NJCU POLI 102 - American Political Parties (56 pages)

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American Political Parties



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American Political Parties

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Pages:
56
School:
New Jersey City University
Course:
Poli 102 - U.S. POLITICS
Unformatted text preview:

Happy St Paddy s Day American Political Parties Overview Definition Functions Evolution of the American Party System The Two Party System Party Organization Campaign Finance Definition Political Parties A group of political activists who organize to win elections operate the government and determine public policy Functions Candidate Recruitment Parties need to find viable candidates for a whole range of elected positions at the federal and state level Obstacles to recruitment include time privacy finances prospects Functions Organizing and Running Elections Providing resources for candidates Providing ideas for candidates Functions Presenting alternatives to the electorate Voters need choices among candidates and among policy alternatives Democratic Party Platform Republican Party Platform Functions Operating the government legislative leadership positions executive appointments judicial appointments Functions Providing organized loyal opposition to government minority party or parties only Make sure if not in power that party is ready for next election leaders issues policies History of American Party System US developed the modern political party US relatively unique in the world in having a 2 Party System most of the world is multiparty with a few uniparty systems in non democratic states History Founding Period Federalists vs Antifederalists issues size and power of national government base Federalists primarily merchant commerical wealthy Antifederalists primarily small farmer craftsmen and south History Post Constitution Post Washington Federalists Adams vs Republicans Jefferson issues size and power of national government state rights base Federalist wealthy merchant and commerical intersests Republican artisans farmers History Era of Good Feelings Following War of 1812 Federalists cease to be a major party at the national level confined primarily to New England Enter period of One Party rule 1816 1825 Monroe Competition among individual Republican candidates or factions within the Republican party but not really different parties History Birth of the Modern Democratic Party 1824 Election the Republican Party splits when Andrew Jackson leaves party to form own Republicans change name to National Republicans Jackson wing becomes the Democratic Party This is the same Democratic Party we have today 1828 Jackson wins National Republicans rename themselves Whigs issues popular democracy federal power base Dems rural south Whigs north urban History Birth of the Republican Party 1856 modern Republican Party forms remnant of Whig party split antislavery Democrats and the Free Soil Party History Republican Party Dominance From 1860 through 1932 Republicans control White House every presidential election cycle with the exception of Grover Cleveland 1885 1889 1883 1897 Woodrow Wilson 1913 1921 History Democratic Party Dominance From 1932 to 1968 Democrats control White House with the exception of Dwight Eisenhower 1952 1960 and they control Congress from 1932 to 1952 History Contemporary Party Republican Ascendance 1968 to 2008 Republicans control White House for all except Carter 1976 1980 Clinton 1992 2000 Obama 2009 History Democratic Party controls both houses of Congress from 1955 1980 and the House from 1955 until 1994 Republicans control both houses of Congress from 1994 2000 House from 1994 to 2006 With 2008 results too soon to say if we are moving to new Democratic era Why 2 Parties Election and Ballot Access Laws State legislatures devise ballot access laws State legislatures are dominated by the major parties State legislatures make it difficult for minor parties to challenge the major party monopoly Why 2 Parties Neither major party is ideologically rigid Both Democratic and Republican parties can shift platform to accomodate new social movements Difficult for minor parties to find any room to maneuver between the 2 major parties Why 2 Parties Winner Take All vs Proportional Representation PR In PR systems seats in the legislature are allocated to parties based on the percentage of vote they receive in the election for example if a party receives 15 of the votes it would get roughly 15 of the seats in the legislature Why 2 Parties Winner Take All vs Proportional Representation PR In PR parties do not need to win an election in order to have representation in the legislature Seems to encourage multiple parties since even small parties can influence legislative process and bring some measure of success to its membership base Why 2 Parties Winner Take All WTA vs Proportional Representation PR In WTA seats are allocated according to single member districts Parties must win the election in order to win a seat Undermines minor parties since they have little to show supporters after the election Why 2 Parties Tradition Both major American parties have deep roots in American political culture Party Organization The two party model we ve described is only partly accurate in that federalism creates something more like 52 parties with 2 common names That is we have two national parties the Democratic and Republican parties and 50 state versions of these parties Party Organization National State Local Party Organization National State ward and precinct committees activists and volunteers party voters and identifiers Local Party Organization National state committees conventions congressional district com city county com State Local Party Organization national party convention chairperson and national committee National State Local Campaigns Traditional vs Professional Campaigns More expertise media consultants pollsters strategists communications directors fundraisers More expensive Campaign Finance Campaigns 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act Public financing of presidential elections Limits on spending if accept public finance Created Federal Election Commission Required candidates and donors to report donations to the FEC with caps now on donations Required candidates and donors to establish Political Action Committees PACs to handle money end of the campaigns Limited amount of personal wealth candidates could spend Campaigns Buckley vs Valeo 1976 restrictions on personal spending violate the First Amendment caps on contributions however do not federal finance of campaign do not as long as it is voluntary that is candidates can opt to accept the money and the limits or not Campaigns Loopholes within the FECA No limits on donations to party soft money No limits on party spending


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