Political Parties Sec. 1 • Political party = a group of persons who seek to control gov. through the winning of elections and the holding of public office. • Major Functions of a Political Party: • 1. Nominate candidates • 2. Inform and activate supporters • 3. Bonding agent (stamp of approval) • 4. Government • 5. Watchdog
Political Parties Sec. 2 • The 2 Party system: • In the US, it is Democrat v. Republican • Occurs because of… • 1. Historical Basis 2. Force of Tradition 3. Electoral System
Political parties Sec. 2 • Why 2 parties, and not 1? • Imagine having only one choice of drinks at school or only 1 choice of ice cream at an ice cream shop? • 2 parties give Americans choices, rather than certain approval or certain condemnation.
Political Parties Sec. 2 • Other parties… • Libertarian Party • Reform Party • Green Party • Socialist Party • Communist Party
Political Parties Sec. 3 • Incumbent = Current officeholder • 4 Major Eras of American Political Parties: • Era of Democrats (1800-1860) • Era of Republicans (1860-1932) • The Return of the Democrats (1932-1968) • New Era (1968-present)
Political Parties Sec. 4 • 4 Types of minor parties: • 1. Ideological parties- those based on a particular set of beliefs (ex. Socialist party) • 2. Single Issue parties- concentrate on only one public policy matter. (ex. Right to life party) • 3. Economic protest parties- parties rooted in economic discontent. (ex. Populists Party of 1890s wanted public ownership of railroads)
Political Parties Sec. 4 • 4. Splinter parties- those that have split from major parties (ex. Bull Moose party from Teddy Roosevelt) • The major role of 3rd parties is to bring issues into the public forum. Without them, some may have never cared about abortion, prohibition, etc. • Some have disliked political parties, because it has diluted an election and one party loses out to another, because they lost their votes to the 3rd party.