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Encyclopedia > Caucus

A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. The exact definition varies between many different countries. Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ...

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Caucuses in the United States

Main article: Congressional caucus

In U.S. politics and government, caucus has several distinct but interrelated meanings. A Congressional caucus is a group of members of the United States Congress which meets to pursue common legislative objectives. ... For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ...


A meeting of members of a political party or subgroup to coordinate members' actions, choose group policy, or nominate candidates for various offices. Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ...


The term is frequently used in the media to discuss the caucuses used by some states to select presidential nominees, such as the Iowa caucuses. Along these same lines, in early American history, the Congressional nominating caucus and legislative caucus were influential meetings of congressmen to decide the party's nominee for President and party platforms. Similar caucuses were held by the parties at state level. In the United States of America the President has the executive authority to nominate people to various governmental positions, subject to the approval of Congress. ... Since 1976, the Iowa caucus has been the first indication of which candidate for President of the United States would win the nomination of his or her political party at that partys national convention. ... The Congressional nominating caucus is the name for informal meetings in which American congressmen would agree on who to nominate for the Presidency and Vice Presidency from their political party. ...


The other main context in which the term is used in the media is for subgrouping of elected officials that meet on the basis of shared affinities or ethnicities, usually to effect policy. At the highest level, in Congress and many state legislatures, Democratic and Republican members organize themselves into a caucus (occasionally called a "conference").[1] There can be smaller caucuses in a legislative body, including those which are bipartisan or even bicameral in nature. Of the many Congressional caucuses, one of the best-known is the Congressional Black Caucus, a group of African-American members of Congress. Another prominent example is the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, whose members voice and advance issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, including Puerto Rico. In a different vein, the Congressional Internet Caucus is composed of a bipartisan group of Members who wish to promote the growth and advancement of the Internet. Congressional caucuses such as the Out of Iraq Caucus, are an openly organized tendency or political faction (within the House Democratic Caucus, in this case), and strive to achieve political goals, similar to a European "platform, but generally organized around a single issue." A Congressional caucus is a group of members of the United States Congress which meets to pursue common legislative objectives. ... The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization representing African American members of the Congress of the United States. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Protestantism (chiefly Baptist and Methodist); Roman Catholicism; Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... // About the CHC The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is comprised of 21 Members of Congress of Hispanic descent. ... Hispanic, as used in the United States, is one of several terms used to categorize US citizens, permanent residents and temporary immigrants, whose background hail either from the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America or relating to a Spanish-speaking culture. ... The Out of Iraq Caucus is a Congressional caucus in the United States House of Representatives, created in June 2005. ... Look up Tendency in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Tendency may refer to: Bleeding tendency Central tendency Debs Tendency Direct Action Tendency Fist and Rose Tendency Fourth Internationalist Tendency International Bolshevik Tendency International Marxist Tendency International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency International Socialist Tendency International Spartacist Tendency Irish Militant Tendency Johnson-Forrest Tendency... A political faction is presently an informal grouping of individuals, especially within a political organisation, such as a political party, a trade union, or other group with some kind of political purpose (referred to in this article as the “broader organisation”). It may also be referred to as a power... The House Democratic Caucus, nominates and elects the Democratic Party leadership in the United States House of Representatives. ... Platforms, in European politics, are openly organized political factions within left-wing political parties. ...


Among American left-wing groups, a caucus may be an openly organized tendency or political faction within the group, equivalent to a European "platform." Examples would include the "Debs," "Coalition" and "Unity" Caucuses of the Socialist Party of America in its last years. In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially in the American sense of the word), or with opposition... Look up Tendency in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Tendency may refer to: Bleeding tendency Central tendency Debs Tendency Direct Action Tendency Fist and Rose Tendency Fourth Internationalist Tendency International Bolshevik Tendency International Marxist Tendency International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency International Socialist Tendency International Spartacist Tendency Irish Militant Tendency Johnson-Forrest Tendency... A political faction is presently an informal grouping of individuals, especially within a political organisation, such as a political party, a trade union, or other group with some kind of political purpose (referred to in this article as the “broader organisation”). It may also be referred to as a power... Platforms, in European politics, are openly organized political factions within left-wing political parties. ... The Socialist Party of America (SPA) is a socialist political party in the United States. ...


Caucuses in Commonwealth Nations

In some Commonwealth nations, a caucus is a regular meeting of all Members of Parliament who belong to a political party. In a Westminster System, a party caucus can be quite powerful, as it has the ability to elect or dismiss the party's parliamentary leader. The caucus also determines some matters of policy, parliamentary tactics, and disciplinary measures against disobedient MPs. In some parties (such as the Australian Labor Party or the New Zealand Labour Party), caucus also has the ability to elect MPs to Cabinet when the party is in government. The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2006 Headquarters Marlborough House, London Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Don McKinnon (since 1999)  -  Ransford Smith Establishment  -  as British Commonwealth 1926   -  as the Commonwealth 1949  Membership 53 sovereign states Website thecommonwealth. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... The Houses of Parliament in London The Westminster system is a democratic, parliamentary system of government modeled after that of the United Kingdom system, as used in the Palace of Westminster, the location of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ...


In New Zealand and in the Australian Labor Party, the term "caucus" can be used to refer to the collective group of the MPs themselves, rather than merely the meeting of these MPs. Thus, the (Australian) Federal Parliamentary Labor Party is commonly called "the Labor Caucus." The word was introduced to Australia by King O'Malley, an American-born Labor member of the first federal Parliament in 1901, and presumably entered into New Zealand politics at a similar time. In New Zealand, the term is used by all political parties, but in Australia, it is restricted to the Labor Party. In the Liberal and National parties, and for all parties in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the usual term is the parliamentary party. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... King OMalley King OMalley (July 1858 - 20 December 1953), Australian politician, was one of the more colourful characters of the early federal period of Australian political history. ... 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian conservative political party, which claims to represent rural voters. ...


The usage of caucus in Canada is similar to that of New Zealand; caucus refers to all members of a particular party in Parliament, including senators, or a provincial legislature. In Canada, these members elect among themselves a caucus chair who presides over their meetings and is an important figure when the party is in opposition and an important link between cabinet and the backbench when the party is in government. A province is a territorial unit, almost always a country subdivision. ... A caucus chair is a person who chairs the meetings of a caucus. ... Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. ... A cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ... A backbencher is a Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition. ...


The word can also be used to mean all the deputies in an assembly who come from a certain geographical or other background, for example "the Quebec caucus."


Caucuses in Alternative Dispute Resolution

The term "caucus" is also used in mediation, facilitation and other forms of alternate dispute resolution to describe circumstances when, rather than meeting at a common table, the disputants retreat to a more private setting to process information, agree on negotiation strategy, confer privately with counsel and/or with the mediator, or simply gain "breathing room" after the often emotionally-difficult interactions that can occur in the common area where all parties are present. The degree to which caucuses are used can be a key defining element, and often an identifier, of the mediation model being used; "facilitative mediation", for example, tends to discourage the use of caucuses and tries to keep the parties talking at a single table, while "evaluative mediation" may allow the parties to separate more frequently and rely on the mediator to shuttle information and offers back and forth. This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement. ... A facilitator is someone who skillfully helps a group of people understand their common objectives and plan to achieve them without personally taking any side of the argument. ...


Origin of the term

The origin of the word "caucus" is debated, although it is generally agreed that it came into use in English in the United States. According to some sources, it comes from the Algonquin word for "counsel," cau´-cau-as´u, and was probably introduced into American political usage through the Democratic Party machine in New York known as Tammany Hall, which liked to use Native American terms. Other sources claim that it derived from Medieval Latin caucus, meaning "drinking vessel", and link it to the Boston Club. This article is about the Native American tribe. ... The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. ... NY redirects here. ... Tammany Hall was the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in controlling New York City politics from the 1790s to the 1960s. ... Native Americans are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


References

  1. ^ See, e.g., U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, U.S. House of Representatives Republican Conference; U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus; U.S. Senate Republican Conferece; California State Senate Democratic Caucus

  Results from FactBites:
 
Jonah Goldberg on Congressional Black Caucus on National Review Online (895 words)
The caucus lives in a fantasy in which it is the "conscience of the Congress." Immune to the sort of scrutiny that many other groups receive, it has benefited from the soft bigotry of low expectations for decades.
The Congressional Black Caucus and its sundry enablers are the intellectual heirs of Moynihan's critics.
But the caucus has failed to provide the morally serious leadership — the kind that builds on the historic social conservatism and self-reliance of African Americans —; that is sorely needed.
Iowa caucus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1350 words)
Since 1976, the Iowa caucus has been the first indication of which candidate for President of the United States would win the nomination of his or her political party at that party's national convention.
While the Iowa caucus has been the first such caucus each year in the United States for a century, it came to national attention only in 1976, when obscure Georgia governor Jimmy Carter won the most votes at the Democratic caucus.
The Iowa caucus is less-binding than the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary because Iowan caucus-goers elect delegates to county conventions, who, in turn, elect delegates to district and state conventions where, ultimately, the national convention delegates are selected.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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