Focal Concepts Sheet Nine--Political Parties and Elections

Focal Concepts Sheet Nine--Political Parties and Elections...

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PS103 U.S. Political Systems Dr. Mitchel Gerber FOCAL CONCEPTS SHEET NINE: 1. The Primary Function of American of American Political Parties (i.e., Electoral Organizations) The basic operative function or objective of the major American political parties (the Democratic Political Party and the Republican Political Party) is to enable individual candidates seeking particular governmental offices to be elected to those positions. In this context of political party objectives, the major political parties in the United States very rarely attempt to promote radical or dynamic political, social or economic changes in society. In contrast, third or minor political parties (e.g., Libertarian Party, Green Party) often attempt to promote radical or dynamic political, social or economic changes in society based upon their political agendas. 2. The Particular Resources and Strategies Utilized by Parties as Electoral Organizations American political parties use a variety of resources and strategies (i.e., Forum, Jumping on the Bandwagon, Canvassing, Funding, Computerized Direct Mass-Mailing etc.) to support candidates seeking disparate offices and impact electoral results. 3. Political Parties as Citizen Linkage Organizations Political parties and interest groups connect public opinion or citizens political preferences to the public policy deliberations of governmental officials (e.g., congresspersons). This is a critical linkage function that promotes the vitality of a democratic political system. 4. Political Parties as “Umbrella Organizations” The major American political parties operate as “umbrella organizations” when they attempt to appeal to a wide variety of voters of disparate social, economic, religious, ethnic, racial and
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Focal Concepts Sheet Nine--Political Parties and Elections...

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