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Poli Sci, Notes for April 12 and 14

by: Michaela Musselman

Poli Sci, Notes for April 12 and 14 Pol 101

Marketplace > University of Mississippi > Liberal Arts > Pol 101 > Poli Sci Notes for April 12 and 14
Michaela Musselman
GPA 3.35

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Notes from April 12 and 14, complete with Check your knowledge questions and answers at the bottom.
Introduction to American National Government
Heather Ondercin
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michaela Musselman on Wednesday April 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pol 101 at University of Mississippi taught by Heather Ondercin in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Introduction to American National Government in Liberal Arts at University of Mississippi.


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Date Created: 04/27/16
Role of Political Parties  Linkage  Overcome fragmentation in the US political system  Coordinate actions among government officials  Propose alternatives  Structure vote choice Features of US parties  Two-party dominant o Electoral rules: single member districts, winner-take-all o Parties make their own rules o Political socialization Third Parties  Would you ever consider voting for a third party candidate?  What role do third party candidates play in our political system  Third parties o Bring new groups into the electorate o Safety valves for discontent  When people are upset with the candidates brought forth by the two main parties, a third one can be brought in to run and help people not be so frustrated o Shapes the political agenda Party Eras  Party eras: One party tending to maintain electoral control for long periods of time  Party Realignments: Shifts occurring in electoral politics that bring an end to party eras o New Deal Realignment: Democratic party dominated era o Southern Realignment: Starts in 1950s, ends in 1960s  Shift in the south from democrat to republican Three Sides of Political Parties  Party in the electorate o Individuals who identify with the party  Party as an organization o People who organize the party  Party in government o The parties in government, such as senate and the House Party in Electorate  People who identify with the party  Party Identification: An enduring psychological attachment to a political party  Partisanship today o Hardly anyone identifies as no or other party o 35% identify as independent o 31% say democrat o 25% say republican  Summary: Trends in party identification o The proportion of democrats consistently exceeds that of Republicans but has shrunk o The proportion of independents has doubled o The proportion of republicans and democrats combined has exceeded independents Party as an Organization  People who keep the party running  Their main goal is to elect people from the party o National Committee: Party organization representing the states and territories, including a chairperson of their party organization o Congressional campaign committee: raise funds to elect members to the House of Representatives and Senate  National Nominating Convention o Nominate VP o Make rules o Motivate voters Party in Government  Elected officials  Organization of government o Party conferences (or caucuses)  Polarization: Increased difference between the parties and in government Implications of Polarization  Quality of representation: Media party positions do not match voters  Difficult for government to function and sometimes it ceases to function Check Your Knowledge  What is a party realignment?  Which party has caused the increased polarization in the House of Representatives? The Senate? Interest Groups  Interest groups: An organization of individuals who share a common political goal and unite for the purpose of influencing government decisions  Different from a political party o Does not try to get a candidate elected o Wants to influence government for a particular reason Functions of Interest Groups  Increased representation  Lobbying: Activities aimed at persuading policy makers  Direct lobbying o Provide information about policy area o Provide information about constituents  Indirect lobbying o Grassroots lobbying o Focuses on individuals instead of government o Changing the public’s opinions on things o Debate about how effective interest groups are at representation  Create opportunities and lower the cost of political participation  Build alternative policy agendas  Monitor programs Types of Interest Groups  Public interest groups (citizen groups) o Organize to influence government to produce collective goods or services that benefit the general public  Equal Opportunity interest groups o Organize to promote the civil and economic rights of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups  Economic Interest groups o Organized lobby and protect the interests of businesses, industries, and members of various occupations  Government interest groups o Organized to protect the interests of states, cities, and municipalities Collective Action Problem  Collective action occurs when more than one individual is required to contribute to an effort in order to achieve an outcome  Problem: How do you get individuals to contribute to the effort? o If people are focused on short term benefits, then it is not rational to contribute o Free Riders get benefits with no contribution Overcoming the Collective Action Problem  Keep groups small o Not always an option for interest groups  Offer selective incentives o Material benefits o Solidarity benefits o Expressive benefits Check Your Knowledge Answers  When members of a party shift to another party in masse.  House of Representatives: Republicans; Senate: Democrats


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