convention

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convention,

in U.S. politics, a gathering of delegates to nominate candidates for elective office and to formulate party policy. They are held at the national, state, and local levels.

Organization and Characteristic Features

The organization of a national convention is the responsibility of the party's national committee, which begins making arrangements for the accommodation of hundreds of delegates and the administration of the convention at least a year in advance. Delegates have been chosen by a variety of methods, including primary elections, party caucuses, state and local conventions, or state and local committee meetings, but the majority are now chosen by primaries. Although the two parties follow the same basic pattern of basing representation on the population of the state and the party's strength within the state, the Democratic party introduced a series of reforms after the 1968 convention that modified its traditional delegate selection system. Quotas, assuring proportional representation for women, youths, and blacks, were used for the 1972 convention but later modified in favor of a general commitment to gender equality and minority representation. Balloting at both the Republican and Democratic conventions is by states. The unit rule, forcing all of a state's votes to be cast by the majority for one candidate, was abolished by the Democrats in 1968; it had been in effect since 1832. Although today the acceptance speech of the nominee is the recognized climax of the convention, it was not until Franklin Delano Roosevelt flew to Chicago to accept the Democratic nomination in 1932 that a nominee accepted the nomination in person.

History

State conventions for nominating candidates were first held in the early 19th cent. The first national convention was held by the Anti-Masonic party in Baltimore in 1831. Formerly the candidates for president and vice president were selected by a party caucus, i.e. a meeting of influential members of Congress, and they favored their colleagues. In 1832 the Democrats nominated Andrew Jackson at a national convention. The Republican party held its first national convention in 1856, when John Frémont was chosen as the presidential candidate.

Candidates were often selected only after many ballots had been taken. This was especially true of the Democratic party, which, until 1936, had required successful nominees to win two thirds of the delegates' votes. Thus, Stephen Douglas was nominated on the 59th ballot in 1860, Woodrow Wilson on the 46th ballot in 1912, and John W. Davis on the 103d ballot in 1924. The difficulty of gaining agreement on a candidate at conventions led to a unique feature of the American political scene: the dark horsedark horse,
in U.S. politics, a person unexpectedly chosen by a major party as a candidate for public office, especially for the presidency. A presidential dark horse is usually chosen at a party national convention and often has acquired only a local or limited reputation at
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—a candidate with little or no formal support before the opening of the convention, who succeeded in gaining the nomination. Since 1960, however, national conventions have tended to ratify front-runner candidates increasingly determined by delegates won in primaries and state caucuses, rather than select from among evenly matched rivals. National political conventions have thus changed from their initial function as nominating mechanisms into mobilizers of party energy for the upcoming campaign.

Bibliography

See P. T. David et al., The Politics of National Party Conventions (rev. ed. 1984); Congressional Quarterly, Guide to U.S. Elections (2d ed. 1985); B. E. Shafer, Bifurcated Politics: Evolution and Reform in the National Party Convention (1988).

convention

  1. any existing regularized social practice or accepted rule or usage. For the most part in sociology, the term is not used in a sense that departs greatly from everyday usage.
  2. in politics specifically, an established precedent in, or expectation of, procedures in political office, e.g. that the prime minister can call an election. Such expectations or conventions are not promulgated as written laws or formally stated rules, and thus are sometimes a matter of interpretation or dispute.
  3. in the US, the political assemblies convened’ to select presidential candidates.

convention

1. US Politics an assembly of delegates of one party to select candidates for office
2. Diplomacy an international agreement second only to a treaty in formality
3. Bridge a bid or play not to be taken at its face value, which one's partner can interpret according to a prearranged bidding system
References in periodicals archive ?
Glen Maxey, a senior party adviser for the Texas Democratic Party, said getting involved in conventions is the best way to begin a political network, take advantage of volunteer opportunities and meet candidates and party officials.
Rather than holding separate precinct conventions, Democrats caucus together with their precincts during the county convention to elect their delegates to the state convention.
can propose the amendment and task state conventions with the
to ratification either by the states legislatures or state conventions.
Of note, the Florida statute was amended in 2000 to state that "Failure to provide consular notification under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations or other bilateral consular conventions shall not be a defense in any criminal proceeding against any foreign national and shall not be cause for the foreign national's discharge from custody.
This article begins with a brief overview of the rights afforded foreign nationals in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Vienna Convention), (1) details the substance and purpose of consular notification and access, summarizes the meaning and impact of the Supreme Court's most recent ruling in this area, provides practical guidance for law enforcement officers regarding the implementation of notification requirements; and concludes with an explanation of why it is important for law enforcement officers at all levels of government to know, understand, and enforce the law with regard to consular notification.
By 1910, Southern Baptists had gone far toward developing a theology, an ethic, a method, and a polity for undertaking denomination-wide stewardship, all on the basis of congregational autonomy, voluntarism, the priesthood of all believers, and cooperation among all the workers, including clergy and laity, congregations, associations, mission boards, auxiliary fund-raising organizations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
At the same time, state conventions led the way toward innovation and administrative restructuring.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and members of the National Soccer Coaches Association, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to the 59th Annual NSCAA Convention.
And, how many large conventions are we going to get to justify this?
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It's important for all DAV and Auxiliary delegates attending our National Convention to obtain proper credentials in order to be seated as voting delegates representing their Department, Chapter or Unit," National Adjutant Arthur H.