political parties how does the two – party system influence american democracy?


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Political Parties

Political PartiesHow does the two party system influence American democracy?

One Party SystemUsually found in nations with authoritarian governmentsCuba, Vietnam, North Korea, China

While these nations may allow other parties to participate, they have no realistic chance of winning

Why is this

Two Party SystemSystem in which two major parties compete for power, although minor parties may exist.Makes it extremely difficult for a minor party to gain enough votes to win an electionOnly about a dozen truly exist (United States)Patronage practice of granting favors to reward party loyaltyEvolution of Political PartiesOpposing political parties had organized before the end of President Washingtons second term.

The Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans disagreed over federal versus state power.

The Democratic-Republican party split into the Democrats and the Whigs.

In the 1850s, a new Republican Party opposed the spread of slavery.

Following the Civil War, the two dominant parties were Evolution of Political Partieshttp://connected.mcgraw-hill.com/media/repository/protected_content/COMPOUND/50000953/15/68/USG16_SC_C17_L1_ig/index.html?mghCourseID=CQRQT1NMRFST57PEFOV7NJGTPMMinor or Third PartiesSingle issue party party that focuses exclusively on one major social, economic, or moral issue (usually short lived)Liberty, Free SoilIdeological party party that has a particular set of ideas about how to change society overallSocialist Labor, CommunistSplinter Party party that splits away from a major party because of some disagreement Bull Moose Party, Dixiecrats

What could be an obstacle that these parties face?Single Member Districts

Minor parties

Party Identification and IdeologyPeople with a liberal ideology are more willing to trade economic freedom for greater equality.

People with a conservative ideology tend to believe the role of government should be limited.Most people are moderates, falling somewhere in between liberal and conservative.

Currently, the Democratic Party is more liberal and the

Republican Party more conservativeParty PlatformsBoth the Democratic and Republican Party agree on a number of foundational beliefs and values. The Republican Party supports the rights of individuals as opposed to large government. The Democratic Party supports governmental involvement in many areas. The Green Party is more liberal and the Constitution Party more conservative.The Libertarian Party supports personal responsibility and minimal government.Party IdentificationParty identification is a state of mind; voting is a behavior. The Republican Party tends to attract white, male, educated, and religious people. The Democratic Party tends to attract women, minorities, and young people.The Democratic Party tends to be stronger in the Northeast and in cities. The Republican Party tends to be stronger in the suburbs, South, mountain West, and rural areas.

Political Party PolarizationThe two political parties have become more polarized and ideologically homogenous. Both parties now tend to nominate ideological, rather than centrist, candidates. Conservative Tea Party organizations helped shift Republican Party ideology to the right. This more extreme party membership leads to increased poltical gridlockParty Organization and MembershipEach party needs strong leadership and good organization at all levels. At each level, the party endorses and works for the election of its candidates. Fundraising is a key function of state and national parties. Generally, citizens join a political party when they register to vote or vote in certain elections. Party membership provides a way for citizens to increase their influence on government

Selecting Candidates to Represent the PartyA vital function of political parties is to nominate candidates for elected office. To get onto the ballot, a candidate must file by fee or by petition.Candidates are chosen by caucuses, primaries, or conventions.Caucus private meeting of party leaders to chose candidates for officeTypes of primaries open, closed, directRules for presidential primaries vary among the states and even within many states. Primaries are a long, costly process and states with late primaries may receive less attention.National Party ConventionsEvery four years, delegates for each major party select a ticket for the November election. Many delegates are pledged to a candidate, but others are uncommitted. Delegates to the convention debate the various planks before adopting the partys platform. Delegates vote state by state, but there is rarely a mystery about who will be nominated. The partys presidential nominee is usually the one who selects the vice presidential candidate


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