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POSC 100 Week 5 Notes

by: Camryn Hohneker

POSC 100 Week 5 Notes POSC 100-04

Camryn Hohneker
Long Beach State

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Week 5 Class lecture notes!
Intro to American Government
Professor Larry George
Class Notes
Posc, PoliSci, political science, Politics, posc 100, political, political parties, Democrats, Republicans, notes, study
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Camryn Hohneker on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 100-04 at California State University Long Beach taught by Professor Larry George in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Intro to American Government in Political Science at California State University Long Beach.

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Date Created: 09/26/16
Week5 PoliticalParties Readaboutelections in thetextbook  PoliticalpartieswereneverintendedtobeusedintheUnitedStates  Onlyreallycameaboutby realizingyouneedsupportgroups/organizationstobeelectedinto office  We don’thavegoodgovernmentregulationsonpoliticalpartiesorfederalregulationson electionsintheUnitedStates  TheyhavebecomeessentialfortheUnitedStates WhatPoliticalPartiesAre:  Organizationsthat: o Try to wincontrolof governmentbygettingtheircandidateelected o Sharecommonvaluesandgoalsand want to dowhat isgood forthem(andthe country…sometimes) o Try to makesurethe candidateswhowindowhatthe party’smemberswantthemto do whileinoffice o Usedsincethisis awinner-take-allsystemwithnotiesorsecondplacesingovernment  PartiesareCoalitions o Coalition:Theyare organizationsmadeupof diversegroups  RepublicanPartyincludesWallStreetBankers,AirForceOfficers,Vietnamese- Americans,andpoorwhiteSouthernChristianconservatives  DemocraticParty includesHollywoodmoviestars,SierraClub environmentalists,andmostAfrican-Americans  Theydevoidthird-partygroupsthatareweaker  Neitherpartyisa “pureparty”(whichisagroupof onlyONEtypeof people)  Ie.Allwomen,Catholics,etc.  Thereisno laborparty inthe UnitedStates o Solelyatwo-partysystem  Party DivisionandUnity o Oftengroupswithinaparty differsharplyonimportantissues o But thegroupsagreeto work togethertoelectcandidateswho:  Shareeach groupspositionsonthe issuesmostimportanttothatgroup  Can wintheelection  Why It Matters WhichPartyis In Power o Thepartiesdiffersharplyonmanyimportantissues  Taxes,abortion,military,etc. o Theparty in powercan passlawsthat reflectthepreferencesofitsmembersrather than thoseoftheotherparty  Thegovernmenttheneitherworksfororagainstyourviews/wants  SomeIssuesThatthePartiesDifferOn: o Financialsupportforhighereducation o Militaryanddefensespending o Abortion:legalorillegal o Immigrationpolicy o Environmentalprotection o How to creategoodjobs o Affirmativeactionandracialdiscrimination o Taxes:whoshouldpayand howmuch o Workersbenefits,wages,salaries,etc. o Gun regulation o Samesexmarriage Comparing AmericanParties wOtherCountriesParties  Americanpartiesaregenerallyweakerthanthoseinotherdemocracies o TheyvoteforthePARTY,not thePERSON  Result:US partiesarentas accountable  Theydon’tmatteras muchas theydo inWesternEuropeorCanada  Weakpartiesare onereasonwhytheUS governmentoftendoesn’tworkaswellasthoseof otherdemocracies o Typicallymorethantwoof theseparties o Strongloyaltytotheirparty  Oursystemismuchmore influencedbymoney,thusbeingalmostimpossiblytowinifyoudon’t havemoney o Whichis whybigbusinessesareaHUGE factorinUS politics  Proportional Representationinothercountriesleadstoamultiple-partysystem o Evensmallpartieshaveincentivetokeepseparate partyidentities o More than twoviewsonissuescanberepresentedingovernmentdebates o Peopletendtohavestrongpartyloyaltywhichleadsto  Ordinarycitizenspayingmoreattentiontopoliticsandgovernment  Theirgovernmentsarethususuallymoreaccountabletothepeople o Governmentsaremoreaccountable The AmericanTwo PartySystem  TheUS has thePuresttwo-partysystemintheworld o Becauseof:  Electoralrules  Thoseinofficewill maketherulessoitisharderfornewpeopletoget elected  Two politicalpartiesalternatewitheachother  Restrictionsonminorparties  Absenceofastronglabormovement  WeaknessofUS labormovement o In industrializedsocieties,workersmakeupthelargestsingle voting“bloc” o Workershavemanypolicyinterestsincommon  Higherwages  Betterand saferworkingconditions  Betterpubliceducationandhealthcare,andpublicfacilities  Shorterworkweeks  Longervacations  Wherethereisaparty that primarilyrepresentsworkers,thesecommon interestsarelikelytobecomelawwhenthatpartyisin office  Why don’tAmericanworkershave theseasmuchas Eu orCanadianworkers o In Europetherearetypicallythreestrongparties  Liberals  Conservatives  Labororworkersparty o Publicfundingofelectionsmeansthat moneydoesn’tmatterasmuchand business cannot controlallofthe parties o FundinginEUis EQUALforelectionparties o In US thereisno workersparty  Both partiesaredependentoncampaigncontributionsfromwealthyindividuals and businesses  OrganizedlaborandordinaryworkingpeoplearelefttosupportDemocratic Party as the“Lesseroftwo evils”  Lack of publicelectionfundingmeansthatneitherpartycan resistbusiness pressures  Wheninterestsofbusinessandworkersarein conflict,businessintereststends to prevail  US Electionsare: o Winnertakeall pluralityelections  Whoeverwinsthemostvoteswinstheelection  Winnerdoesn’tneedamajority o Single-memberdistricts  Onememberwillrepresenttheentiredistrictbasedonwhogetsthe mostvotes o Thus,ifyou lose,wecantget representationofyourviewsuntilthenexttimesomeone of yourviewisinoffice  The systemstronglydiscouragesminorparties o Votingforaminorparty usuallymeanseffectivelyvotingforthepartyyouopposethe most o GreenParty Dilemmainthe2000 Election  Bush(republican)47.9%  Gore (democrat)48.4%  GreenParty (Nader)2.74%  ElectoralCollege:  BUSH: 271  GORE: 266  Bushwon Floridaby<1%. 2% VotedforNader  Had GreenParty votersvotedforGore inFlorida,GorewouldhavewonFlorida and thepresidentialelection The Libertarian DilemmaToday  Many republicans(andparticularlythosewhodotlikeTrump)haveviewsthatarecloserto the LibertarianPartythanto Trumps followers,buttheLibertariancandidate(GaryJohnson)has virtuallynochanceofwinning  VotingforGary JohnsonmeansnotvotingforTrump, whichinatwo partysystemeffectively meansvotingforHillaryClinton  Libertarians:sociallyliberalpolicies,lowtaxes BernieSanders SupportersDilemma  Many sanderssupportersbecamehostiletoHillary Clintonduringthe2016primarybattleand are reluctanttovoteforherin thegeneralelection  Somewillsimplynotvote,othersmyvoteforJillStein,the GreenPartycandidate  But ina closeelection(like2000),that couldmeancontributingtoDonaldTrumpbecoming President Core PartyVotingBlocs and IndependentVoters  Theelectorate(thoseregisteredandcanvote)cabedivided roughlyintothreegroups o TheRepublican“base”:coreRepublicansupporters(approximately40%of electorate)  WillalmostALWAYSvotefora Republicancandidate o TheDemocratic“base”: core Democraticsupporters(approx40%ofelectorate)  WillalmostALWAYSvotefora Democraticcandidate o “independents”or“undecided”voters(approx.20%) Howto WinAmericanElections  To winan Americanelection,youneedtogetmorevotesthanany otherparty  But neitherpartyhasthesupportof 50% ofthepopulation HowDo the PartiesDoThis?  Each party has to do 2things: o Each party has to mobilizeits“base”:getitscoresupportersouttovote o Each party has to campaigntoattract more undecidedvoterstovoteforits candidates than theotherparty The Parties’Dilemma  Theproblemisthat by“rallyingthe base”throughthestronglypartisanappeals(commercials, speeches,etc.),theyendupalienatingundecidedvoters,whotendtobe centrists(notforor againsteitherside) Example:RepublicanParty’s Dilemma  Part ofRepublican“base”arefiscalconservativeswhostronglyopposegvmtspending,(arefor lowertaxes),forexampletocreatejobsorprovideloanstocollegestudents  But gvmtspendingtocreatejobsand federalstudentloansaresupportedbylargemajoritiesof voters  Republican“base”alsoincludes: o Gun owners o Wealthybankers o Christianconservatives  ProblemfortheRepublicanParty:themajorityofAmericansdisagreewitheachofthesegroups on keyissueslikehandgunregulations,economicinequality,andabortion(forexample) The DemocraticParty’s Dilemma  TheDemocraticParty baseincludes o Civillibertarianswhooftenaccusedofcoddlingcriminalsandputtingindividualrights beforestoppingcrime o Anti-warliberalswhoaresometimesaccusedofbeing“softoterrorism” o Economicliberalswhofavorlargergvmtprogramsand highertaxes o African-AmericansandminorityAmericanswhoarestigmatizedinthemindsofmany whitevoters Republicanand Democratic Party positionsonissues  Positionsthatthepartyismore likelytotakeonan issuethantheotherparty  Usually(butnotalways)thesepositionsareparto theparty “platform”  Republicans o Laissez-faire“lettingthemarketwork”  Let themarketsetwages,conditionsetc.notgovernmentregulations o LoweringtaxesonwealthyAmericans o Reducinggvmtregulationsonbusiness o Eliminatepublicandprivatesectorlaborunions o Privatizationofsocialsecurity o Repeal“obamacare” o Businessprofitstakepriorityoverenvironmentalregulations o Skepticalaboutglobalclimatechange o Sellofforprivatizepubliclands o Promotionalofheterosexualparentfamilyandtraditionalfamilyvalues  Viewhomosexualityasasin/disease  Oppositiontoequalpay o TypicallysupportChristianreligiousvalues


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