•The framers didn’t want political parties but they were first formed with the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists
•The nation has always had a two-party system, and it will continue to have one because Americans accept it
•Single-member districts work to discourage minor parties – encouraging the two-party system
•Much of American election law is written to discourage minor parties
•Republicans and Democrats work together to preserve the two-party system
•Non-major candidates have made it to the ballot everywhere in only seven presidential elections
American Ideological Consensus
•Over time, Americans have come to share many of the same ideals, principles, and patterns of belief
–This causes American society and politics to simply not permit more that two major parties
–This also causes the two major parties to be very much alike, both trying to go down the middle to get the most votes
•There are however, some significant differences between Democrats and Republicans
•In many European democracies
•Consists of several major and many lesser parties
•Various parties are based on particular interests
–Economic class, religion, etc.
•Makes for a broader and more diverse representation
•Sometimes causes the power to govern to be shared by many parties (coalition)
•Example of states in U.S. having one-party systems is the Democrats until the 1950s in the “Solid South”
•1/3 of states still have a modified one-party system in which on major party always wins
Party Membership Patterns
•Being a member of a party is voluntary
•Each party comprised of a cross section of the nation’s population
•African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and union members tend to be more Democratic
•White males, Protestants, and the business community tend to be more Republican
•Decide which party by: family, major events, economic status, age, education, and job
A multi-party system
a. tends to produce a stable government.
b. helps one party win the support of a majority of voters.
c. is composed of parties with special interests.
d. promotes the ideological consensus of the public.
Which of the following is NOT one of the three main elements of the major parties in terms of the roles of their members?
a. the party organization
b. the party in the electorate
c. the party media consultants
d. the party in government
A one-party system
a. is what the United States has today.
b. creates an unstable government.
c. exists in nearly all dictatorships today.
d. results in democracy.
Answers: C / C / C