Unit 3 Media: Political Parties & Interest Groups
A COOL LITTLE PROJECT ABOUT INTEREST GROUPS! (NOT mINE)
- LO 4.B.1: Explain the media’s role in providing citizens with political information.
- LO 4.B.2: Analyze the development, implications, and consequences of increasingly diverse numbers of media and political communication outlets.
Democratic societies rely on diversity of viewpoints in the media as well as the Republicans. This is particularly important during this current era of globalization and critical public issues that require public engagement. At the same time people all over the world are receiving more and more of their information from the mass media which is becoming precipitously less diverse. The control of much of the world's media is becomingly increasingly concentrated in a handful of giant corporations.
- LO 4.C.1: Explain the functions and impact of political parties with regard to the electorate and the government.
Political parties have many roles regarding to the electorate and the government such as recruiting candidates to run for political office, nominating and supporting candidates for office, educating the electorate, and organize the government like the minority and majority party system in the legislative branch.
- LO 4.C.2: Analyze why political parties change and adapt to political realities.
Political and economic realities are a huge factor to political parties. They must take those things into careful consideration because those events affect how citizens will vote and it is usually outside of the party influence itself.
- LO 4.C.3: Explain structural barriers to third party and independent candidate success.
The United States maintained the two part tradition due to its historical roots. The British heritage of the federalists and anti-federalists supported the two party system. The electoral system has single member districts which means that only one representative is chosen from each district since there is one winner per office. Election laws makes it difficult for minor parties to get on the ballot in many states.
- LO 4.C.4: Analyze the benefits and potential problems of interest group influence on elections and policy making.
Interest groups influence elections by encouraging members to vote for candidates who support their views, influencing party platforms and nomination for candidates. They campaign and contribute money to parties and candidates through political action committees. They try to influence policymakers through different tactics of lobbying often by supplying data to government officials and their staff to convince these policymakers that their case is more deserving than another's.
- LO 4.C.5: Analyze the reasons for and impact of social movements and protest politics.
Many of the reasons for social movements and protest politics stem from the concern of the people and major issues that affect many people. For example, the March at Selma and the Vietnam War protests were both movements that affected a large population of the United States and the conviction of the majority can lead and influence very quick legislative change. The impacts of the March on Selma as well as other protests during the 1960's lead to the change in civil rights that allowed for the equal treatment of all races. The Vietnam War Protests indirectly brought on the 26th amendment that allowed 18 year old's the right to vote.
- LO 4.C.6: Assess the impact of elections, public opinion, interest groups, and political parties on policy outcomes.
The effect of elections on policy outcomes depends on the makeup of the Senate, House of Representatives, and the Executive Branch. If one party controls both branches, then many policies will be passed because one party will be able to cooperate with the president and use their majority advantage to pass legislation. The effect of public opinion and interests groups on policy is that they will lobby for issues that within their respective districts or states. Some ways that political parties have an effect on policies is that if they control the majority of the Congress, they can cooperate together to pass legislation more quickly.
- LO 4.E.2: Explain changes in the structure and function of election campaigns since 1972.
The Federal Election Campaign Act that passed in 1972 required candidates to disclose sources of campaign contributions and campaign expenditures. It also restricted to influence of wealthy people by placing a limit of $1000 for individual donations and $5000 for donations by political action committees. This affected the structure of campaign elections because candidates could no longer receive donations from "anonymous" companies toward their election which changed the that new candidates could get into office.
- LO 4.E.3: Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of candidate-centered campaigns in the 21st century.
Some of the benefits of candidate-centered campaigns is that they focus more on the person rather than the issues at hand which are the most important to their constituents. Also, different kinds of campaigns affect both parties involved because negative campaigns can demonstrate the integrity of both persons. Another reason for candidate centered campaigns is that the candidates not only gets to show their personality as the virtue of their campaign but also to show that they want to be more involved with the community. Some disadvantages to candidate centered campaigns is that they don't focus on the issue which is some people's greatest concern which shows that the candidate is either ignorant of the problems or is oblivious enough to ignore it.
- LO 4.E.4: Analyze the relative importance of money and democratic principles in elections.
The relative importance of money and democratic principles in election is vital to the ideals of democracy because it shows that candidates can morally run for a public office without the corruption involved in a lot of money as a part of campaigns. Also, democratic principles allow for candidates to perform with integrity and character within their positions and epitomize the ideas of democracy. The importance of money is a big part of any campaign because it requires funds to operate and without the corruption of being provided funds from huge corporations, a candidate can really distinguish himself from others.
- LO 4.E.5: Analyze whether the Electoral College facilitates or impedes democracy.
The Electoral College impedes democracy because electing officials to their positions is not based on a direct vote but rather on a system that gives a bigger number of votes to the states that have the biggest population. This is causes many candidates to only focus on the big states rather than many small states that have smaller populations. However, it also facilitates democracy because it gives an easier system for citizens to vote while creating set of rules that govern specifically how a president is elected.