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OUTLINE GITELSON CHAPTER 6 POLITICAL PARTIES (4)

 

 

 

 

I) What Parties are, what they do. (p. 154)

            A) There are 2 major parties follow set of guiding principles. (p. 154)

            B) Parties opinions differ on economic/social issues. (p. 154)

            C) Political Party: group with same interests organized to get candidates for public office. (p. 154)

            D) Decentralization: many people within party share decision-making power. (p. 155)

            E) "3 Headed Political Giant": 3 different alliances. (p. 155)

                        1) party-as-organization: small/informal. Mostly volunteers. Works throughout

    year. (p. 155)

            2) party-in-the-electorate: those who identify w/same party & votes for its

                candidate. (p. 155)

            3) party-in-government: those elected/appointed to government office under a

    party label. Organizes/reorganize government and sets policy. (p. 155)

 

 

II) Who belongs to major parties and why. (p. 156)

A) DEMOCRATS generally the majority: Africans, Hispanics, Catholics, Jews, women,

     working class. Over 50. South African Americans. (p. 156)

                        a) Attachment to Democratic party is stronger. (p. 156)

                        b) Became majority with voter since FDR and New Deal. (p. 156)

B) REPUBLICANS: white, protestant, middle->upper class, conservative.

C) View on government’s roles is the main divider between parties. (pgs. 157&160)

1) Democrats: want large government role in social welfare, business regulation.

    Support non military foreign aid programs/environmental initiatives favored

    more, gun control, affirmative action. Better at improving social security,   

    Medicare, education, health. Pro-women's rights to choose. (pgs. 157&160)

2) Republicans: want reduce taxes, aid to minorities/welfare programs, want less

    regulation in business, support government spending on military. Better at

    reducing crimes/taxes, having strong military/family values. Pro-life. (pgs. 157&160)

3) Independents: say their voting influenced by issues/leadership qualities.

    Importance in effect in state/local elections=little evidence of impact.

    Increased indifference to both major parties(D and R) since major 

    crises: Watergate, Vietnam War, Clinton impeachments. (p. 158)

 

                       

IIB) Minor parties

            A) American Independent: founded by George Wallace to end Vietnam War. Split from

                Democrats. (p. 168)

            B) Reform Party: related to Ross Perot presidential candidacy. To reduce deficit and

    promote other reforms. (p. 168)

            C) Green Party: focused on environment and social justice. Ralph Nader('96): 1st

                presidential nominee. (p. 168)

            D) Natural Law party: followed principles of Marharishi Mahesh Yogi to solve social

    problems.

            E) Libertarian: pro-individual freedoms/liberties through reducing government power. (p. 154)

 

 

III) What parties do.

A) Build Electoral Coalitions: loyal supporters agreeing with party's stand on most issues,

     votes for party's candidate for office. Ties to parties have weakened. (p. 159)

B) Developing public policy: what government should do about various

    problems=legislation made. (p. 159)

    Platforms: party goal statements. Specific policy agendas. Candidates not bound

        to follow. (p. 159)

C) Winning elections: through party organizations, growing aid. (p. 162)

a) Primary: party members select their candidate to run for office to represent

    them. Limit direct role of party-as-org during nominations. Getting

    involved=win. (p. 162)

b) Organizing government: Congress vote along party lines, party leaders control

    is more difficult. Average voting in party based on strength of stand in an issue.

    Parties used to control conflicts of interest between groups. (p. 163)

D) American style politics, 2 style system.

            a) Constitution doesn't mention parties. Founding fathers against formation of

                parties. (p. 163)

b) Modern democratic party result from election between Andrew Jackson(D) v.

    Jefferson. Farmers/working people support=democrats became national party. (p. 164)

c) Republicans party start: 1854 to oppose slavery. Start from business,

    merchant, abolitionist, North & West small farmer support. Lincoln was first

    Republican presidential candidate. (p. 164)

d) Party Realignment: shift of voters from one party to other making one

    dominant. (p. 164)

-Cause of realignment:

                                    1) Shift of support due to political, social, economic development. (p. 164)

                        2) Large # of new voters entering electorate. (p. 164)

3) Examples: democratization of parties, slavery issue, Depression, shift 

    in population(rural Republicans to big city democrats)=realignment   

    happens. (p. 165)

4) Civil rights movement causing African American voting=power to 

    democrats. (p. 165)

                        5) Realignment tends to occur over period of years. (p. 166)

e) Scholars suggest we are going through party de-alignment: public

    disassociates/de-align self from both parties causing split in votes between

    other parties. (p. 166)

            f) We are more in a de-alignment then a realignment. (p. 166)

E) Why 2 parties.

                        a) History of a 2 party dominance.

            b) Winner takes all idea: rules governing electoral college system.

1) single-member district, winner-take-all electoral system: 1    

    representative per congressional/legislative district. Candidate must

    win plurality vote-most votes. (p. 166)

2) Europeans use proportional representation: legislative seat assigned a

    number of candidates in proportion to # of votes party receives in a  

    district. Minor or third parties may gain representation even though

    didn't get plural vote. They try to keep "middle of road" positions to

    attract voters. (p. 167)

c) Division of interest come from nation government power and questioning

    policies(social/economical). (p. 167)

            d) Similarity in goals: don't support many other radical systems. (p. 167)

            e) State laws: regulate party and its definition. (p. 168)

F) Third parties (p. 168):

                        a) Only Republican party developed into a permanent one. (p. 168)

b) Ross Perot(Independent) got 19% of popular vote. Received less as a Reform candidate. (p. 168)

            c) Developed because they feel their interest aren't well represented. (p. 168)

            d) Federal laws work against them: automatic funding not given. (p. 168)

            e) More successful in local/state governments. For example: Jesse Ventura of Reform party. (p. 168)

 

 

IV) Party structure from bottom -> up

            -Decentralization: thinking about structure of parties. (p. 170)

 

A) Local parties (p. 170):

                        a) Precinct: typical bottom structure-voting district covering several blocks. Gets out the votes. (p. 170)       

b) Wards: city council districts below city wide level. Members may be elected/appointed. (p. 170)

            c) Patronage: jobs given to party supporters. (p. 170)

            d) Preferments: giving jobs/contracts to people/companies that support the party. (p. 170)

e) Partisan: you identify with a specific party. (p. 181)

f ) Local parties scarcely exist around country, since nonpartisan elections are the rule

    due to anti-party reforms. Many local/state elections are nonpartisan. (p. 181)

    Recently, local organizations are increasingly active in campaigns. (p. 170)

B) State parties: varying powers. (p. 172)

                        a) Control/POWER usually in state chairperson or governor. (p. 172)

b) Increase interest in offering services for candidates: fund raising/research(polls) for state/local candidates. (p.     

    172)

C) National parties (p. 172):

                        a) Staff directed by national chairperson & national committees. (p. 172)

            b) Campaigns for nominees. (p. 172)

                        c) Electoral role challenged by interest groups. (p. 172)

d) PAC(political action committees): Contributors of money to campaign that has same aim as

    them. Developed because federal law prohibited most interest groups from donating money to

    political party. (p. 172)

 

 

V) Future of parties

            A) Party loyalty decreasing: increase independents, and ticket splitters.  (p. 173)

B) Moving away from party-centered campaigns: campaign where party coordinates activities, raise 

    money, developing strategies. (p. 174)

C) Moving towards candidate-centered campaigns: paid consultants/volunteers do the work. Parties play

    secondary role. (p. 174)

            D) Parties not irrelevant but are less relevant than past. (p. 174)

            E) Still play a dominate role in organizing/coordinating PUBLIC POLICY. (p. 174)

            F) Represent individuals not adequately served by other parties. (p. 174)