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CAS PO 111 (17)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Political Parties.pdf

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Political Science
CAS PO 111
Graham Wilson

Chapter 8: Political Parties Sunday, December 15, 2013 4:51 PM I. Political Parties and Their Functions • Americans value free election as part of democracy • Parties are not “trustworthy” especially to young voters A. What is a Political Party? • Organization that sponsors a candidates • Parties select candidate by nomination • Democratic gov’t is defined by competitive party politics B. Party Functions • Political System: interrelated institutions that link people to government • Nominating Candidates: without party nominations, there would be an array of self- nominated candidates counting on friendly/family/celebrity votes ○ Parties help set the standard on the qualification of the candidates • Structuring the Voting Choice: reducing the number of competitors on the ballot with just candidates that have a realistic chance of winning ○ Two party system allow citizens a good chance of replacing gov’t leaders • Proposing Alternative Gov’t Programs: even if people did not know the candidate, they can still vote by platform • Coordinating the actions of the gov’t officials: since the candidates need the party finance and support, they will act according the party lines II. A History of US Party Politics A. The Pre Party Period • Political interest used to be referred as factions which was deemed as dangerous • Federalist 10: Federalism would prevent factional influence from controlling the gov’t ○ Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists • Different Elections ○ Electoral College: a body of electors chosen by voters to cast ballots for the president and the vice president ○ Caucasus: closed meeting of the political parties to prep candidates • During Washington’s term, people broke into favoring strong central government and states government ○ Hamilton (federalist) vs Jefferson (dem.) B. The First Party System: Federalists and Democratic Republicans • Washington warned about “the baneful effects” of factions in his farewell • 12th Amendment: required the electoral college to vote for president and the vice president separately • “Era of Good Feelings”: lack of partisan competition under Monroe C. The Second Party System: Democrats and Whigs • National Convention: delegates of a single political party choose a candidate and form a Party Platform which is a statement of policies of a party D. The Current Party System: Democrats and Republicans (began in 1860) • Critical Election: sharp change in existing pattern of party loyalty which causes Electoral Realignment - change in voting pattern after a critical election E. Eras of Party Dominance Since the Civil War • 1860 election established the two party system we see today ○ Majority vs Minority; third parties never win • A Rough Balance: 1860-1894: Grand Old Party (GOP Rep) won 8/10 ○ Equal Dem.-Rep. congressional elections; each had 9 years F. A Republican Majority • 1896: turned Rep. into major party b/c Dem. weakened by Depression • 1896: turned Rep. into major party b/c Dem. weakened by Depression ○ McKinley > Cleveland • A Democratic Majority: 1932-1964 ○ 1932: FDR >Hoover b/c Great Depression, FDR won landslide creating a democratic coalition • A Rough Balance: 1968 to The Present ○ Rep winning streak: Nixon, Reagan, Bush(s) but Dem. controlled the senate ○ Electoral Realignment: lessening of the importance of party loyalties III. The American Two Party System A. Minor Parties in America (4 types) • Bolter Parties: formed by factions that have split off from one of the major parties ○ Disgruntled leaders “bolt the ticket” by challenging their former party  ie. Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party • Farmer-Labor Parties: workers who believe that they are not getting a fair share of the society’s wealth  ie. William Jennings Bryan’s Populist Party • Parties of Ideological Protests: criticizes the established system  ie. Green Party and Socialist Party • Single-issue Parties: promote one principle, not a general philosophy  ie. The Prohibition Party • Though they never succeed in elections, they ar
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