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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Government-Chap 4-Module 2

Part 1:

Functions of Parties in America:

  • Political party: Group of people who try to influence the government by getting their candidate elected
    • Repub. and Demo. have dominated
      • They are distinguished by their political ideologies
    • Four functions:
      • Crate a rally point for diverse groups that share economical, social, or political concerns
      • Simplify the voting process for the electorate:
        • Limit the number of those who can run by sponsoring only the ones they think best suited
      • Generate excitement about an election:
        • Organize rallies, parades, conventions, ect. to get a voters attentions.
      • Originizing the government:
        • State and federal legislatures are centered on the parties due to the fact that they had to become affiliated with the parties to become elected
        • Some affiliations have led to partnerships, which mean the office holder will base their decisions on the parties interest
      • Accountability: People hold their political parties responsible for making sure officeholders fulfill promises

Part 2:

Organization of Parties:

  • Organized like the federal government
    • Has offices at the national, state and local levels
    • National Committee:
      • Haded by national chairperson
      • Guides party between elections and promotes the party throughout states
      • Organizes the party's national convention:
        • Meets during election years to formalize the nomination of a presidential candidate
      • Maintains influence at the national level through congressional campaign committees and the party members in office
    • State Committee:
      • Does many of the same things as the national committee
      • Solidifies party. finds new candidates, and raises campaign funds
      • State committees become very active during election years
      • They host fund raisers and circulate literature about issues and party agenda
      • Help orginize primary elections
      • Between the election years, they disappear and become concerned with state and national legislatures
      • They act as special interest groups and lobbyists
    • Local Committees:
      • Centered on state districts or precincts
      • Have a chair person ho works towards getting people to vote by sponsoring registration drives, recruiting new people, and finding local candidates
  • Some committees became political machines during the 1800s and into the 1900s
    • Dominated party activities at their respective levels
    • Demo. were successful in recruiting immigrants by helping them to get established upon entering the country
    • Using these modes of operations, the parties functioned largely as welfare organization, they controlled elections though corrupt means
    • Political machines still exist today, thought not at the same level
    • The corruption has disappeared thanks to voter registration requirements and competitive bidding laws
  • Within the Party:
    • Many people are rank-and-fill members: only purpose is to vote
    • Political regulars: those who take an active role in politics such as working at the polls, taking non-leadership party roles, contributing money, and voting among party lines.
      • Tend to compromise on issues and are concerned with winning the election
    • Party Activists: Deeply concerned about party functions and become highly involved in the electoral process
      • Donates funds, demand a voice in the agendas, and have a strong belief in their part's ideology
    • Party Purists: tend to be ideologues
      • Put issues ahead of winning elections and withhold support from candidates who do not share their stance on issue
Ideologue: Individual with strong philosophical or ideological leanings. Generally unwilling to budge to compromise or work with others with differing views.
Local Committee: A committee within a political party, it is centered on state districts or precincts. These committees have a chairperson and work toward getting people to vote by sponsoring registration drives, recruiting new party members, and finding local candidates.
National Chairperson: One of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions. The national chairperson is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the party and is usually hand-picked by the presidential nominee.
State Committees: Committees within a political party that work to solidify the party, find new candidates for state office, and raise campaign funds. Every state has its own party committees, and the chairpersons of the state committees typically act on behalf of people already in office, such as senators or governors.
Rank-and-Fill: Political party members whose main participation in politics is usually voting in primary and general elections. These members tend to vote straight party tickets in elections and follow the leads of local party officials.
Primary Elections: Election held to select the candidates for an upcoming general election.
Political Machines: A type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern.
Political Ideology: A coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purpose. It helps give meaning to political events, personalities, and policies.
Party Regulars: Political party members who typically work at polls, take lesser party roles, contribute money to campaigns, and vote along party lines. These members tend to compromise on important issues, and they are mostly concerned with winning elections.
Party Purists: Political party members with the highest level of political involvement. These members put issues ahead of winning elections, withhold support from candidates who do not share their stance on issues, and are usually very active in special interest groups. If purists feel like a party ignores their concerns, they often break away and form a third party.
Party Activists: Political party members who are deeply concerned about party functions and highly involved in the electoral process. These members donate funds, demand a voice in party agendas, and have a strong belief in their party’s ideology.
Partnerships: Strong party affiliations that result in officeholders basing their decisions on the party’s interests.
National Convention:The meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party’s platform.
National Committee: One of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions. The national committee is composed of representatives from the states and territories.

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