Parties Text Notes (scored 92%)

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 2052
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Spring

Description
Chapter VPolitical PartiesIPartiesFactionsandInterestGroupsHow are parties different from factionsHow are parties different from interest groupsAFactionsIn 1787 Madison wrote in the Daily Advertiser in Federalist 10The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection By a faction I understand a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion or of interest adversed to the rights of other citizens or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the communityAnd as you may recall Madison argued that factions were inevitablethey were part of human natureThe latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity according to the different circumstances of civil society A zeal for different opinions concerning religion concerning government and many other points as well of speculation as of practice an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for preeminence and power or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions have in turn divided mankind into parties inflamed them with mutual animosity and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities that where no substantial occasion presents itself the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflictsMadison argued that it would be impossible to change human natureand were it possible it would be disastrous to try to forbid individuals to join with others with similar interestsInstead Madison argued that the new nation should address the effects of factions by promoting a representative government and a large territoryBInterestGroupsInterest groups or pressure groups or advocacy groups unlike factions are organized entitiesorganized groups of individuals who seek collective ends through political activityThere are many types of interest groups including labor unions such as the AFLCIO professional associations such as the American Medical Association intergovernmental groups for example the National Conference of State Legislatures and public interest groups such as National Taxpayers Union Concerned Women for America or the National Organization for WomenCPartiesA political party is a formal organization that has as a principle goal winning election and exercising power in governmentParties nominate candidates and have a formal role in governmentParties often have a platform in which the principles and goals of the party is outlinedParties do tend to represent a broader range of interests than most interests groupsIn the US parties are quasipublic institutions that are treated in some respects like a public entity a part of government but in other respects like a private organization1PartiesasOrganizationsIn other words parties can be thought of as organizationseach of the two major parties in the United States has a national party committee the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee and 50 state committees including the Louisiana Democratic Party and the Louisiana Republican Party as well as associated county and local committees2PartiesinGovernmentParties can also be thought of as parties in governmentSo much of what government does is structured based on the twoparty system with Democrats currently in control of the Senate Republicans currently in control of the US House and Democrats in control of the executive branchAs well see when we discuss Congress Congress and in particular the House of Representatives has become increasingly polarized in terms of partyroll call votes on bills have become much more likely to be divided along party linesFor example the figure below shows that in the last half of the twentieth century both Democrats and Republicans have become more ideologically cohesiveDemocrats have become more predictably liberal and Republicans have become more predictably conservativeWell talk more about the causes and consequences of party polarization in Congress in a few lectures but for now note that legislative politics are structured according to political partyalmost all the US House Representatives and US Senators are affiliated with one of the two major parties and the few that are independent often caucus with one of the two major parties
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