Ap GOV Political Parties Vocab

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Political Party

a group that seeks to elect candidates to public office.

One-Party System

a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election.

Two-Party System

is a system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government.

Multi-Party System

is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally larger than two but lower than ten.


An alliance, especially a temporary one, of people, factions, parties, or nations.


people who are often Independent Affiliated with or loyal to no one political party or organization


of or involving the common people as constituting a fundamental political and economic group; "a grassroots movement for nuclear disarmament

Mugwumps or Progressives

a faction composed of reformers who opposed patronage. (republican party faction of the 1890’s to the 1910’s)

Critical or Realignment Period

periods when a majore, lasting shift occurs in the popular coalition (change in issues and change of voters in parties)supporting one or both parties.

Split Ticket Voting

voting for candidates of different parties for various offices in the same election.

Straight Ticket

voting for candidates who are all of the same party

Office-bloc Ballot

a ballot listing all candidates of a given office under the name of that office; also called a "Massachusetts ballot." (candidates are listed aphabetically)

Party-Column Ballot

a ballot listing all candidates of a given party together under the name of that party; also called an "Indiana" ballot.

National Committee

delegates who run party affairs between nat. conventions.

Ideological Party

a party that values principles stands on issues above all else. (groups of people that hold the same ideas and beliefs about how things are or how they ought to be)

Plurality System

an electoral system in which the winner is the person who gets the most votes, even if he or she does not receive a majority; used in almost all American elections.


the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.


general or widespread agreement

Majority Party

– the largest party or group that votes together in a legislative or deliberative assembly

Single Member District

an electoral district electing only one representative to office


to influence the thinking of legislators or other public officials for or against a specific cause.

Splinter Party

A group, such as a religious sect or political faction, that has broken away from a parent group.(A political party formed by members of an existing one whose views or policies differ from those of the majority.)

Economic Protest Party

a party who is completely focused on the environment and doesn’t think about anything else. (one who express economic disconsent)


A minor or incompetent person placed under the care or protection of a guardian or court.


one of several districts into which a city or town is divided for voting; each contains a separate polling place.


a body of people entitled to vote


currently holding a specified office


a party or group (as within a government) that is often contentious or self-seeking

Third Party

A political party organized as opposition to the existing parties in a two-party system.

Proportional Representation

Representation of all parties in a legislature in proportion to their popular vote.

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