(THIRD) PARTIES IN THE
A. Major Parties and Minor Parties
whether major or minor, act as a link between the public and the
government. Since the Civil War ended in 1865, it brought about a change in the political system. The
A1. What two groups are linked by political parties?
A2. What ended in 1865?
A2. In what year did the Civil War end?
A3. What major parties make up the two party system? (G 164 middle)
A4. What major parties win almost all national, state, and local elections? (G 164)
A6. What three levels of government hold elections?
A7. Which three levels of government do major parties dominate? (G 168 bottom)
A8. How many minor party
A9. What is a majority?
A10. What is a plurality?
Even though minor parties do nominate candidates who will run in
elections, they usually do not pose a threat to the election of major party candidates.
Because the two major parties (Democrats and Republicans) usually win
elections, minor parties are often referred to as third parties. The six most
recent minor parties in the state of
103. Libertarian Party
104. Natural Law Party
105. Green Party
106. Reform Party
A11. Do minor parties nominate candidates?
A12. At the federal level, do minor parties pose a threat to major parties?
A13. What is another name for minor parties?
A14. How many minor parties have recently
A15. What are the minor parties recently
B. MINOR PARTY LEADERS AND ISSUES
Some minor parties develop because of dynamic leaders. Three examples of parties built around strong leaders are:
Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive (Bull Moose) Party:
101. Formed during the presidential election won by Democrat Woodrow Wilson about 100
In 1912 the Progressive Party received the largest popular vote that any minor
party ever received in a
103. Formed to oppose the Civil Rights movement to win the Vietnam War; opposes all
104. Formed during the presidential election in which Republican Richard Nixon first won.
Ross Perot’s Reform Party:
105. Created when Ross Perot received almost 1 out of 5 votes as an independent in the
106. Jesse Ventura was
elected governor of
Other minor parties developed around issues. Two examples of parties build around issues are:
107. The party nominating Ralph Nader for president in 1996 and 2000
108. Stresses environmental protection and social justice.
109. Favors maximum individual liberty and minimum government involvement in economics. 110. Has nominated candidates in recent presidential elections.
B1. Give three examples of minor parties founded by dynamic leaders? (G 168 middle)
B2. Whose followers formed the Bull Moose Party? (G 168 middle)
B3. What is the name of the minor party candidate who led the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party in 1912? (G 168 middle)
B4. Who was the founder of the Progressive Party? (G 168 middle)
B5. About 100 years ago, which minor party received the largest popular vote in any Presidential election?
(G 168 middle)
B6. Who was the founder of the American Independent Party (AIP)? (G 168 middle)
B7. Who was the founder of the Reform Party? (G 168 middle)
was the founder the Reform Party twice defeated by
B9. Give two examples of parties based on issues? (G 171 col 2)
B10. Under what party did Ralph Nader run for president against the second George Bush and Al Gore?
(G 168 middle, 171 col 1)
B11. Which party advocates minimal government involvement in economic affairs?
c. minor party successes in local and state governments
Most exceptions to the major party
Most minor party victories are found at the local levels of government--county, city and special districts.
Green Party candidates have elected members in several city council seats and on county boards of supervisors. Libertarians have local office holders, plus one of the 120 State Representatives and the Reform Party has been particularly active at the state level.
C1. What two levels of government are the exceptions to the general rule that major parties dominate? (G 168)
C2. What are the three levels of local government that minor parties do best in? (G 171, col 2)
was the minor party candidate who recently served as governor of
C5. Which party has a member on a
C6. How many representatives are in the State Legislature? (p.838)
C7. Which party has a state representative in the state legislature? (G 171 col 2)
D. Obstacles to minor party success
There is no mention of political
parties in the
D1. How many parties are mentioned in The U.S. Constitution? (G 155 top, 163 bottom)
D2. Why do major parties dominate elections? (G 168 top)
D3. What are two state regulations to get a candidate on a ballot? (G 168 bottom)
D4. What works against minor parties? (G 166 bottom, 168 bottom)
D5. Define Plurality. (G 166 bottom)
Chart of Democratic Political Party Systems ( G154, 166-167)
Types of Systems Districts & Decision Rule Nature of Winning Parties Small Parties Results
Two Party Single member districts Two large Little power, D=6 R=4
System with plurality rule, non-ideological but influential G=0 L=0
parties with broad appeal great publicity AIP=0
Multi-Party Multi member districts Many small Frequently win D=3 R=2
System with proportional ideological parties G=1 L=1
E. Roles of Minor Parties in a Two Party System
Minor parties have been more useful in increasing attention to certain issues, than in having any serious chance of winning a national election. Besides advertising a particular issue as interest groups do. Despite lack of success at winning most offices, third parties do have an impact on American politics. Minor parties bring new issues to the political agenda, issues that major parties may overlook. They serve as a safety valve for the expression of protest with those dissatisfied with the two major parties. Third parties ideas have many times been an important source of ideas for platforms, statement of the party's goals and specific policy agendas for major parties during state and federal conventions.
E1. What do minor parties gain, even if they have no chance of winning? (G 169)
E2. In what ways do minor parties help major parties? (G 169)
E3. What do major parties use from minor parties? (G 169)
E4. What is the definition for platform? (G 159 m)
The candidates of minor parties have frequently have sufficient votes to act as a spoiler, preventing majority party from winning an election when results are close. Minor parties and Independents make up an important part of the voting population, especially in a presidential election.
E6. What manner do minor parties affect an election results when they are close? (G 159 top)
E7. What is a spoiler? (G 168 middle)
E8. Do minor parties play an important part during an election? How? (G 159 top)
F. Independent Voters and Candidates and the decline of party loyalty
In the last three decades, major crises
such as Watergate and the
The decline of loyalty to major parties is illustrated by the large number of votes received by Ross Perot ran against Bill Clinton twice, first as an independent, receiving a larger popular vote then when he ran four years later as the nominee of the Reform Party.
Few people are consistently independent in their choice of candidates. Most independents identify themselves mainly with one of the two major parties. Therefore, in spite of large and sometimes increasing numbers of independents, the votes of independents may often be predicted by major party labels.
F1. Why has major party loyalty decreased in the last three decades?
F2. What is an independent? (G 158 bottom)
F3. In what election does an independent voting population play an important part? (G 159 top)
F5. Ross Perot won a larger popular vote as independent or Reform party candidate? (G 168 middle)
F6. Independents usually identify themselves with one of which two parties? (G 159 top)
F7. What may allow the prediction of how independents vote? (G 159 top)
G. Minor parties, majority and minority parties in the elections of 1912 and 2000
Two, third party candidates for the
2000 presidential elections were consumer advocate Ralph Nader of the Green Party(G171) and
Political Commentator Pat Buchanan nominated
by the Reform Party . Naders'
priorities during this 2000 election were to provide universal health care coverage from birth through nursing home,
restore democracy with campaign finance
reform, Election Day holidays, increased ballot access and strengthen laws on labor and environment. Buchananns'
priorities included foreign policy
G1. Who was the presidential candidate representing the Green Party? (G171 col 1)
G2. Who was the presidential candidate representing the Reform Party?
G3. What three issues did the Green Party candidate stand for during the 2000 election?
G4. What three issues did the candidate for the Reform Party voice during the 2000 election?
G5. Which candidate had a small but sufficient number of votes, which could spoil the 2000 results? (G171 col 1)
G6. Issues founded by minor parties are often used by major parties for? (G169)
G7. Who were the major party candidates in the 2000 election?
H. Reference: Links to
Green Party U.S. www.greenpartyus.org
Green Party California www.cagreens.org
Nader 2000 www.voternader.org
Reform Party U.S. www. reformparty.org
Reform Party California www.reformpartyof california.org
Perot/ Ventura www.factmoster.com/spot/reformparty
American Independent Party U.S. www.aipca.org
American Independent party California www.usaip.org
George C. Wallace www.gi,grolier.com/presidents/aae/side/amerinde.html
Libertarian Party U.S. www.lp.org
Libertarian Party California www.ca.lp.org
Natural Law Party U.S. www.natural-law.org
Natural Law Party California www.naturallaw.org
Peace and Freedom Party California www.ippn.org