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Select All high-tech politics a politics in which the behavior of citizens and policymakers and the political agenda itself are increasingly shaped by technology mass media television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and other means of popular communication media events events purposely staged for the media that nonetheless look spontaneous.In keeping with politics as theater, these can be stages by individuals, groups, and government officials, especially presidents press conferences meetings of public officials with reporters investigative journalism the use of in-depth reporting to unearth scandals, scams, and schemes at times putting reporters in adversarial relationships with political leaders print media newspapers and magazines, as compared to broadcast media broadcast media television and radio, as compared to print media narrowcasting media programming on cable TV or the Internet that is focused on one topic and aimed at a particular audience. Examples include MTV, ESPN, and C-SPAN chains newspapers published by massive media conglomerates that account for over four-fifths of the nation's daily newspaper circulation. Often these control broadcast media as well beats specific locations from which news frequently emanates, such as Congress or the White House. Most top reporters work a particular beat, thereby becoming specialists in what goes on at the location trial balloons an intentional news leak for the purpose of assessing the political reaction sound bites short video clips of approximately 10 seconds. Typically, they are all that is shown from a politician's speech on the nightly television news talking head a shot of a person's face talking directly to the camera. Because this is visually unappealing, the major commercial networks rarely show a politician talking one-on-one for very long policy agenda the issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics policy entrepreneurs people who incest their political "capital" in an issue. They could be in or out of government, in elected or appointed positions, in interest groups, or in research organizations party competition the battle of the parties for control of the public offices. Ups and downs of the two major parties are one of the most important elements in American politics political party a team of men and women seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election linkage institutions the channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the government's policy agenda. In the US, these include elections, political parties interest groups, and the media rational-choice theory a popular theory in political science to explain the actions of voters as well as politicians. I t assumes that individuals act in their own best interest, carefully weighing the costs and benefits of possible alternatives party image the voter's perception of what the Republicans or Democrats stand for, such as conservation of liberalism party identification a citizen's self-proclaimed preference for one party or other ticket splitting voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices. It has become the norm in American voting behavior, especially for indepentants party machines a type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern patronage one of the key inducements used by party machines. A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for polotical reasons rather than for merit or competence alone closed primaries elections to select party nominees in which only people who have registered in advance with the party can vote for that party's candidates, thus encourageing graeter party loyalty open primaries elections to select party nominees in which voters can decide on election day whether they want to participate in the Democratic or Republican contents blanket primaries elections to select party nominees in which votes are presented with a list of candidates from all parties. Voters can then select some Democrats and some Republicans if they like national convention the meeting of party delegates every 4 years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party platform national committee one of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions. It is composed of representatives from the states and territories national chairperson person responsible for the day-to-day activities of the party and is usually handpicked by the presidential nominee coalition a group of individuals with a common interest on which every political party depends party eras historical periods in which a majority of voters cling to the party in power, which tends to win a majority of the elections critical election an electoral "earthquake" where new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party. Critical elections periods are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party/era party realignment the displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election New Deal coalition a coalition forged by the Democrats, who dominated US politics from 1930s to the 1960s. Its basic elements were he urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholic and Jews, the poor, Southerners, African American, and intellectuals third parties electoral contenders other than the two major parties. These are not unusual, but they rarely elections winner take all system an electoral system in which legislative seats are awarded only to the candidates who come in first in their constituencies. In US presidential elections, the system in which the winner of the popular vote in a state receives all the electoral votes of that state proportional representation an electoral system used throughout most of Europe that awards legislative seats to political parties in proportion to the number of votes won in an election coalition government when two or more parties join together to form a majority in a national legislature. This form of governments is quite common in the multiparty systems of Europe responsible party model a view favored by some political scientists about how parties should work. According to this model, parties should offer clear choices to the voters, who can then use those choices as cues to their own preferences of candidates. Once in office, parties would carry out their campaign promises interest group An organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals. Interest Groups pursue their goals in many arenas. pluralist theory A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies. elite theory A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization. hyperpluralist theory A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. Hyperpluralism is an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism subgovernments A network of groups within the American political system that exercise a great deal of control over specific policy areas. Also known as iron triangles, they are composed of interest group leaders interested in a particular policy, the government agency in charge of administering that policy, and the members of congressional committees and subcommittees handling policy. potential group All the people who might be interest group members because they share some common interest. Almost always larger than an actual group. actual group the part of the potential group consisting of members who actually join collective good something of value (money, a tax write-off, prestige, clean air, and so on) that cannot be withheld from a group member free-rider problem problem faced by many unions and other groups when people do not join because they can benefit from the group's activities without officially joining. The bigger the group, the more serious the problem Olson's law of large groups advanced by Mancur Olson, a principle stating that "the larger the group, the further it will fall short of providing and optimal amount of a collective good" selective benefits Goods (such as information publications, travel discounts, and group insurance rates) that a group can restrict to those who pay their annual dues. single-issue groups groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics. These features distinguish these groups from traditional interest groups lobbying According to Lester Milbrath, a "communication, by someone other than a citizen acting on his own behalf, directed to a governmental decisionmaker with the hope of influencing his decision." electioneering Direct group involvement in the electoral process. Groups can help fund campaigns, provide testimony, and get members to work for candidates, and some form political action committees (PAC) political action committees (PAC's) Funding vehicles created by the 1974 campaign finance reforms. A corporation, union, or some other interest group can create a political action committee (PAC) and register it with the Federal Election Commission, which will meticulously monitor the PAC's expenditures. amicus curiae briefs Legal briefs submitted by a "friend of the court" for the purpose of raising additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties. These briefs attempt to influence a court's decision. class action suits Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated. union shop A provision found in some collective bargaining agreements requiring all employees of a business to join the union within a short period, usually 30 days, and to remain members as a condition of employment right-to-work law a state law forbidding requirements that workers must join a union to hold their jobs. Specifically permitted by the Taft-Hardy Act of 1947 public interest lobbies According to Jeffery Berry, organizations that seek "a collective good, the achievement of which will not selectively and materially benefit the membership of activities of the organization."