1. decline
    the idea that the American political parties are collapsing, and may perhaps disappear
  2. dealignment
    period during which the partisan ties of the public diminish and the party system breaks down
  3. resurgence
    the idea that American political parties, following a period of decline from the 1960's to the early 80's, are now making a comeback, gaining in organizational, electoral, and governmental strength
  4. caucus
    a meeting of members of a political party or the members of a party in a legislature - also referred to as a party cacus - in some states used to select delegates to the national conventions, which nominate presidential candidates
  5. realignment
    a major change in teh patter of support for political parties and the important issues on which that patter of support is based. typically happens at 36 year intervals
  6. party system
    period druing which the patter of support for political parties based on a particular set of important political issues remains reasonably stable
  7. party in the government
    number one of the three components or sectors of a political party; the party as embodied in those of its members who have been elected or appointed to public office, the organizations they establish, and the leaders they choose to help them carry out their work
  8. coalition
    a subgroup of a party, based on common social, economic, and religious characteristics
  9. state committee
    the body responsible for guiding a state political party organization on an ongoing basis
  10. political machine
    political organization that recruits and controls its membership through the use of its governmental authority to give benefits (jobs, contracts, etc.) to its supporters and deny them to its opponents
  11. national committee
    the body responsible for guiding political party organization on an ongoing basis.
  12. platform
    a broad statement of the philosophy and program under which a party's candidates run for election
  13. national convention
    the quadrennial meeting of an American political party that focuses on the upcoming presidential election
  14. formal party organization
    number two of the three components or sectors of a political party - the official structure of a political party, including people who officially belong to it, its elected and appointed officers, and committees
  15. third party
    in the American political context, a minor party attracting only a small share of the electorate's vote - a party other than the two major parties that have dominated politics through most of American history
  16. proportional representation
    a system for allocating seats in a legislative body in which the number of seats a party gets of teh total is based on the percentage of votes that the party receives in an election
  17. run-off election
    an election pitting the leading candidates of a previous election against each other when the previous election has not produced a clear cut winner
  18. majority election
    election in which a candidate wins by getting more than one-half of the votes cast
  19. plurality election
    election in which a candidate wins simply by getting more votes than any other candidate, even if it is less than the majority of the votes
  20. governmental functions
    with reference to political parties, the ways in which parties, by seeking to win elections, help to organize the government, give coherence to public policy, and make government responsible to the people
  21. electoral functions
    with reference to political parties, the ways in which parties, by seeking to win elections, help to bring order to campaigns and elections
  22. socialization functions
    with reference to political parties, the ways in which parties, by seeking to win elections, help to socialize voters into politics and form public opinion
  23. political party
    group the seeks to influence public policy by placing its own members in positions of governmental authority
  24. interest group elitism
    the idea that the leader of interest groups may act in ways that promote their own interests rather than the interests of the broader membership of the group
  25. cross-cutting cleavage
    the overlapping of interest group memberships from individual to individual with the result that the society rarely finds the same people line up on opposite sides on all issues and is thus protected against political polarization
  26. pluralist democracy
    a system in which the people rule and have their interests protected through the interaction of many difference social, political, and economic groups and in which the principal task of government is to manage group conflict and cooperation
  27. Christian Right
    conservative, religiously based groups that involve themselves in the political process
  28. grass roots lobbying
    attempting to influence members of Congress by encouraging citizens in the home district or state to contact their legislators.
  29. amicus curiae brief
    latin for "friend of the court" - persons, government agencies, or groups that are not parties to a case but nonetheless have an interest in its outcome can make their views known by filing an amicus curiae brief with the court.
  30. class action suit
    legal action initiated on behalf of a large number of individuals without any other common interest other than their grievance against the person or institution being suded.
  31. iron triangle
    the combination of interest group representatives, legislative committees, and government administrators seen as extremely influential in determining the outcome of political decisions
  32. lobbying
    attempting to influence legislation under consderation, particularly through personal contact by group representatives
  33. political action committee (PAC)
    political organization set up to channel campaign money from a group to political candidates sympathetic to the group's political values.
  34. direct mail
    contacting citizens by mail, rather than through personal contact or the mass media
  35. melting pot
    characterization of America as the coming together of a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and religious groups
  36. movement
    an effort to attain an end through an organized set of actions and individuals
Card Set
govt 2305