CE 5a & 5B

CE 5a & 5B
Functions of political parties & comparing
similarities and differences between
political parties
Essential Question?
•What roles do political parties
play in the American political
Functions of Political Parties
• Recruiting and nominating candidates
–Example: Finding qualified people to
run for office.
• Educating the electorate about campaign issues
–Example: Issue based advertising in the media.
• Helping candidates win elections
–Example: Canvassing (going door to
• Monitoring actions of officeholders
(acting as a watch dog).
–Example: Keeping a voting record
of how a candidate voted in
Essential Understanding
• Political parties play a key role in
government and provide opportunities for
citizens to participate in the political
Comparing the similarities and
differences between parties
Essential Questions?
• How are the two major political parties
similar, and how do they differ?
• How do third parties differ from the two
major parties?
Watch the Brainpop video and CNN Explain it! Fill in your
Venn Diagram with as much information as you can!
…but what goes in the middle???
• It often seems that the two major parties have nothing in
common with all the bickering they do, but they are actually
trying to accomplish the same things!
• 1. Organize to win elections
• 2. Influence public policies
• 3. Reflect both liberal and conservative views
• 4. Define themselves in a way that wins majority support by
appealing to the political center
And then there were three…
What is a third party?
-Any party that is not the Republicans or Democrats
What do they do?
-Introduce new ideas and/or press for a particular issue
-Example: The Green Party’s main concern is the environment
Third Parties often revolve around a political personality
-Example: Theodore Roosevelt created the “Bull Moose” party
Sometimes third parties will swing the election
-Example: Teddy Roosevelt left the Republican party and took
votes away from President Taft, allowing Woodrow Wilson to win.
Essential Understandings
• A two-party system characterizes the American
political process.
• Although third parties rarely win elections,
they can play an important role in public
Where do you stand???
• Watch Brainpop – Political Beliefs
• Take the ideological survey and complete the
handout for homework.
–Make sure to answer all parts of the
homework for full credit!

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