Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read chapters 8, 9, and 10 in American Government, watch the video, Episode II – It’s a Free Country, and review your results from the Political Typology Quiz.
Reflect: Political parties mobilize voters to win elections and implement policy goals. Parties use their stated policy goals (i.e., their platforms) as a way to mobilize voter support. Generally, in order to be successful in a two-party system, parties must have policy goals across a broad range of issue areas to appeal to a broad range of voters.
Write: Identify one issue area that you want investigate. Use the assigned resources required for this discussion to gather information about the goals and proposals, in that issue area, of three U.S. political parties – the Democratic and Republican parties and a third party. Summarize each of the three parties’ policy goals in your issue area. Evaluate each party’s goals from two perspectives:
- According on your own political philosophy, values, or ideology based on the Political Typology Quiz results, which party’s position on this issue is closest to your own and which is furthest and why?
- Does each party currently have national popular support on this issue? If so, why, and if not, why not?