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Give two definitions for political parties and explain why one does not work for us
- 1. A political party is a group of people who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public offices
- 2. "a group of person joined together on the basis of certain principles who seek to control in order to achieve certain policies
- 3. Definition 2 would not work for our system as our major parties election-oriented not issue oriented.
Elements of Major Parties
- Our system of government is made up of three seperate but closely tied elements
- 1.The Party Organization- those who run the party at the national, state, and local level.
- 2.The Party in Government- those who hold office.
- 3.The Party in the Electorate- those who support the party.
Parties perform what duties?
- 1. Nominate Candidates- gather support and bring candidates to the attention of voters
- 2. Inform and active supporters- inform, inspire, and activate the interest of partcipating in public office
- 3. Govern- pass laws and maintain order
- 4. Bonding Agent + Watchdog- parties make sure that the candidates and those in office are performing well; when parties quickly report wrongdoing by the other party
why do we have a two party system
- 1.Historical Basis- america is rooted in a two party system
- 2.Force of Tradition- people have accepted the two party system because it is predetermined
- 3.The Electoral System- discourages minor parties because voters feel they waste their vote
- 4.Ideological Concensus- people have come to a concensus that the two party system works
the history of american party systems since 1800 can be divided into four major periods
- 1. 1800-1860(democrats)ended with Lincoln
- 2. 1860-1932(republicans)ended with herbery hoover
- 3. 1932-1968(democrats)ended with nixon
- 4. 1968-today(split)
- 1. William McKinley vs William Bryan Jennings
- 2. Election was during the time when big buisness was under protest by smaller farmers
- 3. McKinley would eventually win bringing the GOP back on top of politics but the Democrats would win on another front(taking it to little men and away from sectionalism)
Types of Minor Parties
- 1.Ideological-parties based on particula beliefs that have comprehensive plans(communism)
- 2.Single Issue-focus on a single public question(free soil party)
- 3.Economic Protest-proclaim their disgust with the economic situation(populist party)
- 4.Splinter-parties that split away from the major parties and usually around a strong personality(Bull Moose Party)
Different types of nominations
- 1.Self Announcement-a person who wants to run for office simply announces that are running.
- 2.Caucus-a group of like minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming election
- 3.Convention-convention style is perfect for representative government
- 4.Direct Primary-an intra party election
- 5.Petition-a petition is signed by a number of qualified voters to support a nominee
Open vs Closed Primary
The major difference between the two lies in the answer to this question(who can vote in a party;s primary[only qualified voters who are party members or any qualified voter]
- 1.Prevents one party from raiding the other's primary in the hopes of nominating weaker candidates in the opposition party.
- 2.Helps to make candidates more responsive to the party
- 3.Makes voters thoughtful in regard to votes choosing between parties of voters in primaries.
- 1.compromises the secrecy of the ballot because it forces voters to make their party preference known in order to participate.
- 2.It tends to exclude independent voters from the nominating process
How has congress taken action to fix problems in the election process
- 1.Help America vote act- replace all their lever operated and punch card voting devices by 2006
- 2.Upgrade their administration of elections especially through the better training of local election officials
- 3.Centralize and computerize voter registration systems to minimize fraudulent voting
- 4.Provide provisional voting
Types of Ballots
- 1.Australian Ballot
- -provided at public dispense
- -list the names of all candidates
- -can be made in secret
- 2.Sample Ballot
- -availible in most states before an election
- -mailed to voters
- 3.Bed Sheet Ballot
- -long, ballots in elections
- -predominately at the local level
- -can be confusing to all voters
Sources of Party Funding
- 1.Small Contributions
- 2.Wealthy Individuals
- 3.Candiates themselves
- 4.various non party groups(political action comitees)
- 5.Temporary Organizations
- Congress first began to regulate finance in federal elections in 1907.(it became unlawful for any corporation or national bank to make money contributions)
- Today, regulations in this regard are found in four detailed laws(1. Federal Election Campaign 2-3. Feca Amendments of 1974 and 1976 4. Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act 2002)
- In Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission it ruled by a vote of 5-4 that banning of political spending by corporatiions and labor unions to be unconstitutional
- Congress cannot regulate the use of money in State and local elections