1. Political Party: group of individuals who seek to control government through winning elections. 2. Plurality: the largest number of votes cast for the office 3. Incumbent: current officeholder
4. Splinter Parties: those individuals who have split away from one of the major parties 5. Major Parties: American Politics, Republican and Democratic parties 6. Bipartisan: two major parties find common ground, in this endeavor. 7. Electorate: the people eligible to vote.
8. Precinct: smallest unit of election administration; the voters in each precinct report to one polling area. 9. Partisanship: secure commitment to a political party is the source for government action. 10. Pluralistic Society: contains of several diverse cultures and groups. 11. Ideological Parties: those based on particular sets of beliefs.
12. Two-Party System: in an election, only Republican or Democratic Party’s candidates have a realistic chance of winning public office. 13. Consensus: a general agreement among various groups- on fundamental matters. 14. Single-issue parties: concentrate on only one public-policy matter.
15. What is the major function of a political party?
– Political parties serve four essential functions; and in serving these functions, the parties allow the United States to more closely approach the ideal of democracy. The first and most important function of an American party is to organize elections by nominating candidates and seeking office. 17. Briefly explain two ways in which American Government is government by party? – One reason for the two party systems is that the Electoral College is winner-takes-all, preventing 3rd parties from gaining power.
Another one is to ensure the voters that they can take action towards the government through their selected party. 20. How is the ideological consensus of the American electorate reflected in the membership of the major parties? – Since the beginning of the USA there has been a general consensus on many of the major issues. This is not to say that Americans have always agreed on every matter. The nation has been deeply divided for many years at a time.
21. (a) Which political party was the first to appear in the new United States? (b) Who was its leader and what type of government did it favor? -Hamilton and other leaders who wanted a strong central government banded together to put over their policies. In 1787 they began calling themselves the Federalists. This was the first United States political party. 24. What unusual feature characterizes the present era of political party dominance? – The Democratic Party hired organizers chosen by the state parties in every state, so democrats could win the elections. 25. Briefly describe the four types of minor parties.
– The four types of minor parties consist of the ideological parties, the single-issue parties, the economic protest parties and the splinter parties. 26. Historically, what have been the most important roles of minor parties? Briefly explain one of these roles. -To give more freedom of expression and to make sure that there is not one party stronger than another. The Election of 1912 Roosevelt created The Progressive Party a.k.a. the Bull Moose Party.
27. Why is the party in power more cohesive than the opposition party? -Republicans all believe the exact same thing word for word, making them far more cohesive, and brainwashed, then the democrats who have their own individual opinions and beliefs. 29. List and explain four factors that have contributed to the present weakened state of the major parties. – A sharp drop in the number of voters willing to identify themselves as republicans or democrats, and a growing number who regard themselves as independents.
– A big increase in split ticket voting-voting for candidates of different parties for different offices at the same election.
– Various structural changes and reforms that have made the parties more “open,” but have also led to greater internal conflict and disorganization. These changes range from the introduction of the direct primary in the early 1900s to the more recent and far-reaching changes in campaign finance laws.
– Changes in the technology of campaigning for office-especially the heavy use of television and of the Internet, professional campaign managers, and
15. Nomination: the naming of those who will seek office
16. Closed Primary: party nominating where declared party members can vote 17. Precinct: a voting district
18. Soft Money: used for party building activities given by the local state. 19. General Election: regularly scheduled elections at which voters make the selection of officeholders 20. Open Primary: any qualified voter can take part in this nomination 21. Ballot: a device were voter registers a choice in a election 22. Hard Money: campaign money that is subject to regulation by the FEC
23. Caucus: is a group of like-minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming election. 24. Absentee Voting: voting by those unable to attend the polling place 25. Political Action Committee: political groups which have a major take on public policy 26. Direct Primary: is an intra-party election
27. Coattail Effect: when a strong candidate helps other candidates in the election by parties ticket. 28. Subsidy: grant of money from the government
12. What are the five broad categories that describe the way most nominations are made? – Self-announcement
– Direct primary
15. Explain the arguments for and against the closed primary. -The arguments for a closed primary believe that the votes will be fairer and against the closed primary believe it violates the Constitution, which I personally believe it does. 16. What is the overall purpose and importance of election law in the American political process? -The overall purpose is that all people have an equal chance to participate in the political process equally.
20. Describe recent technological advances and changes that make it easier for Americans to vote. – Major technological advancements that have affected musical performances include the Compact Disc, the television, and most of all, the radio. 21. Briefly describe the role and importance of money in the election process. -Financial donations to a candidate’s campaign allow the campaign to purchase advertising, signs, and to travel for campaigning.
22. (a) Identify five types of private donors to political campaigns. (b) Why might these individuals and groups wish to contribute money to political candidates? -Donors to political campaigns are PACs, 527’s, parties, interest groups, and private citizens. ACs work by raising money from people employed by a corporation or in a trade union.
These are called “connected PACs” and they rarely ask for donations from the general public although legally they are free to do so. 23. Outline the limitation placed on individual and PAC contributions to the federal candidate and political parties. -No person can give more than $2,100 to any federal candidate in a primary election, and no more than $2,100 to and federal candidate’s general election campaign.
Also, no person can give more than $5,000 in any year to a political action committee, or %26,700 to a national party committee. The total of any person’s contributions to federal candidates and committees now must be limited to no more than $101,400 in an election cycle.
24. (a) How does a candidate for President qualify for public funding? (b) What rules must candidates follow if they accept public funds? – To qualify for public funding, Presidential candidates and party convention committees must first meet various eligibility requirements, such as agreeing to limit campaign spending to a specified amount 25. Identify and explain the three major loopholes in today’s federal election-money statues.
-Campaign finance loopholes include “soft money” contributions to parties by unions and corporations, independent expenditure is spending by someone outside a campaign that is not coordinated with the campaign and volunteer activity.
29. Public Affairs: politics, public issues, and making of public policies 30. Public Opinion Poll: devices that attempt to collect information by asking questions 31. Sound Bite: snappy reports that can be aired in 30 or 45 seconds or so 32. Public Opinion: those attitudes help by a significant number of people on matters of government 33. Sample: a representative slice of the total universe
34. Mass Media: communication that reaches large widely spread audiences simultaneously 35. Random Sample: probability slice of the total universe
36. Interest Group: private organizations whose members share certain views and work to shape public policy 37. Quota Sample: sample deliberately constructed to reflect several of the major characteristics of a given universe Questions
11. Why is it incorrect to say that public opinion represents the single, undivided view of the American people? – Public opinion is a complex collection of the opinions of many different people. It is the sum of all of their views. It is not the single and undivided view of some mass mind. 12. Why are the influences of education and family so powerful in development of political attitudes?
– The influence of education and family is so powerful because these are our most basic and strong concerns in this type of society. 13. Besides education and family, what other forces help influence public opinion in American society? – There are many other forces, including mass media… especially internet and cable T.V. They have a great influence currently.
I find that particularly interesting that these influences have co-opted some more traditional elements of the culture, especially books, newspapers, and face-to-face interactions within primary groups. 14. Name at least three ways in which public opinion can be expressed. -Radio, newspaper, television
17. What is the most reliable means of measuring public opinion? – The Sample Survey is regarded as the best way to measure public opinion today, although it has its faults and detractors. Most people today use the internet to give their opinion so no one can really measure the exact number. 20. What factors can make a public opinion poll less than completely accurate?
– Polls get less accurate if there are lots of possible answers to a question instead of a simple yes/no. A good example of this is asking people which one of the dozen or so presidential candidates in each party they support. The error margin will be a higher for this question than for the Bush question above.
21. (a) What are the four major sources of political information in the
United States? (b) List at least one advantage of each source. -Television: broadcasts nation-wide to the American people
-Newspaper: generally carry political news, and news of independence -Radio: exposed the American people to national and international politics as never before. -Magazines: generally devoted to literature and the social graces 23. Explain the impact of the mass media on the public agenda. – The mass media can impact public agenda by selectively reporting news and covering only one side of a story. 24. What is the impact of the mass media on electoral politics?
-Most of the media wish to get rid of the Electoral College due to the idea that we no longer need someone else to vote for us. Thus, deciding the president of the United States. 25. What factors limit the impact of the mass media on American politics? -Language may be seen as a political factor in mass media, particularly in instances where a society is characterized by a large number of languages spoken by its populace. The choice of language of mass media may represent a bias towards the group most likely to speak that language, and can limit the public participation by those who do not speak the language.
38. Public Policy: goals for the government and pursues at it attempts to realize these goals 39. Propaganda: a technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behaviors 40. Trade Association: segments of the business community also have their own interest groups 41. Lobbying: usually defined as those activities by which group pressures are brought to bear on legislators 42. Labor Union: an organization of workers who share the same type of job or who work in the industry 43. Public-Interest group: a group that seeks to institute certain public policies Questions
12. Why are interest groups sometimes called “pressure groups” or “special interests”? – Generally, because they represent a specific segment of the overall population. Not everyone is handicapped, so an interest group representing them would be a “special” interest group because bills/policies affecting them would not affect the general population
16. How do interest groups add an element to the checks-and-balances feature of the political process? – They keep close tabs on the work of various public agencies and officials and thus help to make sure that they perform their tasks in responsible and effective ways. 18. Into what category do most interest groups fall?
– Interest groups use advocacy and lobbying to influence public policy without seeking election to office. This puts them under the category of lobbyist. 19. What is the difference between private and public –interest groups? -Public interest groups are those whose membership and, in some cases, investments are open to the general public.
Private are essentially clubs with closed memberships and whose transactions are shielded from both public and government scrutiny. 20. (a) On what kinds of issues do labor groups generally agree? (b) On what kinds of issues might labor interests have different points of view? -Wages, Health Insurance, Family Leave, etc. Most labor groups may want to have certain rights of their unions before they work for a higher salary, while other groups may value a raise in salary more.
23. What are the goals of a propagandist?
– Propagandists (i.e. advertisers, persuaders and even brainwashers) are interested in influencing others to agree with their point of views. 25. At what stages of policymaking must lobbyists be involved? -Lobbying is done at later stages of policy making. The lobbyist imparts her information with the help of graphs, charts, polls, and reports that she has hunted up or created.
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