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Dec. 2, 2015

Dec. 2, 2015. Discuss realignment Interest groups Discussion Vocabulary Vocabulary Quiz Friday, Dec. 4 Assessment Dec. 8. Realignment. A dramatic change in the political system that lasts for decades. Realignment Criteria.

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Dec. 2, 2015

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  1. Dec. 2, 2015 Discuss realignment Interest groups Discussion Vocabulary Vocabulary Quiz Friday, Dec. 4 Assessment Dec. 8

  2. Realignment A dramatic change in the political system that lasts for decades.

  3. Realignment Criteria A critical presidential election in which the electorate changes its voting pattern The electorate is torn on a major issue A political party weak enough for a new party to take control or to reflect a significant change in voter characteristics


  5. What is an Interest Group? • A group of individuals with common interests and seek to influence the government in some way (“Special Interests”) • James Madison called them “factions” Did not like them, but felt they were inevitable to society.

  6. How does an Interest Group begin? • USUALLY begins as a social movement • Examples-abolitionists, civil rights, women’s rights, animal rights, etc.

  7. Political Parties –vs- Interest Groups Political Parties Interest Groups • Influence policies of govt. • Interested in the ”what” of govt. • Private Organizations • Focus on issues and what directly affects the interest of their members • Nominate Candidates • Elections • Controlling Govt. • Interested in the “who” of • govt. • Accountable to the public • Focus on voters and their candidate Both are made up of people who unite for some political purpose |

  8. Types of Interest Groups • Economic • Ideological/Single Issue • Public Interest • Foreign Policy • Government Itself Not all interest groups are mutually exclusive-some overlap into different types

  9. Group work

  10. Economic Interest Groups • Businesses - large corporations to individual owners • McD’s, Coke, AT&T, Microsoft, Amazon • Trade & Other Associations-businesses with similar interest join together. • Chambers of Commerce

  11. Labor - workers associations or unions • Represent workers’ interests • Membership is low in the US compared to other industrialized countries • Examples-- Fraternal Order of Police, International Longshore, etc…

  12. Professional Associations-Professionals form of a union. • Can be national or state or local • American Bar Association, National Education Association, AMA

  13. IDEOLOGICAL/SINGLE ISSUE • Ideological – set pattern of beliefs (conservative, liberal, libertarian…) • ACLU, Christian Coalition, Moral Majority

  14. Single Issue (more specific) • Very adamant about position (right or left) and unwilling to compromise • NRA, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice

  15. PUBLIC Interest Groups • “for the public good” • Focus on public policies that benefit all or most Americans

  16. FOREIGN POLICY Interest Groups • To promote or oppose certain foreign policies • Council on Foreign Relations, American-Israel Political Action Committee, National Association of Arab Americans

  17. GOVERNMENT Interest Groups • Government employees want to be organized and heard • National Governors Association, National Education Association

  18. You will be able to … Describe the role of interest groups in influencing public policy Compare and Contrast political parties and interest groups Describe the different types of interest groups Explain how interest groups work

  19. How do Interest Groups Work?

  20. Interest Groups have three goals Supply the public with information an organization thinks the people need Try to build a positive image for a group To promote a particular public policy

  21. Propaganda Is a technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behavior Interest Groups use propaganda to create the public attitude they want Mass media encouraged the use of propaganda

  22. What do Lobbyists do? • Use a variety of techniques to try to persuade legislators to share an interest in a group’s points of view. • Provide two types of information: Political (who supports what) and Substantive (impact of proposed legislation)

  23. What are Lobbyists? • Employees of an association that try to influence policy decisions and positions in the government • RevolvingDoor-moving from a government job to a lobbying job (common-good contacts already made) • A former gov’t worker cannot directly lobby their former agency or office

  24. Revolving Doors produce networks of people involved with certain issues. These networks are called IRON TRIANGLES. • Mutually supporting relationships among interest groups, congressional committees, and gov’t agencies

  25. What are PACs? • Political Action Committee is the political part of an interest group • Can legally raise money for candidates or political parties from members, stockholders, or employees (of interest group)

  26. The Growth of PACs • 1970s number of PACs increased • About 4,000 today

  27. PAC LIMITS • Federal Elections Campaign Act (1971) limits PACs to $5000 per election or $10,000 per election cycle (primary and general election) • “Bundling” helps PACs get around the limits • SOFT MONEY-PACs have no limits to contributions made to a political party for party-building purposes

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