Task 5. Ask questions after reading the text. Work in pairs
Political Parties: Essential to Democracy
Task 1. Fill in the gaps:
Political parties are essential to democracy -- simplifying voting choices, organizing the competition, unifying the electorate, bridging the separation of powers and fostering ___________ among branches of government, translating public preferences into policy, and providing loyal opposition.
Political parties help structure voting choice by nominating candidates to run for office. Before the advent of __________ __________, in which voters determine the party nominees, the parties had more control of who ran under their label. States determine the nomination rules. While most states employ the direct primary, some use a caucus or mixed caucus system where more committed partisans have a larger role in the decision of who gets nominated.
American parties are moderate. Bringing factions and interests together, they are broad enough to win the presidency and other elections. Third parties have been notably less successful. One reason for this is our single-member district, winner-take-all election rules. In systems with __________ __________ or multimember districts, there is a greater tendency for more parties and the need to assemble governing coalitions across parties.
American parties have experienced critical elections and realignments. Most political scientists agree the last realignment occurred in 1932. In recent years, there has been divided government and an increase in the number of persons who call themselves Independents. This trend is sometimes called dealignment, but most _____________ are closet partisans who vote for the party toward which they lean.
For the last 50 years it has been routine to have divided government, with one party in control of the presidency and the other in control of one or both houses of __________. Because of the partisan shift in the South toward Republicans, Republicans won control of the White House, often with Democrats controlling one or both houses of Congress. Successful presidents have found ways to cope with divided government and enact important parts of their agenda.
Parties are governed by their national and state ___________, and the focal point of party organization is the national and state party chairs. When the party controls the executive branch of government, the executive (governor or president) usually has a determining say in selecting the party chair.
Task 2. Fill in the gaps with the forms of the verbs:
Task 3. Form the sentences using these words:
1) choices / parties / Political / voting / simplify
2) rules / the / determine / States / nomination
3) occurred / in / last / The / realignment / 1932
4) national / governed / Parties / by / committees / are / their / and / state
5) partisans / Most / closet / are / Independents
Task 4. Discuss the issue “A Personality in Politics” after reading the text below:
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States and first American President to be born in the twentieth century. The former president has many firsts credited to him including the honor of becoming the first president to have won a Pulitzer Prize. He was the only practicing Roman Catholic to be President and the second youngest president of America, being elected to the office at the age of 43. Considered as the most authoritative and charismatic president of the United States, Kennedy was also famous for bearing many similarities with Abraham Lincoln. His effective administration during the Cuban defense crisis, African civil rights and Vietnam War successfully thwart the outbreak of the Third World War making him the most popular and influential President in the America. John F. Kennedy served the U.S. for two years beginning from 1961 until 1963, when he was assassinated during a political trip to Texas.
Task 5. Ask questions after reading the text. Work in pairs.