Flashcards in Exam 1 Deck (46):
Definition of Political Party
A group of people who are organized to run candidates, win power via elections, and implement their preferred policies.
3 components of a Political Party
-Party in government
-Party in the electorate
Functions of a Party
1. Nominates candidates
2. Coordinates campaigns and mobilizes voters
3. Articulates policies
4. Sends cues to voters
5. Efficient organization in legislature
6. Intermediary between public and gov.
7. Means of accountability
3 types of political parties
- Cadre parties
- mass-based parties
- catch-all parties
- Small, loosely organized
- dominated by elite
- generally non-ideological. Concerned solely with power, patronage.
- no consistent organization, outreach to masses
- emerged with advent of universal suffrage
- large memberships and highly structure organization
- exist between elections as well as during elections
- generally ideological
- in contrast to mass-based parties, Catchall parties are organizationally weak. They...
- lack strong ideological commitment
- move to the center in order to win
- seek to win and reach out by appealing to median voter
- are generally found in FPTP systems like the US
- 2 party
- dominant party
-A system in which there are, officially, no parties.
- e.g. OKC city gov.
A system in which 2 parties dominate, compete for power.
A system in which 3 or more parties compete for power.
Dominant party system
A system in which a single, democratically elected party dominates.
In a system with proportional representation, whatever % of the vote you get is what % of seats you get in government.
Pros of Proportional Representation
- Parties better reflect popular views
- Clear policy distinctions
- greater party discipline in parliament
- ppl feel like their vote counts
Cons of proportional representation
-can lead to unstable government
- wild swings in policy
- can lead parties to promote more radical positions in order to win
Pros of FPTP
- Stability. Rarely radical change.
- More accountability. Either/or helps people know which party to reward/punish.
- Open process for candidates
- tend toward centre
Cons of FPTP
- Inaction or gridlock
- lack of clear choice between parties
- lack of party discipline
English Bill of Rights
- Result of the so-called Glorious Revolution
- presages American Bill of Rights
- social contract theorist, whose ideas underpin both the English and American Bills of Rights.
First Party System
- Lasting from 1800 (the election of TJ) - 1828 (the election of Jackson), the first party system was dominated by the Democratic-Republicans
Reasons for the decline of the Federalist Party
- lack of party organization/infrastructure
- declining base of support. As election laws liberalized and electorate broadened, more uneducated and unpropertied Americans began voting. Federalists couldn’t compete among these voters.
-Increasing regionalization. Federalists effectively became a regional party, which only reflected the views of the Northeast.
- Charges of disloyalty - Federalists tried to use the initial failure of the War of 1812 for political purposes.
Second American Party System
- Lasting from 1828 (i.e. the election of Andy Jackson) until 1860 (i.e. the election of Abraham Lincoln), the second party system was dominated by the Democrats.
- Opponents of Jackson and the Democrats coalesce to form the Whigs, but have little electoral success at the national level. Whigs support Congressional supremacy and federalist economic policies.
Reasons Why the Republican Party Could Emerge
-No state election laws.
- No bureaucratic structure, minimal start up costs
- Clear positions on salient issues which the major parties refused to address
- Weakness and factionalism among the Whigs.
Why did the Whigs lose so much?
- Simply put, the Whigs were there own worst enemies. They were constantly divided and frequently out of power.
- That said, the Whigs also were unlucky. Whenever they did manage to win power, their guy died quickly into his term in office and was replaced by Whigs in Name Only.
Third American Party System
- Lasting from 1860-1896, the third American party system was dominated by the Republicans.
-Peaking during Reconstruction, Republican power diminished after Reconstruction ended and Southern Democrats could vote again.
- Republicans campaigned on voting the way you shot. They often nominated war heroes and campaigned as the party of moral decency.
- Democrats wanted to limit federal intervention and had significant urban support.
Strengths of the Electoral College
-Requires candidates to seek broad support
- encourages stability through two-party system
- reinforces federal nature in which states play key part
- it is an easier recount
Weaknesses of Electoral College
- Disenfranchises voters (e.g. Cal. Republicans, Texas Dems.)
- Loser of the popular vote can win. Perception of illegitimacy.
-Inordinate focus on swing states.
Fourth American Party System
- Lasting from 1896-1932, the fourth party system was dominated by the Republican Party.
- WJB and company scared a lot of business owners, non-Evangelicals, and others into the arms of the GOP.
- With the exception of 1912 (when the GOP was divided) and 1916 (when an incumbent Democrat was up for re-election), the Republican Party won every Presidential election.
Fifth American Party System
- Lasting from 1932-1968, the fifth American party system was dominated by the Democrats, who only lose when the GOP nominates the war hero Dwight Eisenhower.
Why 3rd Parties Don’t Win?
I. Institutional Barriers
- Voting System Biases (FPTP)
- Ballot-access restrictions
-Campaign finance laws
II. Political Disadvantages
- lack of campaign resources
- poor media coverage
- unqualified, unknown candidates
- negative attitude to 3rd parties
III. Major Party Strategies
- Delegitimization tactics
Four Types of Third Parties
- Enduring Comprehensive
- Candidate focused parties
- Single-issue parties
- Fusion parties
- A type of third party.
- These parties, which were especially prevalent in the 19th century, try to mimic major parties. As such, they...
- run candidates for multiple levels of gov.
- exist for multiple cycles
-e.g Libertarian Party
Candidate focused parties
- parties created around presidential candidate
- generally very short term
- generally only run candidate for President/Vice President
- prevalent in the 20th century
- e.g. Perot’s Reform Party, TR’s Progressive Party
- Focus on advancing their position regardless of whether they ever win anything.
- Consider it a success if they can influence one or more of the two major parties.
- e.g. Prohibition Party
- particularly prevalent in the 19th century.
- only exist in states like NY that allow candidates to be on the ballot for more than one party
Why people vote for 3rd parties
I. Major Party Deterioration
- Neglected issues
- Economic performance
- Unacceptable major party candidates
II. Attractive 3rd party alternative
- Nationally prestigious candidate
- Prestigious candidate
- Non-prestigious candidate
III. Third party loyalty
Where do we get our party identifications from?
- Parents. Simply put, you are more likely than not to adopt your parents views.
- Peer group. Peer groups often challenge the partisan identification and political beliefs that you inherit from your family.
- Primary and Secondary School. Give you additional information that makes you think. More challenge or reinforce your views.
- Life-cycle effects. Effect practically everyone. Life-cycle effects are certain events in an individuals life that effect have you view the world.
- Generational effects. May or may not effect ppl. They are certain, unique events that happen as a generation comes of age (e.g. the Great Depression) and may change the way they view the world, politics.
Characteristics associated with Party ID
- Many people have psychological ties to parties. Their party is part of who they are.
- Parties offer policy cues to their members
- Party affiliation is generally stable over time
- Party ID is the best predictor of how ppl vote
- Since Vietnam and Watergate, the number of people claiming to be independent has increased. That said, most independents are either closet Democrats or closet Republicans.
- Pure independents are a small percentage of the electorate. They tend to be the least informed and least likely to vote.
4 Categories of Voters
- Ideologues - understand politics and their political ideas. tend to be more educated than not.
- Group Benefits - vote based on what groups they belong to.
- Nature of the times - vote based on whether they think things are going well or going poorly
- No issue content - unresponsive to politics, disengaged. tend to be less educated
King James VI and I
- believed in Divine Right of Kings
- didn't like parliament, especially the HoC
- sided with non-Puritan Anglicans over Puritan Anglicans
- master politician.
-religiously devout Anglican with Catholic wife
-tries to force Scotland to adopt BCP, but Scotland revolts. This revolt creates financial problems for Charles and leads to an extraordinary rift between him and parliament. This rift results an a civil war, which Charles loses.
-result of the English Civil War.
-does away with the monarchy and the Church of England
-establishes regular elections in which everyone who meets certain property requirements can vote
-anti-Catholicism is rampant
-effectively ends with the death of Cromwell
-son of Charles I. brought back to be king after the anarchy created by the Puritan Revolution.
-Charles's brother, who is heir, becomes Catholic
-Parliament decides it wants to ban Catholics from being king, but Charles dissolves parliament.
-Charles suddenly dies and is replaced by James II, who is Catholic and (contrary to the law) appoints Catholics to key positions.
-After James marries and has kids and it is clear that there is a Catholic heir to the throne, member of Parliament arrange for William of Orange to invade and become king.
- James has to flee to France
- refers to the, more or less, non-violent overthrow of King James II by parliament and William of Orange
- beginnings of constitutional monarchy. parliament makes William and Mary king and queen on the condition that they abide by the Bill of Rights.
- in this regard, the Glorious rev. undermines the power of the executive and increases the power of parliament