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18 Cards in this Set

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What are the 3 "faces" of a political party?
Party in the electorate

Party organization (in elections)

Party in government

Party in the electorate
those members of the general public who identify with a political party or who express a preference for one party over another

*aggregate: build coalitions

*integrate: platform


Party organization (Parties in elections)
the formal structure and leadership of a political party, including:
*election committees*local, state and national executives *paid professional staff
How do parties in elections provide the structural framework for the political party?
recruiting volunteers to become party leaders

identifying potential candidates

organizing caucuses, conventions and election campaigns for its candidates

Party in government
all of the elected and appointed officials who identify with a political party

-after the election, the focus of the winning party shifts from getting to vote to organizing and controlling the government

What is a divided government?
one in which the executive and legislative branches are controlled by different parties
Why has the two-party system continued?
1. historical foundations

2. political socialization and practical considerations

3. the winner-take-all electoral system

4. state and federal laws favoring the two-party system

What are the historical foundations of the two-party system?
-when politics is based on an argument between two opposing points of view, advocates of each viewpoint can mobilize most effectively by forming a single, unified party
What is political socialization and the practical considerations of why we have a two-party system?
-most people identify with one of the two major parties, so their children grow up learning to be either democrat or republican

-most people who aspire to work for change know that the only realistic way to capture political power is to be either a democrat or a republican

the winner-take-all electoral system
-plurality system: the winner is the person who obtains the most votes, even if that person doesn't receive a majority (more than 50%) of the votes
Types of minor political parties
Ideological third parties

-libertarian party

-green party

Splinter parties

What are mechanisms of political change?
realignment, dealignment
What is realignment?
the process in which a substantial group of voters switches party allegiance, producing a long-term change in the political landscape

-example: 1932 election

What is dealignment?
a decline in party loyalties that reduces long-term party commitment
Independent voters
voters are less willing to vote a straight ticket (voting exclusively for the candidates of one party)
Split-ticket voting
voting for candidates of two or more parties for different offices, such voting for a republican presidential candidate and a democratic congressional candidate
Swing voters
the group of individuals who are less likely to repeatedly affiliate with either party. will "swing" their support from one party to another
What is a political party?
a group of political activists who organize to win elections, operate the government and determine public policy