Political Parties

Political Parties. What Are Political Parties? The Two-Party System in America Party Organization Parties and the Electorate Parties and Elections Parties

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Political Parties

Political Parties

• What Are Political Parties?

• The Two-Party System in America

• Party Organization

• Parties and the Electorate

• Parties and Elections

• Parties and Government

• Parties and Democracy

Political Ideology

• A coherent set of beliefs about the role of government, politics, and public policy.

- How the government should operate and what should it do

Political Parties: The Basics

• Group of people with a similar political ideology who join together to CONTROL the government– Similar ideas– Want their ideas to become public policy– Gain power by winning elections

– United States• Dominated by two Parties

• Coalition – large group with various interests

Functions of a Party

• Nominating• Government Business• Informer-Stimulator• Seal of Approval• Watchdog


• Find and choose candidates for office

• Picks those who can “win”

Government Business

• Conducts the business of government

• Laws and can proceed smoothly or can be deadlocked due to political party affiliation


• Informs and stimulates interest and discussion

Seal of Approval

• Approves candidates

• Ensure candidates are qualified


• Party out of power criticizes party in power

State of the Union 2014• President Obama provided his vision for the

coming year and the current “state” of our Union.

– Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) – GOP response

– Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) – Tea Party Response

The Two Party System

• Two Party System – A system in which two parties dominate the electoral/governmental system

• US has always had a two party system

• Minor parties exist, but the have a difficult time wining in national elections; minor parties have had success at the local level

American Third Parties

• Third parties have played an important role in American politics.

• Spoiler role – (2000 Election Bush V Gore) Nader Green Party

• The ideas of the third party may be adopted by one of the major parties.

Minor Parties

• Single issue – solving one problem

• Ideological – complete idea of solving all problems in society

• Economic Protest – hard economic times

• Splinter – splits off one of the major parties

American Third Parties

• Third-party success in the United States is limited by

— the electoral system

• single-member district

• winner take all

– Pluralistic society of the US. We agree on many issues

— Socialization – number of independent voters

— Belief that voting for third party is a wasted vote

Political Parties

• One Party Systems– Usually found in authoritarian gov’ts.– Power through force - Communist China.

Theocracies are also usually a one party sys. Iran

• Multi Party Systems– Most common system in the world– Represent widely different ideologies– One party rarely gets enough support for control– Often combine to form coalitions– These systems can be politically unstable

Political Parties

• Two Party Systems– About a dozen nations have two party systems– Two parties dominate– Minor parties exist

Two Party Systems

• Federalists vs. Anti Federalists (Democratic Republicans)

• Democrats vs. Whigs

• Democrats vs. Republicans (1860 - 1932)

• 1932 – 1968 Democrats Dominated

• 1968 – Present - Divided Government

Movement Away From the Major Parties

• More independents

• More Spilt ticket voting