Political science 21A introduction to American politics week 5 note

Political science 21A introduction to American politics week 5 note

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Lecture 9 04/24/2013 ° Republican platform on gun policies Against gun controls = oppose registration for the rights to bear arms ° ° Divided Party Governemnt why it matters? (p. 276) Majority parties working together 1 part controls White House (divided ) I party controls 1/ both House of Congress (divided ^) ° ° Political Parties Group that competes for political power by contesting elections, mobilizing social interests, & advocating ideological positions, there by linking citizens to political system Seek power  control government, nominate candidates for all offices Rep & express social group interests  parties are coalitions [a group of individuals with a common interest on which every political party depends] of interest groups Formulate a political ideology (liberal/ conservative) ° ° Functions 1) simplify choices for voters  make political user friendly for ordinary people who have limited time & ability to follow politics 2) Articulate interests  express policy pref. as seen in party platforms 3) What parties do that interests groups don’t Aggregate interests = Bring different groups together into coalition which can govern 4) Channel & socialize political conflict  people participate through party politics rather than demonstrate, riot, etc. 5) Foster stability & continuity in government  leaders come & go, but party label remains
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6) Provide a means of assessing accountability  who is responsive or to blame? o Parties provide collective responsibility o All elected officials of party sink/ sum together as a result of success/ failure of what they do o All too often our system is candidate-centered politics o All elected officials are elected on their own & do what they please o Party discipline can’t be enforced like a parliamentary system ° ° Modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of politics ° ° American political party system 1) 2 viable parties  those that elect public officials in any meaningful number o (+) 2 choices make it easier for Americans (more complicated) o (-) Big parties are harder to hold together 2) system that is much less polarized than in Europe ideologically  No socialist alternative o Difference between the major governing alternatives are less in US 3) Decision making in American parties is very open o No membership/ dues o Participate through primary elections  people decide who party nominees will be o Other countries  small % of dues paying members make decisions 4. American system is entrepreneurial o Europe  based on apprenticeship  work way up
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Better for intellectuals & getting people who reassures that parliament o American system makes it much harder for women to get in office 5. Americans parties are decentralized o Relatively low on coherence o Lot of freedom to back the party platform & vote for conscience o Reduces collective responsibility but increases chances that someone is accurately represent their district
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Lecture 10 04/24/2013 ° What only 2 parties in USA?
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