Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Third Parties

Today we will take a look at some of the third parties involved in the American political system. Although the Democrats and Republicans get the lion's share of media coverage (and therefore votes), several other parties nominate candidates for political office each year. Here are some of them:

  • The America First Party
  • The Constitution Party
  • The Green Party
  • The Libertarian Party
  • The Tea Party*
We'll also look at the two major parties:
  • The Democratic Party
  • The Republican Party
The Tea Party, as we know, has been for the most part embraced by the Republican party. However, it is worth looking at them by themselves due to their recent origins.

You will complete today's assignment in an e-mail to me. The e-mail is worth 20 points.

Part 1
First, use your textbook to respond to the following:
  1. What are the four major functions of a political party?
  2. How have elections changed since the early days of our country?
  3. Which party (or parties) dominated the First Party System? Explain.
Part 2
You have been assigned a specific political party to research today. You may use:
  • The official website for your assigned party
  • Gale Student Resources in Context and other PSM LRC resources
  • Newspapers (The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, etc.)
  • News networks (CNN, MSNBC, etc.)
Stick to these sites unless you receive permission from me to do otherwise.

You have also received a handout with a brief description of each party we are looking at today. Use this as your starting point.

Complete the following in the same e-mail as Part 1:
  1. Read through the descriptions of the parties. Which party (or parties) most align with your personal beliefs? Explain.
  2. Name your assigned party. Copy and paste the web address for its official site.
  3. Have you heard of your party before? Explain where/how.
  4. Are any major political figures associated with your party? Explain.
  5. Describe the origins of your party. Include the link where you found this information.
  6. List and describe 3 major accomplishments of your party. Paste the link where you found this information.
  7. List and describe the party's main issues of concern. You should have approximately 5 or more issues to examine here. Paste the link where you found this information.
  8. Has your party been in the news lately? Is it getting positive coverage? Negative? Explain.
  9. Where does your assigned party fall on the political spectrum? Explain how you can tell.
  10. How has your party performed in past elections? Is it nominating anyone for president in 2012? Is it nominating anyone for other political offices?

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