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					Political Parties and Elections
LCC

Tim Cantrell

Political Parties & Elections
 Political parties are not mentioned in the

Constitution, yet we have a long history of a two party system and today, we have two parties almost equally divided. Democrats45% Republicans-43% Independent-12% In this poll, “leaning” toward a party was counted in the party. Party is still the leading indicator on how people will vote.  History of Political Parties-1791-Presentchart

Political Parties & Elections
 Historic Realignments 1. 1850’s 2. 1930’s

3. 1980’s & 90’s- It takes a big issue to bring about realignment.  Eras of Party control- 1. Federalists-17891800 2. Democrats-1800-1860 3. GOP1860-1932 4. Democrats-1932-1952 5. Divided Government-1952-present  Impact of 3rd Parties-1. Traditions 2. Attention to issues 3. Changed outcomes

Political Parties and Elections
 Dealignment-when party loyalties weaken  Prospective voters-vote on what they think

will happen (mandate)  Retrospective voters-vote on what has happened (verdict)  Importance of Economics-Misery Index=unemployment plus inflation rateGive examples

Political Parties and Elections
 Multiparty Systems-European nations have

Proportional Representation-This gives 3rd parties a chance to win some seats.  Middle of the Road-Most Americans are moderate and not very ideological Ideology-Consistent pattern of thought on political matters. Conservative v. Liberal  Elections-Two types-Primary & GeneralPrimaries nominate & generals elect

Types of Elections
 Primaries- 1. Closed 2. Open 3. Runoff

4. Non-partisan  Ballots- 1. Party column 2. Office block  Presidential Election-1. Nomination Process is a combination of primaries and caucuses. The party conventions ratify the results of the primaries and caucuses, write a platform, and choose a vice presidential nominee. (the candidate really chooses VP)

Presidential Election
 Public financing-Candidates who raise

$5000 in 20 states in contributions of $250 or less qualify for matching funds public financing in the primaries. In the General Election, each candidate is given a certain amount to run the Fall campaign. In 1996, this amounted to about $60 million each for Clinton and Dole. While there are limits on how much one can give to a campaign,

Presidential Election
 There is no limit on what one can spend of

his own money on his own campaign. (Perot spent $60 million in 1992)  “Soft Money” This is money spent outside the official campaign structure on a campaign. (Labor organizations spend millions for Democrats and the Christian Coalition spends millions on Republicans.) This is where campaign finance reform is needed.

Conclusion
 The election process has improved and

gotten more honest over the years, but improvements can still be made. Participation needs to increase. Yet, with all its faults, can you name a better one?


				
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