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One of the highlights of the political conventions is the passing and publication of the party platform.
The platform spells out the basic philosophy of the party, but doesn't bind the candidate to the document.
Martha Kropf is an associate professor of Political Science at UNC Charlotte. She says the party platform is sort of like the party's resume.
"It does give a discussion of what their core beliefs are, the party," Kropf told WBTV. "These are issues that are very easy to package and communicate to the public."
And they highlight the stark differences between the Democratic Obama - Biden team and the Republican Romney - Ryan team on the issues that people are talking about.
Abortion is one such issue largely because of the reaction to comments made by a Republican house member who is running for the senate.
The Democrat platform will be pro-choice, strongly favoring a woman's right to have an abortion.
Well known choice advocates, like Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards and the National Abortion Rights Action League's (NARAL) Nancy Keenan, will speak at the convention in Charlotte.
The Republican platform will use language similar to the 2008 platform that would call abortion "a fundamental assault on the sanctity of human life," and has no exemption in the case of rape or incest, even though candidate Romney favors those exemptions.
"Things like gay marriage is something that is very different," Kropf added. "Republicans and Democrats are taking very firm stands on this issue."
Democrats endorse same sex marriage, though that has to be passed by delegates in Charlotte before becoming part of the platform.
It will also call for the equal employment act that bars discrimination based on sexual preference.
The Republican platform will likely oppose gay marriage calling it "an assault on the foundations of our society."
How the parties deal with immigration will also be very different, but Kropf says the economy will be the big one.
The Republican platform will likely favor the trickle down, supply side, tax cut formula that encourages growth through private investment, while democrats will stress government intervention and stimulus programs to try and boost the economic recovery.
"The condition of the economy and how people feel in relation to how they felt four years ago and in the past, it's an important issue whether or not you're a person in a condition of economic insecurity," Kropf added.
It is interesting to note that the party platform is non binding. Candidates don't have to follow a single directive, but they are a good indication of the overall path a party will choose in governing the country.