Chapter 7 Political Parties by phf13063


									Chapter 7: Political Parties

  I.   Political Parties
        A.     A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office by supplying them with a label by
               which they are known to the electorate
        B.     Functions
                  1.   Linkage – connects citizens to government
                  2.   Running candidates for office
                  3.   Informing the public about issues
                  4.   Organizing the government – similar partisan ties between officials create
                       connections between different branches and agencies
         C.   Find them in following areas
                 1.   A label in the minds of the voters
                 2.   Set of leaders who try to organize and control the government
                 3.   Organization that recruits and campaigns for candidates
         D.   American parties have become weaker in all three areas
                 1.   As labels -- there are more independents
                 2.   As organizations -- much weaker since the 1960’s and less control over the nominating process
                 3.   As sets of leaders -- the organization of Congress less under their control
        E.    Differences from European parties
               1.     Parties much stronger and more control over the election process
               2.     Must be nominated by the party
               3.     Party controls campaigns
               4.     Expected to work with and vote with other party members
         F.   Reasons why U.S. parties are different
                1.   Federal system decentralizes power
                       a.       Early on, most people with political jobs worked for state and local government.
                       b.       National parties were coalitions of local parties.
                        c.      As political power becomes more centralized, parties become weaker still
                2.   Parties closely regulated by state and federal laws
                3.   Candidates chosen through primaries, not by party leaders
                4.   President elected separately from Congress
                5.   Political culture
                       a.       Parties unimportant in life; Americans do not join or pay dues
                       b.       Parties separate from other aspects of life

 II.   Historical development of American political parties

       **Characterized by long periods of dominance by one party followed by a long period of
       dominance by the other
       **Eras begin and end with shifts in voting populations called realignments that occur because
       issues change and new divisions form between groups

        A.    The Founding (to the 1820s)
               1.   Founders disliked factions
                      a.   Hoped to avoid the mischief of political factions when they envisioned a
                           government with enough points of influence to make parties
                      b.   Madison’s Federalist #10  political factions are necessary evils to be
                           controlled by federalism and the separation of powers
                      c.   Wanted to avoid the parties like those found in Great Britain
               2.   Federalists & Anti-federalists
                      a.   Federalists
                              1.   Led by Alexander Hamilton
                              2.   Represented urban, business-oriented men who favored elitism
                                   and a strong central government
Chapter 7: Political Parties

                       b.    Anti-federalists
                               1.     Led by Thomas Jefferson
                               2.     Favored strong state governments, rural interests and a weaker
                                      central government
                               3.     Became known as Democratic-Republicans
                       c.    Major issue was ratification of the new Constitution
                       d.    Issue resolved with addition of Bill of Rights but parties did not
                3.   Jefferson emerges as popular president and Democratic-republicans emerge
                     as only party (Federalists disappear) during “Era of Good Feeling” 
                     dominance lasts until mid-1800’s but as the Democrats
        B.    Jacksonian Democracy (to the Civil War)
                1.   Democrats
                       a.    Represented by Andrew Jackson
                       b.    Coalition of voters from South and West (rural, anti-bank, small farmers)
                       c.    Influenced by universal suffrage for men
                       d.    Initiated tradition of national convention to nominate presidential
                             candidates (instead of caucuses made up of a handful of party leaders
                             meeting in secret)
                               1.     Begin to allow more local control
                2.   Whigs
                       a.    Not ideologically coherent group made up of old federalist interests as
                             well as wealthy, rural southerners
                       b.    Had some success by nominating and electing war heroes – William
                             Henry Harrison & Zachary Taylor
                3.   The Civil War and sectionalism
                       a.    Whig Party falls apart under economic and social tensions of slavery
                       b.    New Republicans become dominant and end era of Democrat
                               1.     Abraham Lincoln and Republicans on Union side
                               2.     Southern states (and many supporters of Democratic party)
                               3.     REALIGNMENT  Regional differences and conflicting points of
                                      view regarding expansion of slavery and states’ rights
        C.    Republican Era (1861-1933)
                1.   All presidents except for two (Grover Cleveland & Woodrow Wilson) during this
                2.   Also dominated the legislature
                3.   Laissez-faire policy that advocated a free market and few government
                     regulations on business
                4.   Favors the new industrialists like John Rockefeller & Andrew Carnegie
                5.   In most states one party comes to dominate which causes factions to develop
                     within the parties
                       a.    Party professionals, or "stalwarts," one faction in GOP
                       b.    Mugwumps, Progressives, or "reformers" another faction
                6.   REALIGNMENT  caused by Great Depression
Chapter 7: Political Parties

                7.   Early 20th century reforms/Progressive Movement
                       a.     In response to party machines and use of patronage
                       b.     Reforms
                                1.    Candidate nominations taken from party leaders and given to
                                      rank-and-file voters
                                2.    Primary elections established
                                3.    Civil service created (jobs assigned by merit not loyalty)
                                4.    Direct election of senators
                                5.    Women’s suffrage
                                6.    Initiative and referendum
                       c.     Effects
                                1.    Reduces worst forms of political corruption
                                2.    More power to voters
                                3.    Weakening of political parties
        D.    Second Democratic Era (1933-1969)
               1.    FDR and coalition of eastern workers, southern & western famers, blacks and
                     the liberal
               2.    Also dominated legislature
               3.    Establish a government more actively involved in promoting social welfare
        E.    Era of Divided Government (1969-2003)
               1.    With a few exceptions control of legislature and presidency has been divided or
                     split between the parties since the election of Richard Nixon
                       a.     Causes gridlock in decision-making as well as policy-making
                       b.     Caused by weakening power of political parties???
               2.    Republican hold on presidency (1969-1993)
                       a.     Paid more attention to power of electronic media and importance of paid
                              professional consultants
                       b.     Convert into well-financed, efficient organization that depended on
                              professionals to find the best candidates
                       c.     Computerized mailings for fundraising
               3.    Democrats focus on grassroots representation or the common man
                       a.     Reaction to 1968 Chicago convention – party seen as highly
                              factionalized and leaderless
                       b.     McGovern-Fraser Commission reviews the party’s structure and
                              delegate selection process  increased representation of minorities,
                              women, youth and poor; number of superdelegates reduced
        F.    Divided Government Today
               1.    Democrats adopt Republican strategies of computerized mailings, lists, opinion
                     polls and paid consultants
               2.    Bill Clinton elected (1993) but Congress (1994) controlled by Republicans until
               3.    GW Bush elected and Republicans gain control of Congress in 2004
               4.    Beginning of another realignment?
                       a.     Split between red states (Republican) and blue states (Democratic)
                       b.     Stronger party loyalties apparent
                       c.     Breakup of Solid South complete
               5.    Democrats regain control of Congress  divided government returns!
Chapter 7: Political Parties

 III.   Realignment vs. Dealignment
         A.    Realignment is a sharp, long-lasting shift in voting patterns
                 1.    Major party disappears and is replaced by another (1800 & 1860)
                 2.    Voters shift from one party to another (1896 & 1932)
                 3.    Can be caused by change in issues
                        a.     Slavery in 1860
                        b.     Economics in 1896
                         c.    Depression in 1932
         B.    Dealignment refers to the weakening of political party identification among voters and
               the increase of “independents”
                 1.    More split ticket voting
                 2.    Growing emphasis on electronic media campaigns, professional consultants
                       and direct mail recruitment have decreased importance and need for political
                 3.    Candidate organizations more important
Chapter 7: Political Parties

IV.    National Party Structure
        A.    Parties similar on paper
                1.    National convention meets formally every four years to nominate presidential
                2.    National committee composed of delegates from each state and territory
                3.    National chairman manages the day-to-day work of the party
                4.    Congressional campaign committee assists both incumbents and challengers
        B.    Party structure diverges in the late 1960’s
                1.    RNC moves to bureaucratic structure; a well-financed party devoted to electing
                      its candidates
                2.    Democrats move to factionalized structure to distribute power
                3.    RNC uses computerized mailing lists to raise money
                         a.   Money used to run political consulting firm
                         b.   Democrats still manage to outspend GOP
                         c.   Public opinion polls used to find issues and to get voter response to
                              issues and candidates
                4.    RNC now tries to help state and local organizations
                5.    Democrats remain a collection of feuding factions
        C.    National conventions
                1.    National committee sets time and place of convention and issues call setting
                      number of delegates for each state
                2.    Formulas used to allocate delegates
                         a.   Democrats shift the formula away from the South to the North and West
                         b.   Republicans shift the formula away from the East to the South and
                         c.   Result: Democrats move left, Republicans right
                3.    Democratic formula rewards large states and Republican-loyal states
                4.    Democrats set new rules
                         a.   In the 1970’s the rules changed to weaken party leaders and increase
                              the influence of special interests
                         b.   Hunt commission in 1981 reverses 1970’s rules by increasing the
                              influence of elected officials and by making convention more
                5.    Consequence of reforms: parties represent different set of upper-middle-class
                         a.   Republicans represent traditional middle class
                         b.   Democrats represent the "new class"
                         c.   Democrats hurt because the traditional middle class closer in opinions to
                              most citizens
                6.    To become more competitive, Democrats adopt rule changes
                         a.   In 1988 the number of superdelegates (or elected officials & party
                              leaders) increased and special interests decreased
                         b.   In 1992 three rule changes
                                1.     Winner-reward system (which gave the winner of a primary or
                                       caucus extra delegates) was banned
                                2.     Proportional representation was instituted (divides a state’s
                                       delegates among all candidates who received at least 15% of
                                3.     States that violate rules are penalized – lose 25% of national
                                       convention delegates
                7.    Conventions today only ratify choices made in primaries.
Chapter 7: Political Parties

 V.    State and local parties
        A.    Party machines
                1.    Recruitment of members via tangible incentives including money, political jobs
                      and political favors (patronage)
                2.    High degree of leadership control
                3.    Abuses
                        a.     Gradually controlled by reforms such as strict voter registration laws,
                               civil service reform and competitive bidding laws
                        b.     Hatch Act made it illegal for federal civil service employees to take
                               active part in political management or campaigns (could still vote and
                               make campaign contributions)
                        c.     But machines continued
                4.    Winning above all else – no interest in issues
                5.    Power weakens as voters become more educated and no longer need voting
        B.    Ideological parties
                1.    Principles above all else
                2.    Contentious and highly factionalized
                3.    Usually outside Democratic and Republican Parties – Socialist, Libertarian,
                4.    But some local reform clubs
                5.    Reform clubs replaced by social movements in 1960’s and 1970’s – civil rights,
                      peace, feminism, environmentalism, libertarianism, abortion
        C.    Solidary groups
                1.    Most common form of party organization
                2.    Members motivated by solidary incentives such as socializing
                3.    Advantage: neither corrupt nor inflexible
                4.    Disadvantage: not very hard working
        D.    Sponsored parties
                1.    Created or sustained by another organization in the community
                2.    Example: Detroit Democrats controlled by UAW
                3.    Not very common
        E.    Personal following
                1.    Group of people/volunteers that work for candidate during campaign and then
                      disband until next election
                2.    Candidate needs appealing personality, lots of friends and/or lots of money
                3.    Used successfully by the Kennedys, the Talmadges, the Longs, the Birds, the
                4.    Viability today affected by TV and radio
                5.    Advantage: vote for the person
                6.    Disadvantage: takes time to know the person
Chapter 7: Political Parties

VI.    Two-party system
        A.    Two major parties dominate political scene – Republican Party & Democratic Party
        B.    Rarity among nations today (one of 15 in the world)
                1.    Compare/contrast multi-party system in which more than 2 parties compete for
                      political power; need for coalitions; stronger political parties
                2.    Compare/contrast one party systems in which the one party is the government
                      (China, Cuba, North Korea)
        C.    Evenly balanced nationally, not locally
        D.    Why a two party system?
                1.    Broad consensus of basic political values – liberty, equality & individualism;
                      both major parties support the Constitution and the election process
                2.    Influence of history – Federalists & Anti-federalists
                3.    Winner-take-all and plurality system
                        a.     Winner of election is one who receives the largest number of votes in
                               each voting district
                        b.     Majority system different – requires winner to win by having 51% of vote
                        c.     Proportional representation different – percentage of votes is applied a
                               percentage of representatives in legislature
                        d.     Strongly discourages minor parties
VII.   Minor parties
        A.    Types
                1.    Ideological parties: comprehensive, radical view; most enduring
                      Examples: Socialist, Communist, Libertarian
                2.    One-issue parties: address one concern, avoid others; issue usually stolen by
                      major party
                      Examples: Free Soil, Know-Nothing, Prohibition
                3.    Economic protest parties: regional, oppose depressions & economic conditions
                      Examples: Greenback, Populist
                4.    Factional or splinter parties: created by split in a major party
                      Examples: Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose, Henry Wallace’s Progressive Party,
                      George Wallace’s American Independent (backlash against civil rights
        B.    Movements not producing parties; either slim chance of success or major parties
              accommodate and incorporate their issues
              Examples: civil rights, antiwar, labor
        C.    Factional parties have had greatest influence on public policy; most influential minor
              party = Populist
        D.    Impact
                1.    Affected outcomes of elections
                        a.     TR & Bull Moose took Republican votes so Dem. Woodrow Wilson won
                        b.     Ross Perot as an independent took Republican votes from GH Bush in
                        c.     Ralph Nader & Green Party took Democrat votes from Al Gore in 2000
                2.    Introduce controversial issues into mainstream
Chapter 7: Political Parties

VIII.   Nominating a president
         A.     Party's desire to win motivates it to seek an appealing candidate who appeals to the
                middle-of-the-road, but its desire to keep dissidents in party forces a compromise to
                more extreme views
         B.     Delegates NOT representative of the voters
                  1.    Democratic delegates much more liberal than rank-and-file voters
                  2.    Republican delegates much more conservative than rank-and-file voters
                  3.    Explanation of this disparity
                          a.     Not quota rules regarding minority groups -- quota groups have greater
                                 diversity of opinion than do the delegates
                          b.     Maybe because delegates chosen in caucuses and primary elections
                                 that are not representative
         C.     Who votes in primaries?
                  1.    Primaries now more numerous and more decisive -- by 1992 forty primaries
                        and twenty caucuses
                  2.    Little ideological difference between primary voters and rank-and-file party
                  3.    Caucus: meeting of party followers at which delegates are picked
                          a.     Only most-dedicated partisans attend
                          b.     Often choose most ideological candidate: Jackson, Robertson in 1988
         D.     Who are the new delegates?
                  1.    However chosen, today's delegates are a new breed unlikely to resemble
                        average citizen: issue-oriented activists
                  2.    Advantages of new system
                          a.     Increased chance for activists within party
                          b.     Decreased probability of their leaving the party
                  3.    Disadvantage: may nominate presidential candidates unacceptable to voters or
                        rank and file
 IX.    Parties versus voters
         A.     Democrats win congressional elections but lose presidential contests; opposite
                problem for Republicans
                  1.    Candidates & delegates are out of step with average voters on social and tax
         B.     Rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans differ on many political issues, but the
                differences are usually small -- need middle-of-the-road candidate to win votes
         C.     Formula for winning president
                  1.    Nominate candidates with views closer to the average citizen (e.g., 1996
                  2.    Fight campaign over issues agreed on by delegates and voters (e.g., 1992

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