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Political Parties

How Political Parties Work

• What is a political party?
o Rise of independents
o American voter identification
Party Organization
 National party committees
 State party committees
 County party committees
 Party committees in Congress
Party Function
o Recruit candidates
o Organize elections
o Hold conventions
o Unite factions
o Ensure plurality
National Conventions

The American Two-Party System

o The Electoral System
o Electoral College
o Proportional Representation
Advantages and Disadvantages
o Critical elections
Soft Money
o Voter registration and GOTV drives
o Issue Ads
o Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
 McCain-Feingold bill
 527 groups

Third Parties
o Coke v. Pepsi Analogy
o Important Third Parties
o The Appeal of Third Parties
o Ideology
o Dissatisfaction with the status quo
o Geographical location
o The Role of Third Parties
o Introduce new ideas
o Put issues on the agenda
o Spoil the election
o Keep the major parties honest