For this assignment you will examine and compare the 2012 Republican and Democratic Party platforms. Platforms are ratified by each of the parties at their respective nominating conventions every four years. Platforms are significant for at least two reasons.

  • First, the platform is intended to be a statement of the party’s beliefs. By examining the platforms of the parties one can gain an understanding of what each of the parties stand for.
  • Second, research has shown that winning presidential candidates make an effort to convert the policy ideas found in their party’s platform into law. In most cases they are successful in doing so.

Your task is first to examine one domestic policy issue and one foreign policy issue of your choice and second to compare the policy positions of the Republican and Democratic parties as stated in their platforms.

The platforms can be found at the websites for the respective parties:

  • See the contents and then proceed to that section for the party’s stance on that particular issue.
  • Click on subject areas for individual policy items contained in each

Write a 3 – 4 page essay that follows this general format:

  1. An introduction to the meaning and role of a party platform
  • Who writes it?
  • When? When will the next platform be released?
  • Is the President bound by it?
  1. A discussion of your chosen domestic issue.  Be sure to be detailed and clear about the stance of each party. This is a COMPARE and CONTRAST paper, so you should select one party and discuss their position on the issue and then start a new paragraph and discuss the other party’s position on the same issue.  How do they compare?
  2. A discussion of your chosen foreign policy issue.  Again, in depth and clearly delineated by party.
  3. A paragraph for each the domestic and foreign policy issue analyzing the differences and similarities between the two parties on the chosen issues.
  4. A conclusion stating any surprises or revelations found in the process as well as a statement of which party is closer to your own beliefs on these two issues.

In general – IMMIGRATION should NOT be selected as a foreign policy issue.  Foreign policy = dealing with foreign governments. How we manage our borders is a DOMESTIC issue unless it involves agreements with foreign powers

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