American Politics AQA - Political Parties

The party renewal thesis AND the party decline thesis. Lucky you.

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The Party Renewal Thesis 1

Party Identification: Split ticket voting ONLY 9% of the ballot. 37% identify as Democrat & 37% identify as Republican.

Superdelegates: nominated by senior party officials. This means the party takes a more active role in nomination of candidates.

Legal Rulings: Cousins v Wigoda said that state courts cannot interfere with the national parties rights to decide who is seated at national conventions.

Pro-active leadership: The National Committees are far more active in campaign strategies.

Federal Election Campaign Act: allowance of local and state parties to spend on 'party building' and 'get out the vote' activities which blurred boundaries on campaign work.

Soft money: contributions from individuals increase the importance of party structure.

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The Party Renewal Thesis 2

Polarisation: parties have assumed increasingly different and polarised ideological identities.

Partisanship in Congress: voting along party lines in congress despite the lack of strong 'whips'. in 1993 2/3 of votes were along party.

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The Party Decline Thesis 1

Nomination: Primaries help maverick candidates and encourage them to create personal profiles. Therefore the parties have less control over who is elected.

Campaigning: Once nomination is confirmed, candidates tend to rely on their own personal apparatus.

Fundraising: Candidates get more money from PACS and individuals.

Communication: Fewer meetings are held which means inviduals make executive decisions. Rado and television present unmediated messages. The communication is only one way.

Mobilisation: Interest groups and organisations promote 'get out the vote' activities to promote their own views.

Integration, cohesion and party unity: too many political factions in parties. control of cogress and executive office do not allways mean agreement.

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The Party Decline Thesis 2

Policy Development: most often, policy is developed by interest groups or think tanks.

Party Identification: partisan dealignment. rise of independents to 35% in 1998. rise in split ticket voting during 1980s to 27%

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