to consider Economic Aspects (Govt. Regulation of business, taxation, etc.) Social Aspects (welfare, immigration, civil rights, etc.) Political (Govt. structure and regulations, type of Govt., etc.) Other (Religion, Education, Etc.) Video about the Political Spectrum

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12 Primary Elections What do you think a Primary is? What is the purpose of the Presidential Primary Elections? How did Political Parties choose their candidates before Primaries existed? (still done this way in other countries) Are Primaries held for other elected offices, both National, State, and Local?

13 The Primary Process The idea of the Primary is to identify the candidate who should be the main candidate of a certain Political Party This prevents the splitting of votes between two candidates Imagine if Candidate A and B were from the same party and both received 30% of the votes, meanwhile Candidate C from a different Party received the 40% of the votes and thus won because the other 2 split votes Helps Political Party identify which person should receive Party Campaign Funds Remember that the Constitution says nothing about Primary elections nor about Political Parties, Primary Elections are run exclusively by the parties and are not subject to the Constitution

14 During the Primary Process. Members of the Political Party campaign against each other Though in the same Political Parties, often have different ideas for how to solve the same issue Also show different personalities Allow people to get to know the Candidates for the first time Usually have televised debates and discussions during this time Primary elections take place at the national, state, and local levels

15 The Primary Process The Primary Process works slightly differently for the Democratic and Republican Parties Much like the Electoral College where you vote for an elector, in primaries you are voting for delegates who will vote in the National Convention Not a winner take all system however, delegate votes are proportioned based on proportion of votes in the state they are from The delegates must vote with a certain candidate based on the results of their state election, they are called pledged delegates The Democratic party also allows for certain unpledged delegates who may vote for who they want without regard to the state primaries.. These are called superdelegates

16 Types of Primaries Remember that all Primary Elections are run by the Political Parties, not the government The Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee run national level primaries Different States have different types of laws with how Primaries will work Typically primaries are NOT a winner take all system, instead the number of delegates that will support a candidate at a National Convention is based on the proportion of votes received in that state

17 A Caucus Primary is where people will meet together, sometimes even in someone s house or a local school gymnasium, a church, etc. People are able to openly debate and discuss the Candidates, at the end of this, they take a vote on which Candidate they want, this vote is required and the majority decision becomes the final Caucus decision Used especially in New England to determine primary local candidates Also used in Presidential Primaries in some way for several states, best known is Iowa Caucus

18 Open Primary In an Open Primary anyone is able to vote for candidates of either party Do not need to be registered with a certain party to vote in that party s primary

19 Closed Primary An election process, in a Closed Primary only those who are registered members of a Political Party may vote in the Primary Can only vote for their own Party You can register for your Preferred Party when you register to vote, and can change your affiliation any time

20 Model Caucus/Primary Register to Vote! Make up your own Registration Card on a piece of paper Luzerne County Voter Registration Webpage Luzerne County Voter Registration Form (DO NOT fill out until you are of voting age [18]) Parties for the Simulation Chocolate Party Peanut Butter Party Independent

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22 Candidates Peanut Butter Party Candidate A Free Reeses Cups for Everyone! Candidate B Free Peanut Butter Smidgeons for Everyone! Candidate C Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches! Chocolate Party Candidate D Free Kit Kats for Everyone! Candidate E Free Hershey s Chocolate for Everyone! Candidate F Free Twix for Everyone!

23 Campaign Finances A very controversial aspect of elections Finances! Why Controversial? Possible Conflict of Interest a person or business can benefit from donating by receiving favorable govt. jobs or influencing laws/regulations, etc. Campaigns are very expensive, the 2012 Presidential Election totaled 2.5 billion in combined spending from all Candidates Funding can come from several different sources Individual Donors some are small contributors, some very wealthy, the candidate themselves will usually spend some personal money Fundraising dinners, picnics, and other events to raise money for candidate Political Action Committees usually part of an interest group or a business/corporation, they are allowed to make campaign donations

24 Campaign Funding Regulations FECA Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 BCRA Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 Further Regulations may exist at the state level Candidates required to publicly report any funds they receive Businesses/Corporations not allowed to directly donate to a candidate Individuals cannot give more than $2,500 to one federal candidate Individuals can contribute up to $117,000 for campaigns every 2 years PACs (some that represent corporations) may not give more than $5,000 to any one candidate and up to $15,000 a year to a political party

25 Citizens United vs. FEC Previously corporations and businesses could only donate to a campaign or candidate through a Political Action Committee This changed in the 2010 Supreme Court Case Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court ruled that corporations/businesses could not give directly to a candidate, but could spend unlimited money to campaign on their behalf This is based on the idea of free speech Who pays for the ad is an important distinction

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