Chapter 9 - Political Parties

Chapter 9 - Political Parties - Chapter 9 - Political...

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Chapter 9 - Political Parties 1 I. Parties—Here and Abroad 1. There is a much greater sense of party loyalty and voting participation today in Europe than in America because in America, being a part of a political party isn’t as important or major as before. i. However, at one time, being a part of the Democratic or Republican Party was very important. 2. A political party seeks to elect candidates to a public office by supplying them with a label —a “party identification” name—by which they are known to the voting population, or the electorate . i. This broad definition covers well-known parties, like the Democrats and the Republicans, as well as lesser-known parties, like the Whigs, Libertarians, and Socialist Workers. ii. On ballots, though, political party names rarely even appear! 3. Strong parties have strong labels—these labels appeal to people greatly; but nowadays, parties are much weaker, since fewer people participate in elections and identify themselves as belonging to a certain party. 4. People see parties as a label in the minds of voters, an organization that recruits and campaigns for candidates, and a set of leaders who try to organize and control government. i. Recently, the drop in strong party affiliation has been gradual (22%-18% in Democrats; 13%-11% in Republicans), and more and more people are calling themselves “independent’s.” ii. As the set of leaders who organize gov’t, parties have remained strong, but as organizations that elect people to office, they have lost a LOT of power, since more and more states are having primaries (less influence by the political elite ) and boss corruption has been broken. 5. In Europe, things are different: candidates are elected by party leaders, elected officials should vote in favor of what the party wants, and the party runs the campaign, not the candidate. 6. The difference is because of the decentralization of gov’t in America, since power is not held on a national level and national parties are basically coalitions of local parties; though lately, American gov’t has become more nationalized—the federal gov’t, not the state ones, makes the decisions on schooling and welfare, issues that affect people’s lives and once were made by local governments. 7. However, political parties have become more de centralized, since in the U.S., state and federal laws regulate how political parties function: the public selects candidates to run for office in election primaries (in Europe, the parties do that); and the party that wins control of Congress does not, as it does in European nations, control the right to select the chief executive of the gov’t. i. The leader does not pick cabinet members from Congressmen, but rather, from people NOT in Congress, thus weakening the significance and power of parties in terms of organizing gov’t and conducting business. 8.
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Chapter 9 - Political Parties - Chapter 9 - Political...

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