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Unit 6 People and Politics

A right and a responsibility of citizenship.

18 years old U.S. Citizen State Resident Mentally Competent Not a convicted felon

Must register 29 days before the election at: DMV Registrars Office Mail in Application

Increased turn-out in Presidential Elections Participation more likely:

Education Age Income


Lack Interest Forget to register Not informed on issues Participation less likely:

Income Age Education


Qualified citizens have a responsibility of stay informed about campaign issues and exercise their right to vote.

Organizations made up of people who share similar ideas about the way the country should be governed


Recruit and Nominate Candidates for Public Offices


Elect Candidates ConventionsName Candidates

FUNTIONS AND PURPOSES OF POLICAL PARTIES Raise money for Help campaigns Candidates Campaign for Win Elections candidates

Most important function since Candidate will support party goals if elected


Set Party Goals


Statement of partys positions of major issues




to pass laws that support the partys goals




the actions of officeholders to insure that they are honest and hardworking


Help Citizens


citizens about issues Offer opportunities for citizens to be involved in the political process.


Left Democrats

Center Moderates

Right Republicans

Liberal On the left Support government financed programs to help the poor Emphasize domestic programs More/Expanded Government Supported by workers, laborers, lower and middle income levels


Conservative On the Right Support individual initiative and economic growth to help the poor Emphasize foreign policy and a strong military Less/Limited Government Gain support from big businesses and upper income levels

A person who avoids the extremes of either party

The American political system is dominated by the Democrats and the Republicans; but third parties play an important role.

Two-Party System

Have both liberal and conservative views Organize to win elections Appeal to the political center Influence public policies Reflect citizens views Want to associate with many people to get more votes

Two-Party System

Party Platforms (positions on major issues)

Third parties play an important role in American politics.


new ideas Support a particular issue Revolve around a person (Ross Perot; Ralph Nadar) Rarely win elections Change the outcome on an election


Ross Perot Reform Party

Ralph Nader Green Party

Teddy RooseveltProgressive party



The President and the Vice President are elected by a majority vote in the Electoral College.


state has the same number of electors as it does Congress Members

# of Senators + # of Representatives = __________________ # of electoral votes in each state


538 Total Electoral Votes

270 Electoral votes needed to win the election

What made the framers of the Constitution create this system for the election of the President and Vice-President?

Why do we need electors?

Representation Question for the framers:

How to balance power between the large and small states?

Electoral votes for each state are determined by population

Fear Issue for the framers:

Electors who were educated

People are not educated enough to make a good decision.

about the process would

make the official vote.

Knowledge Issue for the framers:

Voters do not know about candidates from other states.

Using electors would keep people from only voting for candidates from their state.

Electoral College The President and the Vice President are elected by a majority vote in the electoral college.

Each state has the same number of electors as it does Congress Members

# of Senators + # of Representatives = ____________________ # of electoral votes in each state


Each party picks electors who promise to vote for their partys candidate. Popular vote: first Tuesday after the first Monday in November

Winner take all system

Electoral Vote: December

The candidate with most votes in a state wins all of the electoral votes for that state. Electors cast the official votes for President and Vice President.

Process Effect of the Electoral College on Campaigns

Candidates Small states can make concentrate on states the difference in close with more electoral elections votes (California, New York) Favors a 2-party It is possible to tie (269 electoral votes system each)

What if no candidate receives 270 votes?

A TIE!!!

House of Representatives selects the President

Senate selects the Vice President

The Role of the Media in Elections: Propaganda



Role of the Media in Elections

The editorial section of the newspaper, a televised debate or T.V. program can provide candidates and experts a way to present opposing viewpoints on the issues.

Air Different Points of View

Role of the Media in Elections

Call Attention to Important Issues

By printing articles or airing stories about a particular issue, the media is able to create interest in a topic where none existed.

Role of the Media in Elections

Government officials and candidates use the media to communicate with the public.

Identify candidates & their platforms (stand/opinion on the issues)

How can voters evaluate speeches, literature and advertisements for accuracy?

Separating fact from opinion Detecting bias Evaluating sources of information Identifying propaganda

Propaganda Techniques

A technique to sway peoples attitudes, opinions and behaviors Mass media and technology enable the spread of propaganda Political candidates use propaganda to convince voters to support them.

The latest poll shows that the majority of people support Bill Riberdy for President.

Everyones Doing It!

Card Stacking
Bill Riberdy is clearly the most qualified candidate.

Use facts to favor an opinion

Barack Obama Facts

Obama worked as a community organizer immediately after graduation. He also worked as a university professor, political activist, and lawyer before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He was propelled to stardom by giving the 2004 democratic convention keynote speech. Obama has sponsored bills ranging from lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, weapons control, nuclear terrorism, and better veterans care.

John McCain Facts

McCain has never voted for a tax increase. McCain will continue the Bush tax cuts, McCain will not cut and run in Iraq, McCain sponsored legislation to keep the Fairness Doctrine from rearing its head again, McCain supports school choice

Glittering Generalities
A vote for Bill Riberdy is a vote for Virginias values.

Uses words that sound good but have little or no meaning

Glittering Generalities

Name Calling
Candidate Roberts is corrupt and caters to special interest groups.
Use of an unpleasant label or description to harm an opposing candidate.

Name Calling

Plain Folks Appeal

Vote for Steve Roberts, who understands the problems of Virginia.
Candidates describe themselves as regular people; average, hard working citizens.

Plain Folks Appeal

Bill Clinton says, Stephanie Harbin is a candidate you can trust. She has my vote!

An endorsement from a celebrity.


Financing a Campaign Running for office is expensive!

Rising Campaign Costs $

Lots of fund raising by candidates and parties

Gives an advantage to rich people

Limits opportunities to run for office.

Limits opportunities to run for office.

Encourage PACs Campaign Finance Reform

Interest Groups have more power

Rising campaign costs have led to efforts to reform campaign finance laws. Limits exist on the amount individuals may contribute to political candidates and campaigns.

06oENya4 fundraiser

Public Policy
How individuals, interest groups and the media influence the actions of the government.

Family & Friends Media (Print and T.V.) Importance

What influences peoples opinions??

Why might a group have more influence than an individual? Louder Voice More $ Represent more people

Public Policy The actions of the government as they deal with the issues of the day.

Ways that individuals influence public policy.

Voting Being informed Participating in politics Expressing opinions: * Letters to politicians * Demonstrating Campaigning Lobbying Joining interest groups

Ways that groups influence public policy.

Interest Groups: organizations that seek to influence government policy Identify and publicize issues Offer different viewpoints Lobby- seeking to influence legislators to introduce legislation or to vote for or against a bill. Donate $

Interest Groups
Interest groups:
An interest group is a structured organization of people with shared attitudes who attempt to influence public policy. -Vary in size, goals and budget -Attempt to influence both the government and public opinion -Hire lobbyists to represent their interests

PACs Political Action Committees

Established to raise money to support an issue or candidate

The media influences public policy by:


Bringing attention to issues oShowing different views on issues oHolding candidates accountable oAllowing officials to communicate with citizens

Public Policy is influenced by:

Vote campaign Keep informed Express Opinions by: -Writing letters to politicians -Demonstrating -Lobbying Join interest groups

Interest Groups

Draws attention to issues Shows different views on issues Holds candidates accountable Allows officials to communicate with citizens

Identify and publicize issues Offer different viewpoints Lobby Donate Money $$$

Political Action Committees

oPACs are the political branch of a special interest group. oPACs raise voluntary donations of money from people who agree with their cause. oThey give money to elections campaigns of people they support and to the political party that will work for their goals.


One purpose of political parties is to

A. cast electoral votes. B. set the age for voting. C. administer literacy tests. D. recruit and nominate candidates for public office.

A candidate needs _________ to win the presidency

A. 270 Electoral votes B. the majority of the popular vote C. a majority vote in the House of Representatives D. All of the above

The president is chosen by the House of Representatives if

A. different candidates win the popular vote and the electoral vote B. no candidate wins the majority in the Electoral College C. the candidate with the most votes is already a member of congress D. there is widespread electoral fraud

A political candidate who accuses his or her opponent of "reckless spending" is using the
A. name-calling technique. B. glittering generality technique. C. plain-folks appeal. D. card-stacking technique.

This type of election has the highest voter turn out:

A. mayoral B. gubernatorial C. congressional D. presidential

Which of the following is NOT a strategy to use when evaluating campaign ads?
A. believe propaganda B. evaluate sources of information C. separate fact and opinion D. detect bias

Which of the following is a voting requirement in Virginia?

A. 21 years of age B. US citizen and a resident of VA C. passage of DMV test D. pass a literacy test

An organization made up of people who share similar ideas about how the government should be run are:

A. Interest Groups B. Political Parties C. Political Action Committees D. candidates

Which of the following is NOT a similarity of Republicans and Democrats?

A. Organize to win elections B. party Platforms C. Appeal to the political center D. Influence public opinion

During an examination for naturalization, an applicant must

A. prove that he or she can read, write, and speak English acceptably. B. show that he or she believes in the principles of the U.S. Constitution. C. prove that he or she knows something about U.S. history and government. D. all of the above

The U.S. federal system of government was established by

A. Magna Carta. B. the Constitution. C. the Articles of Confederation. D. the English Bill of Rights

The statement "to secure the blessings of liberty" is

A. listed in the Mayflower Compact. B. one of the six goals of government stated in the Preamble. C. the opening statement of the Declaration of Independence. D. found in the Articles of Confederation.

One of the basic ideals of American government is that

A. government should be based on the consent of the governed. B. majority rule can be overruled by presidential veto. C. the Constitution should be easily amended. D. the executive branch should be the most powerful branch.

What would happen if a proposed amendment were not ratified by three fourths of the states?
A. It could be ratified by two thirds of the states. B. The president could ratify the amendment. C. Congress could ratify the amendment. D. The amendment would not be added to the Constitution.

If the president vetoes a proposed law,

A. it can never become law. B. Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses. C. the proposed law is sent to state conventions for approval. D. the Supreme Court has the power to pass the law anyway.

The most important function of political parties is to:

A. Help candidates win elections B. Monitor the actions of officeholders C. set party goals D. Help citizens

Techniques used to influence opinion are called:

A. Editorials B. Propaganda C. Commentaries D. Ads

The First Amendment guarantees

A. freedom of speech. B. the right to bear arms. C. freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. D. protection against selfincrimination.

All of the following are true of the Articles of Confederation EXCEPT

A. it created a weak central government. B. the national government had no power to tax. C. it gave no power to enforce laws. D. the states had little power.

The federal government and the state governments share all of the following powers EXCEPT the power to

A. establish courts. B. borrow money. C. punish lawbreakers. D. coin money.

Which of the following is NOT a power of the legislative branch?

A. interpreting the meaning of a law B. passing laws C. overriding presidential vetoes D. approving appointments of federal court judges

Which of the following is not a function of political parties?

A. recruiting and nominating candidates B. educating the public about campaign issues C. monitoring the actions of office holders D. nominating Supreme Court justices

How does the media influence policy makers?

A. by broadcasting the state of the union address B. by criticizing the news coverage of other media sources C. by organizing debates among leading entertainers. D. by drawing attention to a particular issue and arousing public concern

A. want the government to provide public benefits to assist the poor. B. want less government activity. C. believe that public benefits should be provided by the private sector. D. are typically backed by small farmers and the business community.

Third parties:
A. are not found in American politics. B. typically revolve around a political personality. C. receive a lot of attention from the media. D. All of the above

Political Parties:
A. organize to win elections. B. influence public opinion C. appeal to the political center to win majority support. D. All of the above

The majority of Americans are:

A. Moderate B. Conservative C. Liberal D. Reactionary

Republicans tend to be
A. Radical B. Conservative C. Liberal D. Socialist

To be elected, a presidential candidate must

A. win both the popular vote and the electoral vote. B. win the popular vote. C. receive 270 electoral votes D. win the popular vote in the state of Florida

Democrats tend to be:

A. Conservative B. Radical C. Liberal D. Right-Winged

The "glittering generalities" technique uses

A. beautiful pictures to sell an idea. B. words that sound good but have little meaning. C. the faces of famous people to sway public opinion. D. soothing music and subliminal messages to persuade people.

Sports figures appearing on a box of cereal is an example of which propaganda technique?

A. testimonial B. bandwagon C. plain-folks appeal D. glittering generalities

The main reason that so few people in the United States vote is that
A. it is not convenient for most people to get to the polls. B. most people are not registered to vote. C. most people lack interest D. most people do not prefer one candidate over another.

A political candidate who describes herself as an "ordinary, hard-working citizen" is using

A. name-calling. B. card stacking. C. the bandwagon approach. D. a plain-folks appeal.

Each state has a total number of electors

A. equal to its total number of congressmembers. B. equal to each of the other states. C. equal to the number of its state legislators. D. based on its voter turnout in previous elections.

The Democratic and Republican Parties do all of the following EXCEPT

A. organize to win elections. B. raise money to pay for campaign expenses. C. establish state qualifications for voting. D. Reflect both liberal and conservative views

. A presidential candidate of the Democratic Party wins 51 percent of the popular vote. Which of the following statements is correct? A. The candidate must next be confirmed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. B. The candidate will become president. C. The candidate will become president only with a majority of electoral college votes. D. A runoff election must be held to determine the new president.

You have just turned 18 years old. The first thing you will have to do before you are allowed to vote is
A. take a literacy test. B. register to vote. C. join a political party. D. prove that you have completed high school.

One purpose of political parties is to

A. cast electoral votes. B. set the age for voting. C. administer literacy tests. D. recruit and nominate candidates for public office.