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What are political parties?
a group organized to nominate candidates, to try to win political power through elections, and to promote ideas about public policies
What is a party platform?
the party's statement of its position on the issues - to reflect the preferences of the public
Has the US had a true two-party system?
What sorts of obstacles do minor parties face?
- dominant party will establish rules that make it difficult for other parties to get on the ballot
- cannot get federal funding for campaigns until 5% of votes go to them. only refunded until after election
Know the difference between protest, ideological, single-issue, and splinter parties.
- protest: arise out of a social movement
- ideological: organized around coherent sets of ideas
- single-issue: basically an advocacy group but they run candidates for office
- splinter: when a faction in one of the two major parties bolts to run its own candidate
Understand the difference between realignment and dealignment.
- realignment: in which a party dominates Amer politics for periods lasting around 30 or 40 years, then gives way to the other major party during a short realigning period as voting coalitions in the country change around
- dealignment: a dominant party declines without another taking its place
Note the number of different political party eras along with which has been the longest running one (Democrats vs. Republicans) (see figure 9.1)
- 7 different eras
- we are in seventh party era, dems vs reps with the parties at war
Know what it means to have a divided government.
control of the executive and legislative branches by different political parties
Know how major parties are organized.
- loose collections of local and state parties, campaign committees, candidates and office holders, and associated interest and advocacy groups that get together every four years to nominate a presidential candidate
- cannot issue orders that get passed down a chain of command
Are political parties becoming more candidate-centered?
- to large extent, party organizations are there to help candidates, not order them about
What are the governing bodies of the parties?
- the national party conventions
- they meet every 4 years to nominate presidential candidates, write party platform and revise party rules
In terms of public perceptions, understand the difference between liberals and conservatives.
- liberal: favoring an active federal govt, helping citizens with jobs, education, and medical care, supporting a woman's right to choose and protecting civil rights
- conservative: opposing govt activism, supporting business, and opposing abortion and same-sex marriage
Are there ideological differences between the parties?
What is a unified government?
control of the executive and legislative branches by the same political party
Know what leaners are.
people who claim to be independent but consistently favor one party over another