Unformatted text preview: Political Parties Not mentioned in U.S. Constitution Not encouraged by founding fathers encourage conflict undermine consensus on public policy making Definition A broad based coalition of interests whose primary purpose is to win elections build majorities link people and government Functions of Political Parties To nominate and elect party members To simplify the issues and educate public To mobilize voters campaigning telephoning doortodoor canvassing To push position of their party American Political Parties Characteristics Pragmatic political brokering for laws support clearcut position consensual issues shy away from "hot" issues satisfy traditional supporters: voters public opinion leaders interest groups campaign contributors Decentralized "grassroots" at precinct level/county level for local (city, county, district) county chair, state level (governor), national level (president) discretion for recruitment of candidates campaigns fund raising and strategies policy orientations of candidates who run under their label*** OnePartyism in Texas Historically, Democratic party state Governor Legislature Changes in 1990's more Republican party candidates voted in at state level Texas becomes a twoparty state TwoPartyism Democrat Republican Third party or Independents structure of party system makes it difficult to be funded and to win Ideological BasisFactionalism Conservatives free market and minimal governmental regulation support government involvement and funding to promote business (tax incentives) oppose government programs for redistribution of wealth welfare health care assistance emphasize traditional and family values close communities law and order government action to promote moral values tougher on public safety and public order issues: favor stiffer penalties for criminals capital punishment Liberals favor government regulation in the economy Use of government power to protect the disadvantaged and promote equality support social welfare programs favor progressive taxes (taxes increase as income increases) optimistic about human nature provide opportunity protect civil rights and liberties critical of interference with any exercise of constitutional rights: free speech, press, religion, assembly suspicious of attempt to "legislate morality" potential with interference with individual rights Democratic Party Conservative and Liberal Factions Conservative wing more successful most Texas governors state's "power elite" oil, gas, sulfur industries agribusiness publishers of daily newspapers Liberals support national party ticket and its presidents liberal groups support liberals: unions and organized labor racial and ethnic groups NAACP LULAC Professionals teachers intellectuals small farmers and ranchers some recent success in capturing party's nominations Republican Party Demographics: middle and upper classes in urban and suburban communities nouveaux riche of Houston, Dallas highincome ranchers active and retired military officers traditional conservatives Conservative faction evangelical or fundamentalist Christians issues: family, religion, community morals right wing element Conservative & Moderate Factions Moderate or centrist wings favor middle of the road politics fear radicalism of conservative wing fear conservative wing may tarnish party Republican Party in Texas Not strongly supported by minority voters Historically, minorities not "courted" by politicians Some progress made more recently Hispanic population increasing Blacks vote as block for Democrats Swing votes Party Machinery in Texas Temporary Party Organizations Precinct convention grassroots level democracy County and Senatorial District Conventions Resolutions and delegates to state convention State Convention Elect party officers Executive committee by senatorial district Party platform Certify to SOS party candidate nominated for primary Permanent Party Organization PrecinctLevel Chair is party organizer in precinct CountyLevel Chair presides over precinct chairs and county executive committee StateLevel Delegates choose state chair; serves as head of the party for state Twopartyism in Texas (1990's) voting for Republican party candidate shift in partisan identification public opinion polls more Texans identifying with Republican party Reasons: Realignment shift among existing Democrats conservative middle and upper class whites switch to Republican party recent migrants are Republican or Independents helped to break down traditional partisan patterns Dealignment may be involved voters refuse to identify with either political party more "independents" evidence: ticket splitters those who vote for candidates of both parties in general election straightticket voters declining Patterns probably show that realignment (more willing to change professed party) and dealignment (voters less willing to identify with either party) occurring at same time ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2012 for the course POLS 2306 taught by Professor Bezdek during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.
- Spring '08
- Public Policy