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POL203Y1 (14)
Ryan Hurl (14)
Chapter 11

Landy and Milkis, Chapter 11: Parties and Elections, pp 564 – 630

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Ryan Hurl

POL203Y1 US Government and PoliticsthJanuary 12 2012Landy and Milkis Chapter 11 Parties and Elections pp 564630NonPartisan Elections candidates for all city offices would be chosen in a single primary open to all voters In both primary and general election candidates names would appear wo party labelBloomberg on abolishing partisan elections would prevent the small number of people who vote in party primaries from determining the course of the electionWe should not let party bosses dictate who gets into officeDevelopment of parties in 7 periods 1The origin of the party2The establishment of a party system3The advent of the enduring twoparty system4The impact of Populism and Progressivism on political party5The transformation of parties during the New Deal6The resurgence of the Republicans that has taken place since the 1950s7And the current state of the parties including an assessment of likely future trendsRefoundings turning points in American political developmentWay of new refoundings is paved by emergence of new a political partyAmerican political development also influenced by changes in the rules of governing elections and in the methods and technologies of electoral campaigningPartiesPolitical parties not described in Constitution because drafters shared Mayor Bloombergs antipathy to partiesFramers tried to produce governing blueprint to make parties unnecessaryRoot of word party is part and framers were concerned about the wholeThey saw parties as efforts to form majority factions that would substitute partial interests for common goodElaborate structure of separation of checks and balances in Constitution was designed to keep such a majority faction from formingThe idea of large republic was conceived as defense against partyRepublics size would encourage factions to proliferate and thus would keep any single one form growing large and strong enough to dominateFramers who most feared tyranny of the majority believed that party would enable untutored masses to deprive others of their libertyFramers who feared elitism expected defenders of privilege to use party to manipulate the masses depriving people of their liberty and democratic powersFounding generation created electoral laws that favoured a strong twoparty systemPresidential electors were chosen by states but state legislatures were free to choose them as they wishedState legislatures assigned responsibility to determine the time place and manner of holding elections for senators and members of the House and they has complete discretion about how they choose their state legislatures and governorsPOL203Y1 US Government and PoliticsthJanuary 12 2012State legislatures could have chosen a proportional method for choosing state legislative and congressional representativesInstead they carved state into state legislative and congressional districts each of which chose a single representative on plurality basisProportional representation encourages growth of several political parties since it does not require a large fraction of vote to elect at least one representative to officeSingle member districts favour two parties because only one candidate can win in a single districtThe First PartyParties began to grow during first years of the RepublicBy 1800 Thomas Jefferson leader of the first fullfledged partythe Republicanshad been elected presidentThis party was direct ancestor of modern day Democratic partyParties proven to be vital safeguards of American liberty and democracyMadison prior to Constitution assumed that greatest threat to Republic came from the peopleBut after watching Hamilton Secretary of the Treasury strive to amass greater power for national executive Madison decided that this centralization of power in hands of few was even greater threat to libertyOnly way to combat this was to organize the many to take power away from Hamilton and his cronies resulted in the establishment of the Republican Party Election of 179 coordinated effort was made to defeat members of Congress who defied caucus vote and supported treatyThis success in punishing disloyalty shows that less than decade after passage ofConstitution a political organization had come into being that possessed allcrucial attributes of political partya mass membership an ability to coordinate its activities and mechanisms for imposing party disciplneA Test of Electoral CollegeElection of 1800 revealed weakness of Electoral College as a means for limiting impact of direct democracy on choice of a presidentFramers had intended electors to be independent exercising their own individual judgment about who would make best presidentBut in 1800 Republican leaders in the capital coordinated w party organizations in various states so electors were that selected as unstructured agent of the party pledged to vote for Jefferson1800 most electors were selected by state legislatures but by 1824 ordinary voters had opportunity in most states to elect a slate of electors who were pledged to one or the other partys candidate and so it has been ever sincePolitical parties have made process of Electoral College voting into a strictly mechanical oneIn original Constitution electors were to vote for two candidates for president w candidate who received most electoral support provided it was a majority
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