Get Involved: Go Online

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Connect with Political Parties

Inform Yourself

1.
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Learn about third (and fourth and fifth) parties. Most people in the United States are aware of the two major political parties. Many do not know of the dozens of smaller parties that operate on a national scale. Visit the webpage and read the platforms of each of the major and minor parties. Does any of the information about these parties surprise you?
2.
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Compare videos from a range of parties. The Procon website (Link to: ) lists the candidates who ran for office in 2012 from the major two parties and third parties, including their mission statements and platforms. Using the menu on the left side of the screen, you can watch videos of the candidates and hear their speeches. The summary chart shows the candidates’ positions on 61 issues (http://2012election.procon.org/view.source-summary-chart.php?topic=64). Compare the different sides of a certain topic, where does each candidate stand?
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Express Yourself

3.
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Are concerns about today’s major parties valid? When parties began to form in the early 1790s, President Washington was concerned about their potential power. Read his Farewell Address at http://thehistoryprofessor.us/bin/ history/politics.html, and consider what Washington might have said about political parties today. Were his concerns valid? What would the Founders have said about the platforms and roles of the modern parties? Consider posting your opinion on the Facebook page of one of parties listed under “Connect.”
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Connect with Others

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Both the Republican and Democratic national committees have Facebook pages. Dozens of third-party committees do as well. Visit their Facebook pages at: www.facebook.com/#!/electdemocrats, www.facebook.com/#!/GOP, www.facebook.com/#!/GreenPartyUS, or www.facebook.com/#!/libertarians. (There are many others.) Read a few of the posts on each page and consider whether you agree with any of the comments. Do any posts stand out to you in particular?

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