Chapter07-PoliticalParties

Chapter07-PoliticalParties - A.P Civics Notes Chapter...

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A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 7 “Political Parties” 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. 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 
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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
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