Political Parties and Re-Alignment
- Essay: Show that you can explain a question in political science the disagreement dont know
what the truth is.
Review : Elections and The Impact of Presidential Primaries
- Once you have a shift from the older system, youre creating a more disconnect from the public
because participants in primary elections are ideologically speaking are not going to be
reflective of the general public
- Problems; major: its difficult to see whether the initial assumption is true.
- Undoubted affect: money!!! Running for election becomes a full time job much earlier in the
electoral process and costs a lot of $$; also, this will prevent particular candidates from running
Mixed Electability, Moderation, Party Unity,
Public, contested, extended
Primary Consequences: party disunity, ideological
extremism, ineffective governance?
Campaign Finance Reform
*Major amendments were added in 1974
** Such as Buckley v. Valleo, 1976
FECA, 1971*: reporting, donation limits, partial public funding
Judicial Intervention**: no individual* or overall spending limits;
hard vs. soft money
BCRA , the Great Money Chase, and Citizens United
Basic dynamic of CFR congress makes attempt to constrain spending by creating certain hard
money limits (individuals or groups of individuals to candidates) courts step in to remove some limits (such as individuals on own campaigns) reduces effectiveness of law money seems to find a way to
- At some point, shouldnt individual rights bend?
- Broader issue- do we really want to create a situation where rights are put aside once we
conceive another public good as more important????
o One of the typical reactions of the citizens united is it places restrictions on unions and
corporations and they are not people!!!!!
o It could lead people to limit the role of money in other ways
Eg; primary reform!!! (which will never happen)
Any attempt to alter the scope of the primary system would be see as a retreat
o Campaign finance also increases access / lobbying
Parties and elections
1. Parties and Ideology in American Politics
2. Critical Elections and Re-alignment?
3. Political Parties from Clinton to Obama
Key idea: Party ideology is relatively stable; electoral coalitions are not.
Three Aspects of Parties
Parties in the
Parties in Parties as
- They are organizations that attempt to influence politics by running elections and getting into
- Parties in the electorate party supporters // consisting of a set of coalitions, either regional,
religions, etc probably the major fault line is how the party relates to CLASS!
- Parties as Organizations various officials, actionaries, who are involved in helping certain
candidates to win elections
- Parties in government role parties play in organizing party legislators Ideology Thermometer Scores of
Party Identifiers and Activists
Notes: Activists are defined as respondents who engaged in 3 or more campaign activities as coded in
vcf0723. Leaners are coded as partisans. The Liberal/Conservative Index (vcf0801) measures a
respondent's relative thermometer ratings of "Liberals" and "Conservatives." It is calculated by
subtracting the Liberal Thermometer score from 97 and averaging the result with the Conservative
Thermometer score. Cases are weighted by vcf0009.
- This graph relative ideological difference between identifiers and activists (low = left wing)
- There are differences:
- Even now party polarization is an elite level phenomenon
o Partisan elites are far apart and the public is in the middle
Why is there a 2 party system in the USA?
Dual The Rules
culture of the
* e.g. first past the post elections (Congress) and electoral college system limits the scope of
third parties (in contrast with systems based on some kind of proportional representation; ballot access
restrictions, campaign finance laws
- Notion that theres a limited ideological spectrum its not just that it has a 2 party system, its
that they arent that far apart on issues, and theres no ideological room in the US for a socialist
- The underlying nature of political in the US has always had a sort of duality the political
interests tend to produce different blocks of voters that tend to be more or less sustained over
- The rules of the game itself is going to inhibit 3 parties, but its a weak argument because the
US doesnt have proportional representation aka the rules prevent this from happening
Canada has this??
- In contrast to people who say parties are basically the same they are really different party
ideology as manifested in the set of beliefs by party elites
Party Ideology: Consensus or Conflict?
- Parties have exhibited relative similar ideologies but they have changed - The most interesting change in the N Democrat party in between the stages, you have sub
- The shift in the republican party is interesting its roots were
Party Platforms and Ideology
The Theory of Electoral Alignments, Critical Elections, Re- Alignments
- The given array of social demographic interest will create a dominant party
- You have stable sets of coalitions, and you will have a disruption according to the theory
- The underlying dynamics are sometimes difficult to identify
- Why the democratic support weakened in 1930s basically had to do with rights liberal
voters and African americans
Critical Elections Re-Alignment
Dominant Disrupting Events Shift in voting blocs
party/public Elections/Series of Shift in public
philosophy Elections that shift philosophy/issues
Public Participation electoral coalitions Shift in participation?
- De-Alignment and the Decline of Parties, post-1968: signs and causesWhy is the shift to the
republican party so decisive
Politics and De-
- Idea that candidates are deliberately separating themselves from the ideals of their parties, so
they are able to salvage their own careers even if their party is becoming unpopular
o Eg: senators or legislators creating district specific spending cuts