Chapter Nine. Political Parties

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1 Chapter Nine Political Parties

2 Political Parties A party is a group that seeks to by supplying them with a label (party identification), by which they are known to the electorate United States parties have become as labels, sets of leaders, and organizations 9 2

3 Parties in the US and Europe European parties are disciplined gatekeepers, to which voters are very loyal, though this has been declining recently The system power in U.S. Parties are closely regulated by state and federal, which them Candidates are now chosen through, not by party leaders 9 3

4 The Rise and Decline of Parties The founders disliked parties, viewing them as factions During the Jacksonian era political participation became a From the Civil War until the 1930s most states were dominated by party pushed measures to curtail parties power and influence 9 4

5 The Results of Reform The worst forms of political corruption were reduced All political parties were ; parties became less able to hold officeholders accountable or to coordinate across the branches of government 9 5

6 Figure 9.1: Decline in Party Identification, make two statements about the trends in this graph 9 6

7 Party Realignment or : periods when a sharp, lasting shift occurs in the popular coalition supporting one or both parties A is considered to be evident when a party looses the Presidency and Congress in an election Two kinds of realignments A major party is defeated so badly that it and a new party emerges Two existing parties continue but voters their loyalty from one to the other 9 7

8 Realignments 1860: issue fixed new loyalties in the popular mind (many shifted to Republican party headed by Lincoln) 1896: issues shifted loyalties to East/West, city/farm split (shift to Republican as $ raised from business interests) 1932: economic triggered new coalition for Democrats (shift to Democrat for government assistance) 1980: appeal- could not have been a traditional realignment, because Congress was left in the hands of the Democrats (many Dems voted for Reagan) 9 8

9 - is a trend or process whereby a large portion of the electorate its previous partisan affiliation, without developing a new one to replace it. An erosion of partisan attachments More Voters Many scholars argue that the trends in elections in the U.S. over the last several decades are best characterized as 9 9

10 American Parties: Four Major Eras The Three Historical Eras The Era of the (Era of Good Feeling), Democrats dominate all but two presidential elections. The Whig Party emerges in 1834, but declines by the 1850s, electing only two Presidents. The Republican Party is founded in The Era of the, Republicans dominate all but four presidential elections. The Civil War disables the Democratic Party for the remainder of the 1800s. The Return of the, Democrats dominate all but two presidential elections. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President four times. 9 10

11 American Parties: Parties Today The Start of a New Era: The Era of Since 1968, neither Republicans nor Democrats have dominated the presidency and Congress has often been controlled by the opposing party Republicans hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Democrats Republicans hold the presidency Senate controlled by Republicans , controlled by Democrats from 1986 to Republicans hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Republicans Democrats hold the presidency Congress is controlled by Democrats Democrats hold the presidency Congress controlled by Republicans Democrats hold the presidency Congress controlled by Democrats 9 11

12 Party Decline Evidence that parties are, not realigning Proportion of people identifying with a party declined between 1960 and 1980 Proportion of those voting a increased 9 12

13 The Three Components of Political Parties 9 13

14 Party Structure Parties are similar on paper RNC effectively created a national firm of political consultants (like a business or well oiled machine) Democrats moved to factionalized structure and redistributed power By the 1990s, DNC had learned from the RNC: adopted the same techniques, with some success 9 14

15 Nominating a President : an election in which voters select the candidate who will run on each party s ticket : a meeting of party followers at which delegates are picked 9 15

16 National Conventions National sets time and place; issues a call setting the number of delegates for each state and the rules for their selection In 1970s, Democrats rules were changed to weaken local party leaders and increase the proportions of women and minorities In 1988, the number of (unpledged) was increased 9 16

17 Why a Two-Party System? The Basis. The nation started out with two-parties: the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The Force of. America has a two-party system because it always has had one. Minor parties, lacking wide political support, have never made a successful showing, so people are reluctant to support them. The System. Certain features of government, such as winner-take-all single-member districts, are designed to favor two major parties. Ideological. Most Americans have a general agreement on fundamental matters. Conditions that would spark several strong rival parties do not exist in the United States. 9 17

18 Table 9.4: The Public Rates the Two Parties 9 18

19 Minor Parties parties: comprehensive, radical view; most enduring -issue parties: address one concern, avoid others protest parties: regional, protest economic conditions parties: from split in a major party, usually over the party s presidential nominee 9 19

20 Minor Parties in the United States Types of Minor Par ties Ideological Par ties Example: Libtertarian Party Single-issue Par ties Example: Free Soil Party Economic Protest Par ties Example: The Greenback Party Splinter Party Example: Bull Moose Progressive Party

21 Why Minor Parties Are Important Minor parties play several important roles: Role Minor party candidates can pull decisive votes away from one of the major parties candidates, especially if the minor party candidate is from a splinter party. Minor parties, especially single-issue parties, often take stands on and draw attention to controversial issues that the major parties would prefer to ignore. Often, minor parties will draw attention to important issues and propose innovative solutions to problems. If these proposals gain popular support, they are often integrated into the platforms of the two major parties. 9 21

22 Policies of Selected American Third Parties Since

23 The Future of Major Parties connections to political parties: For voters : More people are unwilling to label themselves as Democrats or Republicans Split-ticket voting voting for candidates of parties for different offices at the same election For candidates: Structural changes have increased conflict and within parties Changes in the of campaigning, especially the use of television and the Internet, have made candidates more independent of the party organization The growth of organizations provides candidates with another source of financial support 9 23

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