What are Political Parties?
It is important for students to know about political parties so that when they reach voting age, they will have some idea as to what it all means. The following is a list of words that will be used in this lesson. When you are finished reading this lesson, copy the words, and see if you can give an answer to each of these words.
1. political party
2. political issues
4. primary election
5. closed primary
8. pressure groups
A political party is a group of people who have similar ideas about our government and how it should be run. In the earlier days, these people thought alike on certain problems that are called political issues
Political parties were started after the constitution was adopted. These political parties had two different views on the political issues. The two men who represented these different views were Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. One of the political issues on which Jefferson and Hamilton disagreed was the amount of power the federal government should have. Jefferson was afraid that the Constitution gave the federal government too much power. He was afraid that if the federal government was too strong, it would take away the rights of the people. Those who agreed with Thomas Jefferson, formed the political party called the Democratic-Republicans.
On the other hand, Alexander Hamilton was not afraid that the federal government had too much power. Those who agreed with Hamilton formed the political party called the Federalists.
Today, people who are running for public offices are known as candidate. These candidates are running either for the Democratic part or the Republican Party. These are the two major political parties in the United States today.
Once every four years, the major political parties hold national conventions. This is the time when candidates for President and Vice President are chosen. The candidates who are running are Democrats and Republicans. There are several candidates that are either Democrats or Republicans. The Republican and the Democratic candidate who wins the votes will be the two candidates that will win for the President’s seat. This is the time when people of both political groups will try to get votes for their party. You will hear ads on T.V. about the two people who are running. You will also see posters and advertisements trying to get voters to come out and vote for the party they want you to vote for. This is what is known as pressure groups. They try hard to get the voters to vote for the candidate of their choice. This does not necessarily mean that just because someone has a preference for a candidate that this candidate will be a good choice for running for office. This is why every voter should learn as much as possible about the candidates who are running for office.
A person cannot vote until he/she registers to vote. When it comes closer to the time for election, there are places where people can register. You have to be an American citizen in order to vote.
This is also a time when you are old enough to vote to try to get as much information as possible in order to know who you would like to be the next President or Vice-President.
Some of the above words were not mentioned in this topic. See if you can find them on your own.
Source: Education Information for Teachers