PoliticalParties

PoliticalParties - 5/31/2011 Political Parties Defined...

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Unformatted text preview: 5/31/2011 Political Parties Defined Political Parties in the United in the United States States Role of Parties “…political parties created democracy and modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of the parties.” -E.E. Schattschneider Schattschneider WHY? “Political parties are organizations that try to win control of government by electing people to office who carry the party label.” --Greenberg --Greenberg & Page Why are political parties so vital to democracy? Democracy is rule by the majority, and without political parties: There’s no majority in the public There’s no majority in government to do There no majority in government to do what what the majority of the public wishes There’s nobody to identify the major problems and issues in the country There’s no organized opposition to challenge the majority and try to create a new majority 1 5/31/2011 What would be liberals’ and conservatives’ views on these hypothetical policy proposals? American Political Parties and Ideology Each of our political parties is internally diverse, but each leans toward a different IDEOLOGY: Ideology: “…a coherent system of interlocking attitudes and beliefs about politics, the economy, and and the role of government.” --Greenberg & Page --Greenberg Democrats are generally more “liberal” Republicans are generally more “conservative” But what does that mean? Liberal Conservative Raise taxes on the wealthy to provide free access to higher education for everyone Regulate auto companies to limit greenhouse gases Eliminate the right of public sector labor unions to demand collective bargaining with their employers Increase spending on welfare for the poor Allow gay marriage Censor “indecency” in the media Make women wait three days for an abortion Liberalism and Conservatism More in common than different: Both hold to the principles of CLASSICAL LIBERALISM – the idea that government’s main purpose is to ensure our liberty. BUT: Liberalism and Conservatism Liberals think liberty requires staying out of people’s personal lives while ensuring a fair playing field for economic opportunity and keeping powerful actors from exploiting the keeping powerful actors from exploiting the less less powerful Conservatives think liberty requires an unregulated market system and believe it produces the best results for everyone. They believe in using government to maintain “traditional values.” 2 5/31/2011 But what really is a political party? Let’s understand this by looking at the first two American political parties The Democratic-Republican Party DemocraticThe Federalist Party But what really is a political party? The Party in the Electorate Party in the Electorate -- the coalition of -people who tend to identify with the party Party in Government – the members of the party elected offices (President, senators, (P congressmembers, congressmembers, governors, state legislators, etc Party organization – the people who staff party offices and who work on behalf of the party 2008 Presidential Election Map (Democratic states in Red) 3 5/31/2011 Organization of American Political Parties The U.S. has a FEDERAL system of government Federalism: Power is divided between different levels of government National different levels of government – National and and State In our system, all elections are state-level stateelections Since political parties are organized to win elections, they must be organized by state Organization of American Political Parties Organization of American Political Parties The national committees do important things: Fundraising Candidate assistance: advertising, candidate training, polling information, funds, etc. Organize national conventions. BUT— BUT—THE MOST IMPORTANT POWER IN DETERMINING WHAT A PARTY STANDS FOR IS HELD BY THE STATE PARTIES. THAT POWER IS: Thus, there are 50 independent state Democratic parties, and 50 independent state Republican parties. Each party has national organization: Each party has a national organization: Democratic Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Republican National Committee (RNC). Members are chosen by the state parties. Organization of American Political Parties Choosing candidates for office BUT: according to laws in place in most states since the early 20th Century, party leaders do not automatically get to choose leaders do not automatically get to choose a party’s party’s candidates. If more than one person qualifies to run for the party’s nomination for an office, the party must run a PRIMARY ELECTION. The PEOPLE in each state get to choose the parties’ candidates in PRIMARIES. 4 5/31/2011 Primary Elections Two Types: Typical State Party Structure Permanent Organization Open Primary Closed Primary Temporary Bodies State Party Committee County Party Committees Local (ward or precinct) committees QUESTION: In most real democracies, there are multiple parties that win seats in government. The United States has always had 2 dominant political parties: Federalists v. Democratic-Republicans Democratic(1790s(1790s-1820s) Democrats v. Whigs (1820s-1850s) (1820sDemocrats v. Republicans (1850s-present) (1850sWHY? State Party Convention Lower –level Party Conventions (Congressional district, county, local) (Conventions choose candidates for various offices, but if more than one candidate runs for the party’s nomination, it’s up to the voters in a PRIMARY) 2-Party System Why? Structural explanation: Proportional representation systems enable multiple parties to gain seats in government SingleSingle-member district, winner-takes-all winner-takeselections limit the number of parties that can win to two (Duverger’s Law) 5 5/31/2011 2-Party System Proportional Representation (typical in majority of democracies): Vote % Seat % Socialist 40% 40% Conservative 35% 35% Green 15% 15% National Front 10% 10% MULTIPLE PARTIES obtain seats in the government. 2-Party System Single-memberSingle-memberdistrict, winner-takeswinner-takesall system (The system in the United States) If Green Party candidates win 15% of the vote in House districts across the U.S., how many seats to they win? 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 2-Party System 2-Party System Third parties usually can’t win seats in government Failure to win seats in government causes causes people to see third-party voting thirdas futile Thus: People usually don’t vote for third parties The tendency of our system to produce 2 dominant parties is reinforced by laws governing elections. EXAMPLES: Campaign finance laws Presidential debates State laws for parties to qualify for ballot 6 5/31/2011 Minor Parties Despite the 2-Party system, minor parties 2play a VITAL role in our democracy. Central Central to every major shift in the history of American politics. Have emerged at times when neither major party was addressing new concerns among the American people. Usually because the 2 major parties become too beholden to moneyed special interests. Minor Parties—Issues brought to Parties— the center of American politics Minor Parties—Issues brought to Parties— the center of American politics George Wallace (American Independence Party) (1968) Need to return to traditional social values WILL AN IMPORTANT NEW THIRD WILL AN IMPORTANT NEW THIRD PARTY PARTY ARISE? WHO? WHEN? Your prediction? ARGUABLY— ARGUABLY—determination of presidential candidates through primary elections diminishes the need for third parties. Republican Party (1860) Opposition to expansion of slavery to new states Populist Party (1892) (1892) Breaking the influence of new national corporations and returning government to the people; democratic reform Progressive Party (1924) Raises agenda of labor and workers’ rights issues History of the Parties Pattern of political change: Long periods of stability punctuated by short periods of sudden, massive change: change: Critical Realignments Critical Elections 7 5/31/2011 The Period of Party Formation— Formation— 17891789-1800 Gradual establishment in Congress of voting blocs voting consistently on issues of how to use the new national powers. Gradual development of blocs into parties: FEDERALIST PARTY (Founder: Alexander Hamilton) DEMOCRATICDEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY (Founders: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison 1st Party System 18011801-1828 Conflict: Continuation of argument over use of new federal powers Dominant Party: Democratic Republicans Opposition Party: Federalists 1st Party System House (years in control) 2nd Party System—1829-1860 System—1829- Senate (years in control Presidency Democratic 28 Democratic 28 Republicans Republicans 28 28 28 Federalists 0 0 0 Democratic Republican Party Splits Into Two New Parties: Dominant Party: Democrats (Founded by Andrew Jackson) Andrew Jackson) Opposition Party: Whigs (Founded by followers of John Quincy Adams) Conflict: Democrats think old Democratic Republican Party had lost its principles 8 5/31/2011 3rd Party System— “Civil War Party System— System” 1860-1896 1860- 2nd Party System House Senate Presidency Democratic Democratic Party Party 28 Yrs Yrs 28 yrs yrs 24 yrs yrs Whig Party 4 Yrs 4 yrs 8 yrs 4th Party System— “System of ’96” System— 18961896-1932 3rd Party System House Senate Presidency Republicans 20 32 28 Democrats 4 8 16 Conflict: Expansion of Slavery Dominant Party: Republicans (founded by leaders of regional free soil (founded by leaders of regional free soil parties) parties) Opposition Party: Democrats Conflict: Industrial v. Agricultural America Dominant Party: Republicans Opposition Party: Democrats 9 5/31/2011 5th Party System (New Deal Party System) – 1932-1980? 1932- System of ‘96 House Senate Presidency Conflict: Class Conflict Republicans 26 30 28 Dominant Party: Democrats Democrats 6 8 10 New Deal Party System House Senate Presidency Democratic Democratic Party Party 44 44 32 Republican Party 4 4 16 Opposition Party: Republicans Critical Elections 1828 – Election of Andrew Jackson 1860 – Election of Abraham Lincoln 1896 – Election of William McKinley 1932 – Election of Franklin Roosevelt 1980 – Election of Ronald Reagan 10 5/31/2011 6th Party System (Divided Politics?) 19811981-???? 6th Party System House (Through 2008) Senate (Through 2008) Presidency (Through 2008) Republican Republican Party Party 12 16 20 Democratic Party 16 12 8 Conflict: Class and Morality Dominant Party: Republican Party Opposition Party: Democratic Party Comparison of Presidents System 0f ‘96 New Deal System Current System McKinleyMcKinley-T. Roosevelt (R) F. Roosevelt (D) Reagan (R) Taft (R) Truman (D) Bush (R) Wilson (D) Eisenhower (R) Clinton (D) Harding (R) Kennedy (D) Bush Jr. (R) Coolidge (R) Johnson (D) Critical Third Parties 1848— 1848—Free Soil Party (Martin Van Buren) 10.12% of vote --1856— --1856—Republican Party (John Fremont) 33% popular vote, 38.5% electoral vote -- 1892—Populist Party (James Weaver) 1892— 8.5% popular vote, wins five western states NixonNixon-Ford (R) Hoover (R) Carter (D) 11 5/31/2011 Critical Third Parties 1924— 1924—Progressive Party (Robert LaFollette) 17% popular vote, wins Wisconsin 1968— 1968—George Wallace (American Independence Party) 13.5% popular vote, 8.5% electoral vote, wins five southern states (Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia) CRITICAL REALIGNMENTS Are massive shifts in the people’s political allegiances that establish new lines of conflict, with a new definition of what politics is about. Will the 2008 election be a critical realignment? 12 ...
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