Unit 3 - AP US Government
Terms in this set (50)
a person's declared preference for one party over the other
voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices; now the norm
a type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern
one of the key inducements used by party machines; a job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone
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 encouraging greater party loyalty
elections to select party nominees in which voters can decide on Election Day whether they want to participate in the Democratic or Republican contests
a primary election where each voter may vote for candidates from both parties
a group of individuals with a common interest on which every political party depends
The supreme power within each of the parties. The convention meets every four years to nominate their party's candidate for the presidential election
one of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions; it is composed of representatives from the states and territories
the person responsible for the day-to-day activities of the party
"electoral earthquake"; new issues emerge, the majority party is displaced by the minority party. Sometimes require more than one election to bring about a new party era.
the displacement of the majority party by the minority party
New Deal coalition
This coalition was forged by Democrats who dominated American politics from '30s to the '60s. Groups included in this coalition were urban working classes, ethnic groups, Catholics and Jews, the poor, Southerners, African Americans and intellectuals.
Gradual disengagement of people from the parties, as seen in part by shrinking party identification
an electoral system in which legislative seats are awarded only to the candidates who come in first in their constituencies
An electoral system used throughout most of Europe that gives out legislative seats to political parties in proportion to the # of votes won in said election.
When two or more parties join together to form a majority in nat'l legislature. (often found in the mulitparty systems of Europe)
when one is indifferent toward the two major politcal parties
an organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals; pursue goals in many arenas
the problem of people not joining a group because they can benefit from the group's activties without joining
groups that have a narrow interest on which their members tend to take an uncompromising stance
according to Lester Milbrath, "communication, by someone other than a citizen acting on his or her own behalf, directed to a government decision maker with the hope of influencing his or her decision."
direct group involvement in the electoral process, for example, by helping to fund campaigns, getting members to work candidates, and forming polilitical action committees
political action committees = groups, usually interest groups or wealthy elites, that raise money from individuals and then distribute it in the form of contributions to candidates that the group supports. PACs must register with the FEC and report their donations and contributions to it; individual contributions are limited to $5000 per year and a PAC may give up to $5000 to a candidate per each election
Amicus Curiae briefs
legal briefs submitted by a "friend of the court" for the purpose of influencing a court's decision by raising additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties
Class action lawsuits
lawsuits in which a small number of people sue on behalf of all people in similar circumstances
media programming on cable TV or the internet that is focused on a particular interest and aimed at a particular audience, in contras to broadcasting
the phenomenon that people's beliefs often guide what they pay the most attention to and how they interpret events
the act or practice of attempting to manipulate the way an event is interpreted by others
What is the meaning of a political party? What functions do parties in America perform?
a political party is a team of people seeking to control the governing structure by gaining office in a duly constituted election. Parties pick candidates, run campaigns, give cues to voters, articulate policies, and coordinate policymaking
What are the three heads of political parties?
the three heads of political parties are (1) party in the electorate, (2) party as an organization, and (3) party in government
What is the Downsian model of party government? What are its limitations as a model for understanding the American party system?
this model states that voters maximize the chances of the policies they favor are adopted by gvt because parties want to win elected office. In the american electorate a few voters are very liberal and a few are very conservative
How has party identification changed over the years and what affect has it had on elections?
Traditionally, more people have identified as democrats than republicans, at least after 1932. A significant number of Americans have identified themselves as independents and this has increased over the years. This has caused a growth in third parties and more of a divide between the democrats and the republicans
Describe the basic organization of American political parties. How do party politics at the local, state, and national levels differ? Which level is most important and why?
political parties start on the local level, then move onto the state level, and finally the national level. Due to progressive reforms local party organizations are usually weak. State parties are better organized in terms of headquaters and budgets. The national level is the most important because party members are elected to government, the party that controls the goverment (majority) has policy consequences, and they ususally act on campaign promises.
How did the American two-party system evolve? How were coalitions important to this evolution? Include in your answer a discussion of party eras and critical elections.
Coalition is a group of people with a common interest upon which every political party depends.
1796-1824: The first party system.
-Madison warned of 'factions.'
-Federalist: first political party.
1828-1856: Jackson and the Democrats versus the Whigs.
-Modern party founded by Jackson.
-Whigs formed mainly to oppose Jacksonian Democrats
1860-1928: Two Republican eras.
-Rose as antislavery group.
-1896 election centered on industrialization.
1932-1964: The New Deal Coalition.
-Forged by the Democrats.
-Urban working class, ethic groups, Catholics, Jews, the poor, and Southerners.
1968-Present: Era of Divided Party government.
-Divided government is when one party controls Congress and the other controls the White House.
-Divided government was due to:
*Party dealignment: disengagement of people from parties as evidenced by shrinking party identification.
*Party neutrality: people are indifferent to the two parties.
What are the political and policy consequences of having a two-party system? How have third parties made a difference?
The two-party system lacks uniformity, keeps government small, and makes cutting government programs more difficult. Third parties are 'safety valves' for popular discontent and they bring new groups and ideas in politics.
What are interest groups? How do groups differ from political parties?
An interest group is an organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals. Political parties fight election battles while interest groups do not choose candidates for office but may choose sides
Why are small groups generally more effective than large groups?
Olson's law of large groups states that the larger the group, the further it will fall short of providing on optimal amount of a collective good
How do intensity and financial resources affect interest group success? What are single-issue groups and how effective have they been in American politics?
Intensity encourages non-conventional means of participation (protest). Financial resources usually translate into access- therefore, wealthier groups are more successful. Single issue groups are groups that focus on a narrow interest, dislike compromise, and often draw members from people new to politics. They may focus on emotional issues, providing them with a psychological advantage
What are the principal strategies that groups use to affect policymaking? Which strategy seems to be the most effective, and why? Are certain strategies better suited for different types of interest groups?
1. lobbying --> persuade politicians through hiring people to represent their case and propose ways to help pass legislation; difficult to tell if it is effective or not though....2. electioneering --> provide financial assistance and members to vote for candidates sometimes through PACs&endorsements...... 3. litigation--> use the court system to influence public policy (ex:Civil rights)with Amicus Curiae briefs and class action lawsuits....... 4. go public --> appeal to the public to assist a cause with public images; examples: tv, newspaper, magazine ads; this is the most commonly used tactic but still difficult to tell if its effective or not
What impact do political action committees have on interest group behavior? Evaluate the role of political action committees.
Getting the right people into office or keeping them there is another key strategy of interest groups. Political Action Committees (PACs) have provided a means for groups to participate in electioneering more than ever before. Elite theorists point to the proliferation of business PACs as evidence of more interest group corruption in American politics than ever. They particularly note that wealthier interests are greatly advantaged by the PAC system. The power of special interest groups through PACs and other means has implications for the scope of government.
What are the different types of interest groups? What are their primary goals, what strategies do they use, and how successful have they been?
Economic groups: concerned with wages, prices, profits, tax advantages, subsidies and contracts, and international trade policy. Wants to get its share of direct aid and government contracts.
Environmental interests: intensifies when two public interests clash, such as environmental protection and an ensured supply of energy.
Equality interests: minorities and women who make equal rights their main policy goal. Equality at the polls, in housing, on the job, in education, and in all other facets.
Consumers and public interest lobbies: (representing groups that champion causes or ideas "in the public interest") seek a "collective good." Other public interest groups include groups that speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, such as children, animals, and the mentally ill; good-government groups such as Common Cause; religious groups; and environmental groups
How do interest groups affect democracy and the scope of government in the United States?
The power of special interest groups through PACs and other means has implications for the scope of government. Most special interest groups strive to maintain established programs that benefit them-and thus promote larger government. Conversely, one can make the argument that the growth of the scope of government in recent decades accounts for a good portion of the proliferation of interest groups. As the federal government has become involved in more areas, more interest groups have risen to influence policy.
Using examples from presidential politics, explain why image and the use of the media are so important in the American political system.
It serves as a linkage institution. Reach out to all people in the nation. In the Nixon-Kennedy Debate, Nixon appeared sickly and sweaty, while Kennedy appeared calm and confident, this in turn won him the election
Explain the historical development of the print and broadcast media in the U.S. Use examples to illustrate your answer.
All about the image, if sweaty, not good for votes. Candidates need to focus not only on material, but appearance as well and body language (once again sweat on Nixon in Nixon-Kennedy)
How does television define what is newsworthy? Explain where television finds its news stories and how they are presented to the American public.
They define "news" as events as entertaining and at times scandalous. They gain that information from politicians or primary sources of those events and lean toward certain biases and controversial aspects of the issue when illustrating to the American public
Describe how the media shape public opinion. What are the consequences of the media's influence on public opinion?
Individuals feel that they receive more information from media outlets than on their own and in this process, there is a level of trust that the public places in the media. They view the media as a public watchdog, whose primary function is to shed light on that which transpires in darkness. The consequence is that it's not easy to figure out who has what opinion
What is the policy agenda? Who are the policy entrepreneurs and how do they utilize the media to get their issues on the policy agenda?
Policy agenda is the list of issues that attract serious attention of public officials. The entrepreneurs are the political activists and they utilize the media by attracting attention to their cause through press releases, press conferences, letter writing, convincing reporters to tell their side of the issue
Explain how the news media affect the scope of government and American individualism. How have they helped and hindered the growth of democracy in the United States?
Scope of govt: act as a watchdog and keep politicians in check.
Individualism: voter are able to focus on the beliefs and decisions of the candidate himself without the aid of supporting groups bc candidate's beliefs are directly stated
Helped:there's a vast increase in information available
Hindered: They give what the people want-entertainment, not a serious and informative coverage of the issue