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a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and and the holding of public office
the five functions of political parties
nominating candidates, informing and activating supporters, bonding agent function, governing, and watchdog
their major function, recruting, choosing, and gathering support for candidates for office
informing and activating supporters
inform the people through pamphelts, signs, buttons, stickers, ads in the newspapers, magazines, etc.
bonding agent function
party serves as a bonding agent to ensure the good performance of its candidates and officeholders
congress & state legislatures are chose on party lines and they conduct much of their business on the basis of partisanship
parties act as a watchdog over the party in power to criticizes the policies and behavior of the party in power
policies of why the US has a two-party system
historical basis, force of tradition, electoral system, and american ideological consensus
rooted in the beginnings of the nation, constitution made no provision for political parties
they are winner-takes-all elections which means the person with the most votes wins; this discourages minor party candidates and non major party
single member districts
one candidate is elected to each office on the ballot( all elections held in this country are this type)
one party systems
only exist in dictatorships because the dictator is the government and its own political party
party membership patterns
membership in a party is voluntary meaning you choose to be in the party, individuals identify themselves in a party for many reasons such as family and age
focus on only one public-policy matter, most of these fade away as issue fades
ex. Right to life, free soil, know nothings
rooted in periods of economic discontent, those that have proclaimed their disgust with the major parties
ex. Greenbacks, populist party
those that have split away from the major parties due to failure of someone for the major party nomination
ex. Green, dixiecrats, Bull Moose
why are minor parties important
they can pull votes away from one of the major parties, they take stands on controversial issues to draw attention, and they propose ideas that the major parties can use to gain support
the party's national voice that meets in the summer of every pres election to nominate the presidential and vice president candidates
leader of the national committee, chosen for a 4 year term by national committee, choice made by nominated presidential candidate and approved by the national committee,
congressional campaign committee
work to re-elect incumbants and to make sure that the seats given up by retiring party members remain in party. members are chosen by their colleages and serve 2 years
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