TX GOVT 2306 (Ch. 4-6)

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Participation paradox
The fact that citizens vote even though a single vote rarely decides an election
Voter turnout
The proportion of eligible Americans who actually vote
Voting-age population
The total number of persons in the United States who are 18 years of age or older
Direct primary
A method of selecting party nominees in which party members participate directly in the selection of a candidate to represent them in the general election
Runoff primary
A second primary election that fits the two top vote-getter's from the first primary, where the winner in that primary did not receive a majority. The runoff primary is used in states such as Texas that have a majority election rule in party primaries.
Open primary
A type of party primary where a voter can choose on election day in which primary they will participate
Closed primary
A type of primary where a voter is required to specify a party preference when registering to vote
Crossover voting
When members of one political party vote in the other party's primary to influence the nominee that is selected
Plurality vote
An election rule in which the candidate with the most votes wins regardless of whether it is a majority
Party-column ballot
A type of ballot used in a general election where all of the candidates from each party are listed in parallel columns under the party label
Split-ticket voting
A voter selecting candidates from one party for some offices and candidates from the other party for other offices
Straight-ticket voting
Selecting all of the candidates of one particular party
Office-block ballot
A type of ballot used in a general election where the names of the parties' candidates are randomly listed in under each office
Australian ballot
A ballot printed by the government (as opposed to the political parties) that allows people to vote in secret
Early voting
The practice of voting before election day at traditional voting locations, such as schools, and other locations, such as grocery and convenience stores
Chad
The small pieces of paper produced when voting with punch-card ballots
Electronic voting
Voting by using touch screens
Negative campaigning
Strategy used an election campaigns and which candidates attack opponents' issue positions or character
Political action committees (PAC's)
Organizations that raise and then contribute money to political candidates
Soft money
Money spent by political parties on behalf of political candidates, especially for the purpose of increasing voter registration and turnout
Independent expenditures
Money individuals and organizations spend to promote a candidate without working or communicating directly with the candidate's campaign organization
Two-party system
A political system characterized by two dominant parties competing for political offices. In such systems, minor or third parties have a little chance of winning
Pragmatism
The philosophy that ideas should be judged on the basis of their practical results rather than on the purity of their principles
Valence issues
Issues on which virtually all of the public agree, for instants, such as peace and prosperity
Position issues
Issues on which the public is divided
Decentralization
Exercise of power at the state and local levels of government in addition to the national level
Party realignment
The transition from one dominant party system to another
Partisan identification
A person's attachment to one political party or the other
Dealignment
When increasing numbers of voters choose not to identify with either of the two parties and consider themselves to be independents
Evangelical (fundamentalist) Christians
A block of conservative Christians who are concerned with such issues as family, religion, abortion, gay rights, and community morals, and often support the Republican Party
Party platform
The formal issue positions of a political party; specific elements are often referred to as planks in the party's platform
Tea party
A faction or groups of very conservative Republicans generally resistant to compromise of its principles
Tipping
A phenomenon that occurs when a demographic group grows large enough to change the political balance in the electorate
Swing voters
Voters who are not bound by party identification and who support candidates of different parties in different election years
Presidential preference primary
A primary election that allows voters in the party to vote directly for candidates seeking their party's presidential nomination
Interest group
A voluntary organizations that strives to influence public policy; sometimes known as a pressure group
Implementation
Administrative agencies carrying out broad public policies, enforcing state laws, providing public services, and managing day-to-day government activities
Discretion
Wide latitude to make decisions within the broad requirementa set out in the long
Texas registrar
The official publication of the state that gives the public notice of proposed actions and adopted policies of executive branch agencies
Clientele groups
The groups most affected by a government agency's regulations and programs; frequently these interest groups form close alliances with the agency based on mutual support and accommodation
Co-optation
Such a close alliance develops between state regulatory agencies and their clientele group that the regulated have, in effect, become the regulators; the interest group has captured such complete control of their regulatory agency that they are essentially self-regulated
Access
The ability to "get in the door" to sit down and talk to public officials. Campaign contributions are often used to gain access
Issue networks
Dynamic alliances among a wide range of individuals and groups activated by broad public policy questions
Political movement
A mass alliance of like-minded groups and individuals seeking broad changes in the direction of government policies
Pluralist theory
The view that, in a free society, public policy should be made by a multitude of competing interest groups, ensuring that policies will not benefit a single elite at the expense of the many
Elitist theory
The view that the state is ruled by a small number of participants who exercise power to further their own self-interest
Revolving door
The interchange of employees between government agencies and the private businesses with which they have dealings
Conflict of interest
A situation in which public officers stand to benefit personally from their official decisions
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