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parties 1050

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Published on January 9, 2008

Author: Silvia

Source: authorstream.com

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Political Participation:  Political Participation Political Parties Today’s Lecture:  Today’s Lecture What are political parties? Party: electorate, government, organization What are the historical party eras? Realignments What about parties today? Characteristics of today’s party era Political Parties:  Political Parties Political Party: A “team of men [and women] seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election.” Parties want to win elections Parties can be thought of in three parts: Party in the electorate Party as an organization Party in government Tasks of Parties:  Tasks of Parties Parties Pick Candidates Parties Run Campaigns Parties Give Cues to Voters Parties Articulate Policies Parties Coordinate Policymaking A political party is a linkage institution The Downs Model:  The Downs Model Rational-choice theory Assumes that individuals act in their own best interest, weighing the costs and benefits of possible alternatives Downs Model Voters maximize chances that policies they favor are adopted by government. Parties want to win elected office. The Downs Model:  The Downs Model The Party in the Electorate:  The Party in the Electorate These are the voters in an election; those who identify with a political party. Party identification: a citizen’s self-proclaimed preference for one party or the other Republican, Democrat, or Independent Ticket-splitting: voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices Independents are most likely to split tickets. No state or race is completely safe due to split tickets. Party Identification:  Party Identification Party Organizations:  Party Organizations Grass Roots Organizations: local people who work for the party. Especially important in early presidential primaries Local Parties Party Machines: Political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements to win votes and to govern. Patronage: A job, promotion or contract given for political reasons rather than merit. Used by party machines. No longer prominent Party machines and local organizations are now generally weak due to progressive reforms State Party Organizations:  State Party Organizations State parties affect how presidents are selected Closed primaries: voters must be registered with their party in advance and can only vote for that party Open primaries: voters decide on election day which party to participate in, and then only that party Blanket primaries: voters get a list of all candidates and can vote for one name for each office, regardless of party label. Unconstitutional Caucuses National Party Organization:  National Party Organization National Convention: The meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket. Formal send-off for president and vice-president Approve the party platform National Committee: Party organization that keeps the party operating between conventions. Fund raising The Party in Government:  The Party in Government These are the party members actually elected to government. Candidates are less dependent on parties to get elected, but they still need help: money, recognition, etc. Coalition: A group of individuals with a common interest upon which every political party depends. Parties have platforms and politicians have promises; they generally act on these promises once in government. Party in Government Today:  Party in Government Today Presidency controlled by Republican 110th Congress controlled by Democrats House Republican: 203 Democrat: 232 Senate Republican: 49 Democrat: 50 Parties in American History:  Parties in American History Party Eras: Historical periods in which a majority of votes cling to the party in power. Critical Election: A massive change in electoral politics where new issues and coalitions emerge in one election Often occurs around a national crisis e.g., Civil War, Great Depression. Party Realignment: The displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election. Burnham:  Burnham Contrast between two forces lead to realignments American politics System designed to slow change of voters Fragmented system of government slow to change Political culture, which favors status quo Socio-economic systems change quickly Dynamic and regular business cycles Burnham:  Burnham Resolution of political/socio-economic in a realignment Constant build up of pressure in the political, which cannot change, but which increasingly contrasts with socio-economic Slash point or trigger event in socio-economic relieves the pressure and “realigns” these two forces Realignments happen every 30-38 years Burnham:  Burnham Realignment periods characterized by: High intensity in party nomination process Increased ideological polarization Heavy mobilization of the electorate Policy change in terms of increased linkage, coordination, or alignment between electorate and government Representation increases as voters vote for those candidates who will fulfill wishes of mobilized/partisan electorate Party Eras:  Party Eras 1796-1824: The First Party System First party: Federalists 1828-1856: Jacksonian Democrats v. Whigs Modern party founded by Jackson Whigs formed to oppose Democrats 1860-1928: The Two Republican Eras Republicans rose as the antislavery party 1894 Depression kept Republicans in power 1932-1964: The New Deal Coalition Forged by the Democrats- relied upon urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholics and Jews, the poor, Southerners The Current Party System:  The Current Party System 1968-Present: The Era of Divided Party Government Party dealignment and party neutrality: people are more indifferent towards and disengaged from the two parties Since 1968, only 9 years of unified government Some wonder if the 2000 and 2004 elections have ushered in a new party era of Republican dominance Is the Party Over?:  Is the Party Over? Party is not the chief source of information for voters (media are), but: Party identification is still best predictor of vote choice Majority of people still identify with a party Partisanship is increasing among public and legislators State and national party organizations are getting stronger Parties are integral part of organization and operation of government and elections Summary:  Summary Parties are a linkage institution Parties’ goal is to win elections Parties have operated in several distinct party systems or eras The current party system is one of divided government and weak parties But this trend is beginning to change

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