Political party differences

By Leanne Pantone
October 10, 2002

Harold William Halbert

Although there are no specifc definitions for democrats and republicans, there are certain tendencies that each party tends to favor or follow. In dealing with major issues, the two groups vary drastically.

On a local level, such differences are not as noticeable, according to republican Pa. State Representative, Carole Rubley. It is in the state and federal levels where the differences between the parties are noticeable.

“Republicans focus more on ways to provide jobs,” Rubley said. “Republicans want to make sure the economy is strong and industry is doing well. There is a greater emphasis on bringing in business and making sure there are long-term, good paying jobs.”

“Historically, the Democratic Party represents the working family,” local politician and democrat, Anthony DiGirolomo, said. “Democrats are better able to work across party lines and bipartisan groups.”

In response to the war that President George W. Bush is proposing against Iraq, both parties reacted differently. “The democrats want to give the inspections a chance and do things through diplomacy,” DiGirolomo said.

Currently, the majority of republicans in office favor war with Iraq. “There is a lot at stake with the oil industry, a main business that republicans want to protect,” DiGirolomo said.

In dealing with other, perhaps less pressing issues, such as the tax policy and social spending, “generally republicans are for maintaining a flat tax,” Dr. James Hedtke, history and political science chair, said. “Democrats are generally for maintaining the tax base and are for progressive taxes, which is the more money you make, the more you pay.”

“The republicans favor balanced budget and decreases in spending. Democrats generally favor maintaining spending levels and don’t mind going outside of the concept of the balanced budget,” Hedtke said.

The Republican Party favors a weak centralized government, with more power given to state and local government, while the Democrat Party favors a strong, centralized federal government.

Concerning equality issues, “Republicans generally favor the ideas of freedom, liberty and equality of opportunity. Democrats are more likely to favor equality in terms of affirmative action and equality based on need,” Hedtke said.

It is important for everyone, especially college students, to be knowledgeable about these issues. In order for their voices to be heard, they must be aware of the issues and the platform of each party, and take part in the political process by voting.

“College students are the leaders of tomorrow. These issues have an effect on them today,” Hedtke said.


 flat tax rate
 anti-gay/lesbian rights
 anti-gun control
 favor big business
 more military spending
 decreases in social spending


 tax rates rise with income
 affirmative action
 pro-gun control
 favor big government
 less military spending
 medical and health for everyone

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Leanne Pantone

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