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Political Parties
Purposes and Functions
Today in Class
Questions about project ????
Definition of Political Party
• Group of people who share the same basic
political ideology, who organize to win
elections and seek to control the government
and thus determine public policy (what
government should do and not do)
Major Party Functions
Recruit and Nominate Candidates
Run Campaigns
Motivate the electorate
Educate the public
Coordinate policy
Link between people and Government
Serve as watchdog
Nominate Candidates
• Parties nominate or choose or select candidates from their
party to run for political office (primaries/convention)
• Recruit candidates for public office
• Act as a screening device for candidates
• Nomination function is now mainly in the hands of the
people (voters) due to the primaries but still controlled
somewhat by the parties
Run Campaigns
• Party organization coordinates and helps to run the
campaigns for party candidates
• Party organization raises money for candidates
(campaign committees)
• Party organization advises candidates on what to
do and not to do
Motivate the Electorate
• Organize voter registration drives
• Encourage citizens to vote and assist in voting
• In some cases, actually transport voters to their
polling place if they need assistance
• Propaganda campaigns to persuade voters to
choose their candidate
Educate the Public
• Parties educate the public about the issues
or problems that need to be addressed (start
debate and discussions)
• Try to convince voters that their way is the
best way to “run the government”
Serve as a Watchdog
• Parties closely monitor and watch what the other
major political parties for corruption
• Parties report on illegal activity and keep the
public informed of what the government is doing
or not doing
Minor function that is
not that important due to
the role of the Media
Link between people and Government
• Political parties serve as a link between the people
and the government (contact government)
• Allows people to organize together with common
goals, a shared vision (strength in numbers)
• Allows for political participation (joining a group)
• Parties provide information to voters about
candidates, mobilize voters, and raise funds
Coordinate Policy
• Party members try to coordinate between the
branches of government (legislative and
executive) to accomplish goals and
objectives (divided and unified government)
• Seek help and support from other party
members (Get laws passed)
Work Together
The Anthony Weiner Scandal
Republican House Rep Chris Lee Resigns After
Attempted Hook-up on Craigslist
President Clinton Impeachment