1: Freedom, Order or Equality? 2006
Chap. 2: Majoritarian or Pluralist Democracy? 2002
Chap. 3: Constitution 2002
Chap. 4: Federalism 2002
Chap. 5: Public Opinion & Political Socialization 2002, 2008
Chap. 6: Media 2002
Chap. 7: Participation and Voting 2002
Chap. 8: Political Parties 2002
Chap. 9: Nominations, Elections & Campaigns 2002
Chap. 10: Interest Groups 2002
Chap. 11: Congress2002, 2009
Chap. 12: The Presidency2002
Chap. 13: The Bureaucracy2002
Chap. 14: The Courts 2002
? The Globalization of American Governmento Governments are posed these questions
? Which is better: to live under a government that allows individuals complete freedom to do whatever they please or to live under one that enforces strict law and order?
? Which is better: to let all citizens keep the same share of their income for to tax wealthier people at a higher rate to fund programs for poorer people?
o Government (standard definition) – the legitimate use of force within a specified geographical boundaries to control human behavior
o National sovereignty – each national government has the right to govern its people as it wishes, without interference from other nations
o Globalization – the increasing interdependence of citizens and nations across the world? The purposes of Government
? Maintaining order - Establishing the rule of law to preserve life and protect property
? Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), Wrote Leviathan, Described life without government as a “state of nature” , Anarchyo Hobbes believed that a single ruler, or sovereign, must possess unquestioned authority to guarantee the safety of the weak, to protect them from the attacks of the strong.
o He believed that complete obedience to Leviathan’s strict laws was a small price to pay for the security of living in a civil society.
? A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Governmento His conception of life in the cruel state of nature led him to view government primarily as a means of guaranteeing people’s survival.? John Locke (1632- 1704)o English philosopher who wrote Two Treatises on Government (1690)? Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)
? Wrote that the protection of life, liberty, and property was the basic objective of government
? This phrase was closely paralleled in the Declaration of the Independence with the phrase “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”
? Locke’s views on unalienable rights became linked with safeguards for individual liberties in the doctrine of liberalismo Rejected the private ownership of property used in the production of goods or services? Providing Public Goods
o His ideas form the base of communism
? Communism gives ownership of all land and productive facilities to the people to the government
? The government owns EVERYTHING
? Public Goods – benefits and services, such as parks and sanitation, that benefit all citizens but are not likely to be produced voluntarily by individuals
? They tax citizens to raise money to spend on public goods ex: education, sanitation, and parks
? Promoting Equality
? Issue is government’s role in redistributing income
? Taking from the rich to give to the needy has become a legitimate function of most governments
? There are other ways to promote equality such as non-segregation, and allowing “civil union” which allows same-sex marriages
o The cost of maintaining order and promoting equality usually means a tradeoff on basic values? Concepts that identify the values pursued by government:
o Concept – a generalized idea of a set of items or thoughts
o There are five concepts that deal with the fundamental issues of what government tires to do and how it decides to do it
o FreedomJanda ch. 1: Freedom, Order or Equality?
? Freedom is used in two senses “freedom of” and “freedom from”
? Freedom of – the absence of constraints on behavioro Freedom is synonymous with liberty? Freedom from – freedom from fear and wanto Often symbolizes the fight against exploitation and oppression? Civil Rights movement of 1960so Often called “equality”o Order
? Viewed in two senses
? Narrow, Preserving life and protecting property
? Broader, Preserving social order
? Police power – the authority of a government to maintain order and safeguard citizens’ health, morals, safety, and welfare
? The extent to which government should use this authority is a topic of ongoing debate in the United States
? Order in this book encompasses all three aspects: preserving life, protecting property, and maintaining traditional patterns of social relationships
? Equality is used in different senses depending on the situation
? Political Equality – equality in political decision makingo Each citizen has one and only one vote? Social Equality – equality in wealth, education, and statuso This is necessary for TRUE political equality? Providing equal opportunities
o Two routes to promoting social equality
? Deeply engrained in American cultureo Public schools and libraries are available to all? Ensuring equal outcomes
? It is not enough that governments provide people with equal opportunities; they must also design policies that redistribute wealth and status so that economic and social equality are actually achieved.
? Rights – the benefits of government to which every citizen is entitled
? Every citizen is entitled to certain benefits of government
? Two Dilemmas of Government
o The Original Dilemma: Freedom Versus Order
? How much freedom must a citizen surrender to government?
? Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778)o Problem of devising a proper government “is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain free as before.? The original purpose of government was to protect life and property, to make citizens safe from violence.
o The Modern Dilemma: Freedom vs. Equality
? The two values clash when governments enact policies to promote social equality.
? 1960s – Equal Pay Acto Required employers to pay men and women the same rate for equal work.? 1970s – Busing of schoolchildreno The courts ordered a fair distribution of blacks and whites in public schools.? This was motivated by the concern over educational equality, but it impaired freedom of choice.
? 1980s – Pay Equityo Equal pay for comparable work.? Women had to be paid at a rate equal to men’s even if they had different jobs, providing the women’s jobs were of comparable worth.
? 1990s – 1990 Americans With Disabilities Acto Congress prohibited discrimination within employment, public services, and public accommodations on the basis of a physical or mental disability.? These examples illustrate the challenge of using government power to promote equality.
? When forced to choose between the two, Americans are far more likely to choose freedom over equality than are people in other countries.
? Ideology and the Scope of Governmento Political Ideology – a consistent set of values and beliefs about the proper purpose and scope of government
o How far should the government go to maintain order, provide
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I. The Theory of Democratic Government
A. Autocracy - one individual has the power to make all important decisions
1. At one extreme of continuum
B. Oligarchy - power is concentrated in the hands of a few people
1. Military leaders are often the rulers in these countries
II. The meanings and symbolism of democracy
A. Demagogue - refers to a politician who appeals to and often deceives the masses by
manipulating their emotions and prejudices.
B. Two major schools of thought about what constitutes democracy
1. Democracy is a form of government
a. emphasizes the procedures that enable the people to govern.
1. Discuss issues, voting in elections, and running for public office
2. Procedural approach focuses on how decisions are made
2. Democracy in the substance of government policies
a. Freedom of religion and the provision for human needs
b. Substantive approach is concerned with what government does
III. Procedural view of democracy
A. Three questions the principles address
1. Who should participate in decision making?
2. How much should each participant's vote count?
3. How many votes are needed to reach a decision?
B. Universal participation - all adults should participate in government decision making
1. Everyone within the boundaries of the political community should be allowed to
C. Political equality - all votes should be counted equally
D. Majority Rule - group should decide to what the majority of its participants (50% plus
one person) wants to do.
1. Plurality Rule - if participants divide over more than two alternatives and none
receives a simple majority, the group does what the most participants want.
IV. Direct vs. Indirect Democracy
A. Participating Democracy - all members of the group meet to make decisions, observing
political equality and majority rule.
1. Commonly rejected on grounds that in large complex societies we need professional,
full-time government officials to study problems, formulate solutions, and
B. Representative Democracy - citizens participate in government by electing public
officials to make decisions on their behalf.
1. Responsiveness - elected representatives should respond to public opinion.
a. Following the general contours of public opinion in formulating complex
pieces of legislation
C. Four Principles of Procedural Democracy
1. Universal participation
2. Political participation
3. Majority rule
4. Government responsiveness to public opinion
V. The Substantive View of Democracy
A. Focuses on the substance of government policies, not on the procedures followed in
making those policies.
1. Certain principles must be incorporated into government policies.
B. Government policies should guarantee civil liberties
1. Freedom of behavior
a. Freedom of religion, expression
2. Civil rights
a. Powers or privileges that government may not arbitrarily deny to individuals
VI. Procedural Democracy vs. Substantive Democracy
A. Problem with substantive view
1. Doesn't provide clear, precise criteria that allows us to determine whether a
government is democratic
B. Problem with procedural view
1. Although it presents specific criteria for democratic gov't, those criteria can
produce undesirable social policies, such as those that prey on minorities.
2. Minority rights - all citizens are entitled to certain things that cannot be
denied by the majority
3. Protect minority rights by limiting the principle of majority rule
a. Require 2/3 majority
VII. Institutional Models of Democracy
A. Majoritarian model - relies on our intuitive, elemental notion of what is fair
1. Mechanisms that allow people to participate directly
a. Citizens expected to control their representatives behavior by choosing
wisely and by reelecting or voting out public officials according to their
b. Means for deciding government policies
1. Referendum - election on a policy issue
2. Critics say that Americans are not knowledgeable enough for Majoritarian
democracy to work
a. Only 22% of national sample of votes follow what's going on in government
3. Deliberate democracy - emphasizes reasoned and full debate by those who immerse
themselves in the substance of public policy problems
B. Pluralist Democracy
1. Pluralism-modern society consists of innumerable groups that share economic,
religious, ethnic, or cultural interests.
2. Interest group-organized group seeks to influence government policy.
3. Interprets "government by the people" to mean gov't by people operating through
competing interest groups.
4. Democracy exists when many organizations operate separately from the gov't, press
their interests on the gov't, and even challenge the gov't.
5. 2 major mechanisms
a. Decentralized structure
1. provides ready access to public officials and that is open to hearing
the groups arguments for or against gov't policies.
b. Interest groups
c. Majoritarian model vs. Pluralist model
1. Majoritarian- mass public controls gov't actions.
a. relies on electoral mechanisms
2. Pluralism- requires specialized knowledge only from groups of citizens
a. seeks to limit majority action so that interest groups can be
d. Undemocratic model: Elite theory
1. The view that a small group makes the most important gov't decisions.
2. The U.S. is an oligarchy
e. Elite theory vs. Pluralist theory
1. Pluralist theory doesn't define gov't conflict in terms of minority
vs. majority, instead it sees many different interest vying with one
another in each policy area.
2. Pluralist democracy makes a virtue of the struggle between competing
VIII. Democracy and Globalization
A. Establishing democracies
1. True democracy- countries that meet criteria for a procedural democracy (Universal
participation, political equality, majority rule and gov't responsiveness to
public opinion) and have established substantive policies supporting civil
2. Democratization- transition from authoritarian government to a democracy
a. Ethnic and religious conflict complicates efforts because antagonisms can
run so deep that opposing groups do not want to grant political legitimacy
to each other.
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I. The Revolutionary Roots of the Constitution
A. Freedom in Colonial America
1. Landowners could control and transport their property at will.
2. No compulsory payments to support an established church.
3. No ceiling on wages.
4. No guilds of exclusive professional associations.
5. Almost complete freedom of speech, press, and assembly.
B. Road to Revolution
1. Colonists didn't want to be taxed by a distant government in which they had no representation.
2. Sons of Liberty - destroyed taxed items and forced the official stamp distributors to resign.
3. Daughters of Liberty - spun homespun cloth and encouraged the elimination of British cloth from colonial markets.
4. Boston Tea Party - mob boarded three ships and emptied 342 chests of valuable tea into Boston Harbor.
5. First Continental Congress - met in Philadelphia in 1774 to restore harmony between Great Britain and the American colonies.
C. Revolutionary Action
1. June 7, 1776 - Continental Congress met to resolve "that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is and ought to be, totally dissolved.
D. The Declaration of Independence
1. People have God-given, or natural rights that are inalienable; they cannot be taken away by any government.
2. Social Contract Theory - people agree to establish rulers for certain purposes, but they have the right to resist or remove rulers who violate those purposes.
3. People have a right to revolt if they determine that a government is denying them their legitimate rights.
II. From Revolution to Confederation
A. Republic - government without a monarch, whose power is exercised by representatives who are responsible to democracy.
B. The Articles of Confederation - the compact among the 13 original colonies that established the first government of the U.S. for more than a year.
1. Confederation - loose association of individual states that agree to cooperate on specified matters.
2. Four Reasons the Articles Failed
a. Didn't give the national government the power to tax.
b. Made no provision for an independent leadership position to direct the government.
c. Didn't allow the national government to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.
d. Couldn't be amended without the unanimous agreement of the congress and the assent of all the state legislatures.
III. From Confederation to Constitution
A. Order was breaking down under the Articles of Confederation.
B. Congress's inability to confront Shay's rebellion was evidence that a stronger national
government was necessary to preserve order and property.
C. Virginia Plan - set of proposals for a new government. Included separation of the
government into three branches, division of the legislature into two houses, and proportional representation in the legislature.
1. Legislative Branch - making laws.
2. Executive Branch - enforcing laws.
3. Judicial Branch - interpreting laws.
D. The New Jersey Plan - alternative set of resolutions to preserve the spirit of the Articles
of Confederation by amending rather than replacing them.
E. The Great Compromise - bicameral legislature in which the House of Representatives
would be apportioned according to population and the states would be represented equally in the Senate.
1. Small states got their equal representation, the big states got their proportional representation.
F. Compromise on the Presidency
1. Electoral college - group of electors would be chosen for the sole purpose of
selecting the president.
a. Eliminated the fear of a popular vote for president.
IV. The Final Product
A. The basic principles
1. Republicanism - form of government in which power resides in the people and is
exercised by their elected representatives.
2. Federalism - division of power between a central government and regional units.
3. Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances
a. Separation of Powers - assignment of the lawmaking, law enforcing, and law
interpreting functions to separate branches of government.
b. Checks and Balances - means of giving each branch of government some
scrutiny of and control over the other branches.
4. The Articles of the Constitution
a. The Legislative Article
1. Enumerated powers - Congress can exercise only the powers that the Constitution assigns it.
2. Necessary and proper clause - gives Congress the means to execute the enumerated powers.
a. Implied powers - those powers that Congress needs to execute its numerated powers.
b. The Executive Article
1. Establishes the president's term of office, procedure for electing the president through the Electoral College, the qualifications for becoming president and the president's duties and powers.
c. The Judicial Article - created a system of federal courts separate from state courts.
1. Judicial review - authority to invalidate congressional and presidential actions.
a. The court does not explicitly have this power.
d. The Remaining Articles
1. Article IV - requires that the judicial acts and criminal warrants of each state
be honored in all other states, and it forbids against discrimination against citizens of one state by another.
2. Article V - specifies the methods for amending the Constitution.
3. Article VI
a. Supremacy clause - asserts that national laws, take precedence over state
and local laws when they conflict.
4. Article VII - describes the ratification process, stipulating that approval by
conventions in nine states would be necessary for the Constitution to take effect.
B. The Framers' motives
1. The inability of the national or state governments to maintain order under the loose structure of the Articles of the Confederation.
C. The Slavery Issue
1. In apportioning representation in the House of Representatives and assessing direct
taxes, the population of each state was to be determined by adding "the whole number of free persons" and "3/5 of all other persons".
V. Selling the Constitution
A. The Federalist Papers
1. The Federalist: A commentary on the Constitution of the U.S. - defended the Constitution
a. Best commentary we have on the meaning of the Constitution.
2. Federalist No. 10 - Constitution was designed to break and control the violence of faction.
a. Purpose was to demonstrate that the proposed government wasn't likely to be eliminated by any faction.
3. Federalist No. 51 - separation of power and checks and balances would control efforts at tyranny from any source.
B. A Concession: The Bill of Rights
1. Bill of Rights - restrain the national government from tampering with fundamental
rights and civil liberties and and emphasize the limited character of the national government's power.
1. Constitution took effect on June 21, 1788.
VI. Constitutional Change
A. The Formal Amendment Process
1. Two stages to Amendment Process
1. Proposed by a 2/3 vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
2. National Convention summoned by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures.
1. By a vote of the legislatures of 3/4 of the states.
2. By a vote of constitutional conventions held in 3/4 of the states.
c. Requires extraordinary majorities - 2/3 and 3/4
B. Interpretation by the courts
a. Exercise of judicial review forces the courts to interpret the constitution
1. Court's main check on the other branches of government.
b. Guidelines judges should use
1. Must realize that the usage and meaning of many words here changed during the past 200 years.
2. Must consider the original intent of the framers.
c. Political practice
1. Has altered the distribution of power without changes in the Constitution.
VII. An Evaluation of the Constitution
A. Freedom, Order and Equality in the Constitution
1. Federal government - strong enough to maintain order but not so strong that it
could dominate the states or infringe on individual freedoms.
2. Constitution provides judicious balance between order and freedom, but not equality.
B. The Constitution and Models of Democracy
1. Pluralist Model - The Constitution best suits this model.
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I.Theories of Federalism
A.Federalism- two or more gov’ts exercise power and authority over the same people and the same territory.
i.The power to coin money belongs to the national gov’t, but the power to
grant divorces remains a state prerogative.
ii.Although federalism offers an approach that can unify diverse people
into a single nation, it also retains elements that can lead to national disunity.
II.Representations of American Federalism
i.4 essential parts
1.The national gov’t rules by enumerated powers only
2.The national gov’t has a limited set of constitutional purposes.
3.Each gov’t unit is sovereign within its sphere.
4.The relationship between nations and states is best characterized by
tension rather than cooperation.
ii.States’ rights- a concept that reserves to the states all rights not
specifically conferred on the national gov’t by the Constitution.
iii.Implied powers- Those powers that Congress requires in order to
execute its enumerated powers.
iv.Layer-cake federalism- the powers and functions of the national and
state gov’ts are as separate as the layers of a cake.
1. Each gov’t is supreme in its own layer, its own sphere of action;
the two layers are distinct, and the dimensions of each layer are fixed by the Constitution.
B.Cooperative Federalism- acknowledges the increasing overlap between state and national functions and rejects the idea of separate spheres, or layers, for the states and national gov’t.
1.national and state agencies typically undertake gov’t functions
jointly rather than exclusively.
2.Nation and states routinely share power.
3.Power is not concentrated at any gov’t level or in any agency.
a.The fragmentation of responsibilities gives people and groups
access to many centers of influence.
ii.Marble cake- National and state gov’ts do not act in separate spheres;
they are intermingled in vertical and diagonal strands and swirls. Their
functions are mixed in the American federal system.
iii.Elastic clause- Gives Congress the power to “make all Laws which
shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers”
III.The Dynamics of Federalism
A.Legislation and the Elastic Clause
i.The role of the national gov’t has grown as it has responded to needs
and demands that state and local gov’ts were unwilling or unable to meet.
ii.Legislation is one prod the national gov’t has used to achieve goals at the state level.
1.The Voting Rights Act of 1965
a.The act gives the national gov’t the power to decide whether
individuals are qualified to vote and requires that qualified individuals be
allowed to vote in all elections, including primaries and national, state, and local elections.
i.The Commerce Clause- The 3rd clause of Article 1, Section 8, of the
Constitution, which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states.
1.United States v. Lopez- held that Congress exceeded its authority
under the commerce clause when it enacted a law in 1990 banning the possession
of a gun in or near a school.
ii.The 11th Amendment: The Umpire Strikes Back
1.Congress has no authority to deny the states immunity from lawsuits in the federal court.
a.Means that the states will be less accountable to people who believe they have been wronged by a state gov’t in connection with such matters as water pollution or copyright infringement.
iii.The Brady Bill and the Limits of National Gov’t Authority
1.1993- a modest gun-control measure.
2.The bill mandated the creation by November 1998 of a national system
to check the background of prospective gun buyers, to weed out, among others,
convicted felons and the mentally ill.
3.Printz v. United States- Court concluded that Congress could not
require local officials to implement a regulatory scheme imposed by the national gov’t.
C.Grants-in-Aid- money paid by one level of gov’t to another level of gov’t,
to be spent for a given purpose.
i.Two general forms.
1.Categorical grants- target specific purposes, and restrictions on
their use typically leave the recipient gov’t relatively little discretion.
a.Formula grants- distributed according to a particular formula,
which specifies who is eligible for the grant and how much each eligible
applicant will receive.
b.Project grants- awarded on the basis of competitive applications.
2.Block grants- allow recipient considerable freedom to decide how to
allocate the money to individual programs.
IV.The Developing Concept of Federalism
A.McCulloch v. Maryland- Court was asked to decide whether Congress had the
power to establish a national bank and, if so, whether states had the power to
tax that bank.
i.Court conceded that Congress had only the powers conferred on it by the
Constitution, which nowhere mentioned banks. However, Article 1 granted
Congress the authority to enact all laws “necessary and proper” to the
execution of Congress’s enumerated powers.
ii.The Court clearly agreed that Congress had the power to charter a bank.
iii.States could not tax the national gov’t because the powers of the
national gov’t came not from the states but from the people.
B.States’ Rights and Dual Federalism
i.Dred Scott decision (1857)- Court decided that Congress had no power
to prohibit slavery in the territories.
ii.Real issue of Civil War was the character of the federal union, of
iii.Nullification- The idea that a state could declare a particular action
of the national gov’t null and void.
C.The New Deal and its Consequences
i.The problems of the Great Depression proved too extensive for either
state gov’ts or private businesses to handle.
ii.Under President Franklin Roosevelt Congress enacted various emergency
relief programs o stimulate economic activity and help the unemployed.
1.The national gov’t offered money to support state relief efforts.
2.To receive these funds, states were usually required to provide
administrative supervision or to contribute some money of their own.
3.The legitimate welfare, broadly defined, became a legitimate
concern of the national gov’t.
4.Congress simply used its constitutional powers to suit the
V.The Revival of Federalism
A.An evolving federalism
i.Nixon’s New Federalism called for combining and reformulating
categorical grants into block grants.
ii.Block grants were seen as a way to redress the imbalance of power
between Washington nd the states and localities.
iii.In 1976, Jimmy Carter campaigned for president as aan outsider who
promised to reduce the size and cost of the national gov’t.
iv.Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, charging that the federal system had
been bent out of shape. Reagan promised a “new New Federalism” that would
restore a proper constitutional relationship among the national, state, and
v.Reagan’s commitment to reducing federal taxes and spending meant that
the states would have to foot an increasing shate of the bill for gov’t services.
vi.In June 1999, the Supreme Court embraced the idea of dual federalism,
adjusting the balance of power in favor of the states. The Court in effect
immunized state gov’ts from lawsuits brought by individuals claiming state
violations of national laws.
B.Preemption: The Instrument of Federalism
i.Preemption is the power of Congress to enact laws that have the
national gov’t assume total or partial responsibility for a state gov’t function.
1.By 1988, Congress had preempted the power of states to legislate in
certain areas 350 times, and 186 of these acts were passed after 1970.
2.The Nutritional Labeling and Education Act of 1990- The national
gov’t established food labeling standard and simultaneously stripped the states
of their power to impose food labeling requirements.
ii.Mandates and Restraints- Congressional preemption statutes infringe on
state powers in tow ways.
1.Mandate- a requirement that a state undertake an activity or provide
a service, in keeping with minimum national standards.
a.Medicaid program- the national gov’t requires states to provide
their low-income citizens with access to some minimal level of health care.
2.Restraint- forbids state gov’t from exercising a certain power.
a.Bus regulation- to ensure bus service to small and remote
communities, in the past some states would condition the issuance of s
franchises on bus operators’ agreeing to serve such communities, even if the
routes lost money.
b.1982, Congress passed the Bus Reform Act, which forbade the
states from imposing such conditions.
iii.Constraining Unfunded Mandates-State and local officials have long
voiced strong objections to the national gov’ts practice of imposing
requirements on the states w/out providing the financial support needed to
1.Americans With Disabilities Act (1990)- required all municipal golf
courses to provide a spot for disabled golfers to get in and out of bunkers,
but the national gov’t did not foot the bill for the changes it mandated.
2.Unfunded Mandates Relief Act of 1995- requires the Congressional
Budget Office to prepare cost estimates of any proposed national legislation
that would impose more than $50 million a year in costs on state and local
gov’ts or more than $100 million a year in costs on private business.
VI.Other Governments in the Federal System
A.Types of Local Gov’ts
i.Municipal gov’t- the gov’ts of cities and towns.
ii.County gov’t- The gov’t unit that administers a county.
iii.School district- which is responsible for administering local
elementary and secondary educational programs.
iv.Special districts- gov’t units created to perform particular
functions, typically when those functions spill across ordinary jurisdictional
v.Home rule- the right to enact and enforce legislation in certain
1.Gives cities a measure of self-government and freedom of action.
B.So Many Govt’s: Advantages and Disadvantages
i.One benefit of localizing gov’t is that it brings gov’t closer to the
people; it gives them an opportunity to participate in the political process,
to have a direct influence on policy.
ii.Studies have shown that peole are much less likely to vote in local
elections than national elections.
iii.The fragmentation of powers, functions, and responsibilities among
national, state, and local gov’t makes gov’t as a whole seem complicated and
hence incomprehensible and inaccessible to ordinary people.
iv.One potential benefit of having many gov’ts is that they enable the
country to experiment with new policies on a small scale.
v.The large number of gov’ts also make it possible for gov’t to respond
to the diversity of conditions in different parts of the country.
vi.Smaller political untis are better able to respond to particular local
conditions and can generally do so more quickly than larger units.
vii.On the other hand, smaller units may not be able to muster the economic
resources to meet some challenges.
VII.Federalism and Globalization
A.Nation-state- is a country which defined and recognized boundaries whose
citizens have common characteristics, such as race, religion, customs, and
B.The creation of a European super state -either in a loose confederation or
in a binding federation- demonstrates the potential for federalism to overcome
long-held religious, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural divisions.
VIII.Contemporary Federalism and the Dilemmas of Democracy
A.Federalism of the Reagan-Bush variety was used as a tool for cutting the
national budget by offering less money to the states.
B.In 1990 and 1991, 37 states raised one or more major taxes.
C.At a time when a conservative national gov’t put little emphasis on the
value of equality, state gov’ts did more to embrace it.
D.Conservatives thought that the value of freedom would be emphasized if
more matters were left to the states.
E.Since the 1970’s, state gov’ts have changed.
i.Their legislatures have become more professional.
ii.Governors have proved willing to support major programs to enhance the
skills of their state’s work force, to promote research and development, and to
subsidize new industries.
iii.State gov’ts have become big gov’ts themselves.
F.To the surprise of liberals, states are now willing to set higher standards than the national gov’t.
G.President Clinton was sympathetic to states burdened by new and costly mandates and restraints.
IX.Federalism and Pluralism
A.Each of the two competing theories of federalism supports pluralism, but
in somewhat different ways.
i.Dual federalism aims to decentralize gov’t, to shift power to the states.
ii.Cooperative federalism is perfectly willing to override local standards
for a national standard in the interests of promoting equality.
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• Public Opinion- is simply the collective attitudes of the citizens on a given issue of question
o Public Opinion has several Characteristics-
• It has been said that “Surveys produce just what democracy is supposed to produce- equal representation of all citizens”? The publics attitudes toward a given government policy can vary over time, often dramaticallyo Majoritarian Model- thinks that the government should do what a majority of the public wants- 70% of Americans think that the views of majority should have “ a great deal” of influence on the decisions of politicians
? Public Opinion places boundaries on allowable types of public policy
? If asked by pollsters, citizens are willing to register opinions on matters outside their expertise
? Governments tend to respond to public opinion
? The Government sometimes does not do what the people want? Assumes that a majority of the people holds clear, consistent opinions on government policyo Pluralist Model- they argue that the public as a whole seldom demonstrates clear; consistent opinions on the day-to-day issues of government but at the same time pluralist recognize that sub groups within the public do express public opinions on specific matter- often and vigorously? Assumes that the public is often uninformed and ambivalent about specific issues and opinion polls frequently support that claim-
o The results of public opinion are often displayed in graphs- the height of the columns indicates the percentage of those polled who gave each response, identified along the baseline. The shape of the opinion distribution depicts the pattern of all responses when counted and plotted- the most frequent response ( “favor”) is called the mode – this produces a prominent “hump” in the skewed distribution- and its right side are those who (“oppose”) and its called tail• Stability Of Distribution
o Three patterns of distribution are :? Skewed- an asymmetrical but generally bell-shaped distribution (of opinions); it is mode, or most frequent response, lies off to one side
? Bimodal- a distribution (of opinions) that shows two responses being chosen about as frequently as each other
? Normal- a symmetrical bell-shaped distribution (of opinions) centered on a single mode, or most frequent response
• Political Socialization-o Stable Distribution- is a distribution (of opinions) that shows little change over time? When different questions on the same issue produce similar distributions of opinion, the underlying attitudes are stable.
? When the same question ( or virtually the same question) produces significantly different responses over time, an actual shift in public opinion probably has occurred
? In trying to explain how political opinions are formed and how they change, political scientists cite the process of political socialization, the influence of cultural factors, and the interplay of ideology
o Political Socialization- is the complex process by which people acquire their political values-• The primary principle – what is learned first is learned best? Scholars of political socialization place great emphasis on early learning- fundamental principles that characterize early learning:
? Family-• Exposure, communication, and receptivity are highest in parent-child relationships-
o Learned range of values that shape their opinions-• One of the most politically important things that many children learn from their parents is Party Identification? Social, moral, religious, economic, and politicalo When parents are interested in politics and maintain a favorable home environment for studying public affairs, they influence their children to become politically interested and informed
o Most parents care a great deal more about their religion than about their politics, so they are more deliberate about exposing their children to religion• Schools have an influence on political learning that is equal to or greater than that of parents
o Religious institutions recognize the value of socialization; they offer activities and meetings that reinforce parental guidance? This leaves counterinfluence of politics in schools and communities
o Elementary Schools – prepare children in different ways to accept the social order• The community and Peers are different but usually overlap- the makeup of a community has a lot to do with how the political opinions of its members are formed? It introduces authority figures outside of the family
? In elementary they teach the nation’s slogans and symbols and stress the norms of group behavior and democratic decision making: respecting the opinions of others, voting for class officers
? Much of this early learning is indoctrination more than education
? High schools intend to build “good citizens” by doing activities such as field trip to political places.
? Community and Peers-
o Homogenous Communities- those whose members are similar in ethnicity, race, religion, or occupation- can exert strong pressures on both children and adults to conform to the dominant attitude-• Peer groups assume a greater importance into adult hood which promote political awareness, and developing political opinions? Communities made up of one ethnic group or religion may also voice negative attitudes about other groupso Peer groups sometimes provide a defense against community pressures? Adolescent peer groups are particularly effective protection against parental pressures.o Continuing Socialization- continues throughout life-
? At a college level, peer groups influence on political attitudes often grows substantially, sometimes fed by new information that clashes with parental beliefs.
o Education- increases people's awareness and understanding of political issues.• From Values to Ideology-? People with more education tend to favor freedom over equality.o Income- wealth is consistently linked to opinions favoring a limited government role in promoting order and equality.
? The higher their level of education, the less likely respondents were to support government-guaranteed jobs and living standards.? Those with higher income are more likely to favor personal choice in abortion and to oppose government guarantees of employment and living conditions.- the groups with more education and higher income favor freedomo Region- For nearly a hundred years after the Civil War, regional differences continued to affect American politics.? Northeast- thought to control the purse strings of capitalismo Race and Ethnicity-
? Midwest- was long regarded as the stronghold of isolationism in foreign affairs.
? South- was virtually a one-party region, almost completely Democratic.
? West- pioneered its own mixture of progressive politics.
? Regional effects on public opinion are weaker than the effects of most other socioeconomic factors.? Old ethnicity- Creates an older outlook on the people comprising America's "melting pot" with focus on religion and country of origin.o Religion-
? New ethnicity- Creates a newer outlook on the people comprising America's "melting pot” with focus on race.
? Socioeconomic status- The position in society, based on a combination of education, occupational status, and income.? Today almost 60% of the population are Protestant, about 25% are Catholic, only about 2% Jewish, and about 15% deny any religious affiliation or choose some other faith.o Gender-
• Protestants were more conservative than Catholics.
• Catholics tended to be more conservative than Jews.
• Religiosity has little effect on attitudes about economic equality but a powerful influence on attitudes about social order.? Men and women differ with respect to their political opinions on a broad array of social and political issues
• Since gaining the right to vote with the passage of the nineteenth amendment in 1919, women have been mobilized by the major political parties.
• Women tend to identify with the democratic party more than men do
• Women are much more likely than men to favor government actions to promote equality.
o The Degree of Ideological Thinking in Public Opinion• Two themes run through people's minds when they are asked to describe liberals and conservatives.? To what degree do people’s opinions on specific issues reflect their explicit political ideology?• Ideology- the set of values and beliefs they hold about the purpose and scope of government
o Ideology influences public opinion on specific issues; they have much less consensus on the extent to which people think explicitly in ideological terms
o Public ideological thinking cannot be categorized adequately in conventional liberal-conservative terms• Ideological labels are technical terms used in analyzing politicso The Quality of Ideological Thinking in Public Opinion-
• The tendency to use ideological terms in discussing poltics grows with increased education which helps people understand political issues and relate them to one another
• True ideologues hold a consistent set of values and beliefs about the purpose and scope of government, and they tend to evaluate candidates in ideological terms.? At one time, the liberal-conservative continuum represented a single dimension: attitudes toward the scope of government activity.
? People describe themselves as liberal or conservative because of symbolic value of the terms as much as for reasons of ideology
o People associate liberals with change and conservatives with tradition• Forming Political Opinions-? The theme corresponds to the distinction between liberals and conservatives on the exercise of freedom and the maintenance of order.
? The other theme corresponds with equality• The conflict between freedom and equality was at the heart of President Roosevelt’s New Deal economic policies in the 1930’s-o Ideological Types in the United States
• The Policies expanded the interventionist role of the national government to promote great economic equality, and attitudes toward government intervention in the economy-• Classify people as liberals if they favor freedom over order and equality over freedom.
• Conservatives favor freedom over equality and order over freedom.
• Libertarians favor freedom over both equality and order-the opposite of communitarians.
• We can classify respondents according to their ideological tendencies.
• Respondents who readily locate themselves on a single dimension running from liberal to conservative often go on to contradict their self-placement when answering questions that trade freedom for either order or equality.
• A two-dimensional typology allows us to analyze responses more meaningfully.
• Communitarians are prominent among minorities and among people with little education and low income, groups that tend to look favorably on the benefits of government in general.
• Libertarians are concentrated among people with more education and higher income, who tend to be suspicious of government interference in their lives.
o People acquire their political values through socialization and that different social groups develop different sets of political values-
o Some people, but only a minority, think about politics ideologically, holding a consistent set of political attitudes and beliefs-? How do those who are not ideologue form political opinions?
• Self-interesto a. Self interest principle states that people choose what benefits them personally.• Political Information
o Taxpayers tend to prefer low taxes to high taxes
o Farmers tend to favor candidates who promise them more support over those who promise them less.
o Members of minority groups tend to see more personal advantage in government policies that promote social equality than do members of majority groups.
o When moral issues are involved, people form opinions based on their underlying values.o American citizens can obtain information from a variety of daily and weekly new publications.• Opinion Schemas-a network of organized knowledge and beliefs that guides the processing of information on a particular subject
o Yet the average American displays an astonishing lack of political knowledge.
o When opinions are based on little knowledge, however, they change easily in the face of new information.? The result is a high degree of instability in public opinion poll findings.o Change as we acquire new information.• Political Leadership
o The main value of schemas for understanding how opinions are formed is that they remind us that opinion questions trigger many different images, connections, and values in the mind of each respondent.
o Can pertain to any political figure and to any subject- race, economics, or international relations
o If many citizens view politics in terms of governing style, the role of political leadership becomes a more important determinant of public opinion than the leader's actual policies.o Public opinion on specific issues is molded by political leaders, journalists, and policy experts
o The researcher concluded that "a highly conciliatory move by a president known for long-standing opposition to just such action" could override expected sources of opposition among the public.
o The ability of political leaders to influence public opinion have been enhanced enormously by the growth of the broadcast media, especially television.
Chap. 5: Public Opinion and Political Socialization
Tiffany Holley, 2002
I. Executions are Different
A. The history of public thinking on the death penalty reveals several characteristics of
1. The public's attitudes toward a given government policy can vary over time, often
2. Public opinion places boundaries on allowable types of public policy.
3. If asked by pollsters, citizens are willing to register opinions on matters outside their
4. Governments tend to respond to public opinion.
5. The government sometimes does not do what the people want.
II. Public Opinion and The Models of Democracy
A. Public opinion is simply the collective attitude of the citizens on a given issue or
1. The founders wanted to build public opinion into our government structure by
allowing the direct election of representatives to the House and apportioning representation there according to population.
2. The framers never intended to create a full democracy, a government completely
responsive to majority opinion.
B. According to the classic majoritarian model, the government should do what a majority
of the public wants.
C. Pluralists argue that the public as a whole seldom demonstrates clear, consistent
opinions on the day-to-day issues of gov't.
1. At the same time, they recognize that subgroups within the public do express
opinions on specific matters.
2. Pluralist model requires that government institutions allow the free expression of
opinions by these "minority publics".
D. The Supreme Court has ruled that no state or local government can require the reading
of the Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools.
1. Yet surveys continually show that a clear majority of Americans do not agree with
E. The majoritarian model assumes that a majority of the people hold clear, consistent
opinions on gov't policy.
F. The pluralist model assumes that the public is often uninformed and ambivalent about
specific issues, and opinion polls frequently support that claim.
III. The Distribution of Public Opinion
A. Shape of the Distribution
1. Skewed distribution- an asymmetrical by generally bell-shaped distribution.
a. mode- the most frequent response.
b. tail- lies off to one side.
2. Bimodal distribution- respondents choose 2 categories with nearly equal frequency,
dividing almost evenly.
3. Normal distribution- a symmetrical, bell-shaped spread around a single mode.
a. the mode (moderate) lies in the center.
B. Stability of the Distribution
1. Stable distribution- shows little change over time.
a. Public opinion on important issues can change, but it is sometimes difficult to
distinguish a true change in opinion from a difference in the way a question is worded.
b. Sometimes changes occur within subgroups that are not reflected in overall
c. In trying to explain how political opinions are formed and how they change,
political scientists cite the process of political socialization, the influence of cultural factors, and the interplay of ideology
IV. Political Socialization
A. Political Socialization- a complex process through which individuals become aware of
politics, learn political facts, and form political values.
B. The Agents of Early Socialization
1. 2 fundamental principles that characterize early learning
a. The primary principle- What is learned first is learned best.
b. The structuring principle- What is learned first structures later learning.
2. Family- In most cases, exposure, communication, and receptivity are highest in
a. One of the most politically important things that many children learn from their
parents is party identification.
b. 2 crucial differences between party identification and religion may explain why
youngsters are socialized into a religion much more reliably than into a political party.
i. Most parents care a great deal more about their religion than about their politics.
ii. The second is that religious institutions recognize the value of socialization.
3. School- According to some researchers, schools have an influence on political
learning that is equal to or greater than that of parents.
a. Elementary schools prepare children in a number of ways to accept the social order.
i. They introduce authority figures outside the family.
ii. They teach the nation's slogans and symbols and they stress the norms of
group behavior and democratic decision making.
iii. High schools attempt to build "good citizens" by taking field trips to the state
legislature or the city council.
4. Community and peers- the makeup of a community has a lot to do with how the
political opinions of its members are formed.
a. Homogeneous communities- those whose members are similar in ethnicity, race,
religion, or occupation- can exert strong pressures on both children and adults to conform to the dominant attitude.
b. Peer groups sometimes provide a defense against community pressures.
C. Continuing Socialization
1. Peer groups assume a greater importance in promoting political awareness and
developing political opinions.
2. Media emerges as socialization agents.
V. Social Groups and political values
A. No two people are influenced by precisely the same socialization agents or in
precisely the same way.
B. Education- increases people's awareness and understanding of political issues.
1. People with more education tend to favor freedom over equality.
2. The higher their level of education, the less likely respondents were to support
government-guaranteed jobs and living
C. Income- wealth is consistently linked to opinions favoring a limited government role in
promoting order and equality.
1. Those with higher income are more likely to favor personal choice in abortion and to
oppose government guarantees of
employment and living conditions.
D. Region- For nearly a hundred years after the Civil War, regional differences continued
to affect American politics.
1. Northeast- thought to control the purse strings of capitalism
2. Midwest- was long regarded as the stronghold of isolationism in foreign affairs.
3. South- was virtually a one-party region, almost completely Democratic.
4. West- pioneered its own mixture of progressive politics.
5. Regional effects on public opinion are weaker than the effects of most other
E. The "Old" and "New" Ethnicity: European
1. Old ethnicity- an older outlook on the people comprising America's "melting pot"
with focus on religion and country of
2. New ethnicity- a newer outlook on the people comprising America's "melting pot"
with focus on race.
3. Socioeconomic status- Position in society, based on a combination of education,
occupational status, and income.
F. Religion- today almost 60% of the population are Protestant, about 25% are Catholic,
only about 2% Jewish, and about 15% deny any religious affiliation or choose some other faith.
1. Protestants were more conservative than Catholics.
2. Catholics tended to be more conservative than Jews.
3. Religiosity has little effect on attitudes about economic equality but a powerful
influence on attitudes about social order.
G. Gender- Differences in sex are often related to political opinions, primarily on the issue
of freedom versus equality.
1. Women are much more likely than men to favor government actions to promote
VI. From Values to Ideology
A. The Degree of Ideological Thinking in Public Opinion
1. Some people think the terms liberal and conservative are no longer relevant to
2. Ideological labels are technical terms used in analyzing politics and most citizens
don't play that sport.
3. Scales and typologies-despite their faults, they are essential for classification.
a. No analysis, including the study of politics, can occur without classifying the
objects being studied.
4. People's personal political socialization experiences can also lead them to think
5. True ideologues hold a consistent set of values and beliefs about the purpose and
scope of government, and they tend to evaluate candidates in ideological terms.
B. The Quality of Ideological Thinking in Public Opinion
1. At one time, the liberal-conservative continuum represented a single dimension:
attitudes toward the scope of gov't activity.
2. Liberals were in favor of more government action to provide public goods, and
conservatives were in favor of less.
3. But now: Many people who call themselves liberal no longer favor government activism in
general, and many self-styled conservatives no longer oppose it in principle.
4. Two themes run through people's minds when they are asked to describe liberals
a. People associate liberals with change and conservatives with tradition.
i. The theme corresponds to the distinction between liberals and conservatives on
the exercise of freedom and the maintenance of order.
b. The other theme has to do with equality.
i. The conflict between freedom and equality was at the heart of President Roosevelt's
New Deal economic policies in the 1930's.
C. Ideological Types in the United States
1. Classify people as liberals if they favor freedom over order and equality over freedom.
2. Conservatives favor freedom over equality and order over freedom.
3. Libertarians favor freedom over both equality and order-the opposite of
4. We can classify respondents according to their ideological tendencies.
5. Respondents who readily locate themselves on a single dimension running from
liberal to conservative often go on to
contradict their self-placement when answering questions that trade freedom for
either order or equality.
6. A two-dimensional typology allows us to analyze responses more meaningfully.
7. Communitarians are prominent among minorities and among people with little
education and low income, groups that tend
to look favorably on the benefits of government in general.
8. Libertarians are concentrated among people with more education and higher
income, who tend to be suspicious of gov't
interference in their lives.
VII. The Process of Forming Political Opinions
A. How do those who are not ideologue form political opinions?
a. Self interest principle states that people choose what benefits them personally.
b. Taxpayers tend to prefer low taxes to high taxes
c. Farmers tend to favor candidates who promise them more support over those who
promise them less.
d. Members of minority groups tend to see more personal advantage in government
policies that promote social equality
than do members of majority groups.
e. When moral issues are involved, people form opinions based on their underlying values.
2. Political Information
a. American citizens can obtain information from a variety of daily and weekly new publications.
b. Yet the average American displays an astonishing lack of political knowledge.
c. When opinions are based on little knowledge, however, they change easily in the
face of new information.
i. The result is a high degree of instability in public opinion poll findings.
3. Opinion Schemas-a network of organized knowledge and beliefs that guides the
processing of information on a particular subject.
a. Change as we acquire new information.
b. The main value of schemas for understanding how opinions are formed is that
they remind us that opinion questions
trigger many different images, connections, and values in the mind of each respondent.
c. Can pertain to any political figure and to any subject- race, economics, or international relations.
d. If many citizens view politics in terms of governing style, the role of political leadership becomes a more important determinant of public opinion than the leader's actual policies.
4. Political Leadership
a. Public opinion on specific issues is molded by political leaders, journalists, and
b. The researcher concluded that "a highly conciliatory move by a president known
for long-standing opposition to just such action" can override expected sources of opposition among the public.
c. The ability of political leaders to influence public opinion has been enhanced
enormously by the growth of the broadcast media, especially television.
Top of Page
I. People, Government, And Communications
A. Communication- is the process of transmitting information from one individual or group to another.
B. Mass communication-is the process by which information is transmitted to large, heterogeneous. widely dispersed audiences.
C. Mass media- refers to the means for communicating to these audiences.
1. Print media- communicate information through the publication of words and pictures on paper.
a. newspapers and popular magazines.
2. Broadcast media- communicate information electronically, through sounds and images.
a. radio and television.
D. Modern politics also use the fax and computers linked over the internet.
1. Group media.
E. In totalitarian governments, information flows more freely in one direction than the other.
F. In democratic governments, information must flow freely in both directions.
1. Can only respond to public opinion only if its citizens can make their opinions known.
II. The Development of the Mass Media in the United States.
1. The first newspapers were mainly political organs, financed by parties and advocating party causes.
2. According to the 1880 census, 971 daily newspapers and periodicals were then published in the United States.
3. By the 1960's, under pressure from both radio and television, intense competition among big-city dailies had nearly disappeared.
1. News-oriented magazines cover the news in a more specialized manner than do daily newspapers.
2. Many magazines are forums for public opinions.
2. Attentive policy elites- group leaders who follow news in specific areas.
a. Policy elites are more likely to influence public opinion and other leaders by airing their views in the media.
b. Public deliberation on issues is highly mediated by these professional communicators.
3. Two-step flow of communication- the process in which a few policy elites gather information and then inform their more numerous followers, mobilizing them to apply pressure to government.
1. The first radio network, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was formed in 1926.
2. Millions of Americans were able to hear President Franklin D. Roosevelt deliver his first "fireside chat" in 1933.
3. The first coast-to-coast broadcast did not occur until 1937.
4. Because the public could sense reporters' personalities over radio in a way they could not in print, broadcast journalist quickly became household names.
5. Today radio is less salient for live coverage of events than for "talk radio", often criticized for polarizing politics by publicizing extreme views.
1. The first commercial color broadcast came in 1951, as did the first coast-to -coast broadcast- President Harry Truman's address to delegates at the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco.
2. Today, television claim by far the biggest news audience of all the mass media.
III. Modern Forms of Group Media
A. Group media- communications technologies used primarily within groups of people with common interests.
B. Facsimile Transmissions
1. The fax machine quickly became standard communications equipment in practical politics.
2. Campaign managers routinely communicate with campaign workers and media representative via fax, and it is a major medium for communication among political officeholders in Washington.
C. The Internet
1. In its early years, the Internet was used mainly to transmit e-mail among researchers.
2. The Internet was soon incorporated into politics, and by 1988 virtually every government agency and political organization in the nation had its own Web site.
IV. Private Ownership of the Media
A. The consequences of Private Ownership
1. Private ownership of both the print and broadcast media gives the news industry in America more political freedom than any other in the world, but it also makes the media more dependent on advertising revenues to cover their costs & make a profit.
2. Profit motive creates constant pressure to increase the ratio of entertainment to news or to make the news itself more "entertaining".
3. Newsworthiness- the degree to which a news story is important enough to be covered in the mass media.
4. Audience declines have brought declining profits and cutbacks in network news budgets.
5. Infotainment- The practice of mixing journalism with theater, employed by some news programs.
6. Instances of poor journalism and outright fraud have increased as network executives have demanded that television news become more profitable.
B. The Connection of Private Ownership
1. Media owners can make more money either by increasing their audience or by acquiring additional publications or stations.
2. At first glance, concentration of ownership does not seem to be a problem in the television industry.
3. Although there are only 3 major networks, the networks usually do not own their affiliates.
V. Government Regulation of the Media
A. In general, government regulation of the mass media addresses 3 aspects of their operation
1. Technical and Ownership Regulations
a. In the early days of radio, stations that operated on similar frequencies in the same areas often jammed each other's signals, and no one could broadcast clearly.
b. Federal Radio Act (1927)- declared that the public owned the airwaves and private broadcasters could use them only by obtaining a license from the Federal Radio Commission.
c. Federal Communications Commission- an independent federal agency that regulates interstate and international communication by radio, television, telephone, telegraph, cable, and satellite.
d. Congress swept away most existing regulations in the Telecomunications Act of 1996.
i. The new law relaxed or scrapped limitations on media ownership.
B. Regulation of Content
1. The first amendment to the constitution prohibits Congress from abridging the freedom of the press.
2. In 1996, however, a federal court overturned an attempt to limit transmission of "indecent" material on the Internet, calling the attempt "profoundly repugnant to First Amendment principles".
3. One notable exception concerns strategic information during wartime; the courts have supported censorship of information such as the sailing schedules of troop ships or the planned movements of troops in battle.
4. The basis for the FCC's regulation of content lies in its charge to ensure that radio stations would "serve the public interest, convenience and necessity."
a. Equal opportunities rule- the FCC required any broadcast station that gave or sold time to a candidate for a public office to make an equal amount of time available under the same conditions to all other candidates for that office.
b. Reasonable access rule- required that stations make their facilities available for the expression of conflicting views on issues by all responsible elements in the community.
c. Both of these rules were struck down by a U.S. court of appeals in 2000.
5. In 1987 under President Reagan, the FCC itself moved toward this view of unfettered freedom for broadcasters by repealing a 3rd rule, the fairness doctrine, which had obligated broadcasters to provide fair coverage of all views on public issues.
6. Five specific functions the mass media serve for political system
a. Reporting the news
b. Interpreting the news
c. Influencing citizens' opinions
d. Setting the agenda for government action
e. Socializing citizens about politics.
VI. Reporting and Following the News
A. Covering National Politics
1. All the major news media seek to cover political events with firsthand reports from journalist on the scene.
2. News release- a prepared text distributed to reporters in the hope that they will use it verbatim.
3. Daily news briefing- enables reporters to question the press secretary about news releases and allows television correspondents time to prepare their stories and film for the evening newscast.l
4. News conference- involves questioning high-level officials in the executive branch-including the president on occasion.
5. On background- information can be quoted, but reporters cannot identify the source.
6. Most news about Congress comes from innumerable press releases issued by its 535 members and from an unending supply of congressional reports.
B. Presenting the news
1. Gatekeepers- media executives, news editors, and prominent reporters who direct the flow of news.
a. They not only select what topics go through the gate but also are expected to uphold standards of careful reporting and principle journalism.
b. The internet, in particular, has no gatekeepers and thus not constraints on its content.
2. Time limitations impose especially severe constraints on television and news broadcasting.
3. To make the news understandable and to hold viewers' attention, television editors and producers carefully choose their lead story and group stories by theme.
4. Horse race journalism- election coverage by the mass media that focuses on which candidate is ahead, rather than on national issues.
5. Media event- a situation that is too "newsworthy" to pass up.
C. Where the Public Gets its News
1. Until the early 1960's, most people reported getting more of their news from newspapers than from any other source.
2. By the mid-1990's, nearly 3/4ths of the public cited television as their main news source.
3. Those polled rated television news as more trustworthy than newspaper news by a margin of 2 to 1.
4. People are far more interested in local news than in national news.
5. 84% of respondents said that they had read or heard the prior day's news through print or broadcast media.
6. Only 17% of citizens claimed they "follow news of public affairs and government" daily, and almost as many said they did so hardly at all.
D. What People Remember and Know
1. As one would expect, those who are more attentive to the news answer more political knowledge questions correctly than those who are less attentive.
2. Numerous studies have found that those who rely on television for their news score lower on tests of knowledge about public affairs than those who rely on print media.
3. Television hypothesis- the belief that television is to blame for the low level of citizen's knowledge about public affairs.
a. Television wants to squeeze public policy issues into one-minute or, at most, two-minute fragments, which makes it difficult to explain candidate's positions.
4. The television networks are particularly concerned about being fair and equal in covering the candidates, and this concern may result in their failing to critique the candidate's positions.
VII. The Political Effects of the Media
A. Influencing Public Opinion
1. Americans overwhelmingly believe that the media exert a strong influence on their political institutions, and nearly nine out of ten Americans believe that the media strongly influence public opinion.
2. Documenting general effects of the media on opinions about more general issues is the news is difficult.
B. Setting the Political Agenda
1. Most scholars believe the media's greatest influence on politics is found in their power to set the political agenda.
a. a list of issues that people identify as needing gov't attention.
b. An issue that does not get on the political agenda will not get any political attention.
2. Apart from scandals, the media can manufacture concern about more commonplace issues.
a. Crime is a good example: "Crime coverage is not editorially driven; its economically driven. It's the easiest, cheapest, laziest news to cover."
3. One study found varying correlations between media coverage and what the public sees as "the most important problem facing this country today", depending on the type of event.
4. The media's ability to influence public opinion by defining "the news" makes politicians eager to influence media coverage.
Politicians attempt to affect not only public opinion but also the opinions of other political leaders.
1. The mass media act as important agents of political socialization.
2. Young people who rarely follow the news by choice nevertheless acquire political values through the entertainment function of the broadcast media.
3. Perhaps years of television messages conveying distrust of law enforcement, disrespect for the criminal justice system, and violence shape impressionable youngsters.
4. Some scholars argue that the most important effect of the mass media, particularly television, is to reinforce the hegemony, or dominance, of the existing culture and order.
5. So the media play contradictory roles in the process of political socialization.
a. On one hand, they promote popular support for gov't by joining in the celebration of national holiday's, heroes' birthdays, political anniversaries, and civic accomplishments.
b. On the other hand, the media erode public confidence by detailing politicians' extramarital affairs, airing investigative reports of possible malfeasance in office, and even showing television dramas about crooked cops.
VIII. Evaluating the Media in Government
A. Is Reporting Biased?
1. The argument that news reports are politically biased has two sides.
a. News reporters are criticized for tilting their stories in a liberal direction, promoting social equality and undercutting social order.
b. Wealthy and conservative media owners are suspected of persevering inequalities and reinforcing the existing order by serving a relentless round of entertainment that numbs the public's capacity for critical analysis.
2. Of courts, the media affect voting behavior simply by reporting the daily news, which publicizes officeholders throughout the year.
B. Contributions to Democracy
1. Democracy communication must move in two directions: from government o citizens and from citizens to government.
2. The media serve both the majoritarian and the pluralist models of democracy well by improving the quality of information transmitted to the people about their government.
3. The mass media transmit information in the opposite direction by reporting citizens' reactions to political events and government actions.
4. The media now have to do to do a better job of reporting mass opinion than ever before, and they use the tools extensively, practicing "precision journalism" with sophisticated data-collection and analysis techniques.
C. Effects on Freedom, Order, and Equality
1. The media in the United States have played an important role in advancing equality, especially racial equality.
2. Partly because of this media coverage, civil rights moved up on the political agenda, and coalitions formed in Congress to pass new laws promoting racial equality.
3. The media's ability to report whatever they wish, whenever they wish certainly erodes efforts to maintain order.
a. Sensational media coverage of terrorist acts gives terrorist the publicity they seek; portrayal of brutal killings and rapes on television encourage "copycat" crimes.
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I. Democracy and Political Participation
A. Champions of direct democracy believe that if citizens do not participate directly in government affairs, making government decisions themselves, they should give up all pretense of living in a democracy.
B. More practical observers contend that people can govern indirectly, through their elected representatives.
1. They maintain that choosing leaders through elections- formal procedures for voting- is the only workable approach to democracy in a large, complex nation.
C. Elections are a necessary condition of democracy, but they do not guarantee democratic government.
D. Political Participation- those actions of private citizens by which they seek to influence or to support government and politics.
1. Conventional behavior- behavior that is acceptable to the dominant culture in a given situation.
E. Figuring out whether a particular political act is conventional or unconventional can be difficult.
1. conventional participation- is a relatively routine behavior that uses the established institutions of representative government, especially campaigning for candidates and voting in elections.
2. Unconventional participation- is a relatively uncommon behavior that challenges or defies established institutions or the dominant culture.
F. Terrorism- "armed propaganda" using violence to send a political message in an age of mass media.
II. Unconventional Participation
A. Support of Unconventional Participation
1. We know less about unconventional than conventional participation. The reasons are twofold:
a. Since it is easier to collect data on conventional practices, they are studied more frequently.
b. political scientists are simply biased toward institutionalized, or conventional, politics.
2. If we measure conventionality in terms of the proportion of people who disapprove of an action, we might argue that all demonstrations border on the unconventional.
B. The Effectiveness of Unconventional Participation
1. Antiwar protesters helped convince President Lyndon Johnson not to seek reelection in 1968, and they heightened public concern about U.S. participation in the Vietnam War.
2. The unconventional activities of civil rights workers also produced notable successes.
a. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott which sparked the civil rights movement.
i. Used direct action- Unconventional participation that involves assembling crowd to confront businesses and local governments to demand a hearing.
b. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 placed some state electoral procedures under federal supervision, protecting the registration of black voters and increasing the rate of black voter turnout.
3. Studies show that direct action appeals most to those who both:
a. Distrust the political system
b. Have a strong sense of political efficacy
i. The feeling that they can do something to affect political decisions.
C. Unconventional Participation in America and the World
1. Contrary to the popular view that Americans are apathetic about politics, they are more likely to engage in political protests of various sorts than are citizens in other democratic countries.
III. Conventional Participation
A. Supportive Behavior- actions that express allegiance to country and government.
1. When we recite the Pledge of Allegiance of fly the American flag on holiday's, we are showing support for the country and, by implication, its political system.
B. Influencing Behavior- Behavior that seeks to modify or reverse government policy to serve political interests.
1. Particular Benefits
a. Some citizens try to influence government to obtain benefits for themselves, their immediate families, or close friends.
b. Serving one's self-interest though the voting process is certainly acceptable to democratic theory.
c. Those who quietly obtain particular benefits from government pose a serious challenge to a
d. Contacting behavior is related to socioeconomic status: people of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to contact public officials.
e. Contributing money to a candidate's campaign is another form of influencing behavior.
2. Broad Policy Objectives
a. Even voting intended to influence government policies is a low-initiative activity.
i. Such policy voting differs from voting to show support or to gain special benefits in its broader influence on the community or society.
b. Running for office requires the most initiative.
i. Others include: attending party meetings and working in campaigns, attending legislative hearings and writing letters to Congress.
c. Although most people use the courts to serve their particular interests, some also use them, as we discuss shortly, to meet broad objectives.
i. A person or group can bring class action suits.
a. a legal action brought by a person or group on behalf of a number of people in similar
d. Individual citizens can also try to influence policies at the national level by participating directly in the legislative process.
i. Attend congressional hearings.
C. Conventional Participation in America
1. The most common political behavior reported in a study of five countries was voting for candidates.
2. Americans are as likely than those others to engage in all other forms of conventional political
IV. Participating Through Voting
A. Suffrage and Franchise both mean the right to vote.
B. Expansion of Suffrage
1. Enfranchisement of Blacks
a. The Fifteenth Amendment, adopted shortly after the Civil War, prohibited the states form denying the right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
b. In many areas o the South, the threat of violence kept blacks from the polls.
c. The extension of full voting rights to blacks came in two phases
i. In 1944, the Supreme Court decided in Smith v. Allwright that laws preventing blacks from voting in primary elections were unconstitutional, holding that party primaries are part of the continuous process of electing public officials.
ii.In 1966 the Supreme Court ruled in Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections that state poll taxes are unconstitutional.
2. Enfranchisement of Women
a. Until 1869, women could not vote anywhere in the world.
b. Their first major victory did not come until 1869, when Wyoming, while still a territory, granted women the right to vote.
c. No state followed suit until 1893, when Colorado enfranchised women.
d. In 1884, they formed the Equal Rights Party.
e. Between 1896 and 1918, 12 other states gave women the vote.
f. In 1919, Congress finally passed the Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibits states from denying the right to vote "on account of sex."
3. Evaluating the Expansion of Suffrage in America
a. 1971, the Twenty-sixth Amendment lowered the voting age to eighteen.
b. With regard to voting age, nineteen of twenty-seven countries that allow free elections also have a minimum voting age of eighteen, and eight have higher age requirements.
C. Voting on Policies
1. Progressivism- was a philosophy of political reform that trusted the goodness and wisdom of individual citizens and distrusted "special interest" and political institutions.
2. Not content to vote for candidates chosen by party leaders, the Progressives championed the direct primary.
a. A preliminary election, run by the state governments, in which the voters choose the party's candidates for the general election.
3. The Progressives backed the recall.
b. the process for removing an elected official from office.
4. They developed two voting mechanisms for policymaking that are still in use:
a. Referendum- a direct vote by the people on either a proposed law or an amendment to a state constitution.
i. The measures subject to popular vote are known as propositions.
b. Initiative- a procedure by which voters can propose a measure to be decided by the legislature or by the people in a referendum.
i. The procedure involves gathering a specified number of signatures from registered voters, then submitting the petition to a designated state agency.
D. Voting For Candidates
1. The most visible form of political participation: voting to choose candidates for public office.
2. Voting for candidates serves democratic government in two ways.
a. Citizens can choose the candidates they think will best serve their interests.
b. Voting allows the people to reelect the officials they guessed right about and to kick out those they guessed wrong about.
i. It makes public officials accountable for their behavior through the reward-and-punishment mechanism of elections.
ii. It also assumes that the voters:
a. Know what politicians are doing while they are in office
b. Participate actively in the electoral process.
V. Explaining Political Participation
A. Patterns of Participation over Time
1. Interest in election campaigns and persuading people how to vote have actually tended to increase.
2. Voter turnout has declined though.
3. Not only is voter turnout low in the United States compared with that in other countries, but turnout has basically declined over time.
B. The Standard Socioeconomic Explanation
1. Standard socioeconomic model- a relationship between socioeconomic status and conventional political involvement:
People with higher status and more education are more likely to participate than those with lower status.
a. Scattered studies of unconventional participation in the United State have found that protestors are often of higher economic status than those who do not join in protests.
2. Another important variable is age.
a. Young people are more likely to take part in political protests, but they are less likely to participate in conventional politics.
3. Two other variables-race and gender-have been related to participation in the past, but as times have changed, so have those relationships.
4. Education is the strongest single factor in explaining most types of conventional political participation.
C. Low Voter Turnout in America
1. The Decline in Voting over Time
a. To increase turnout of young people, and organization called "Rock the Vote" was formed in 1990 within the recording industry "to inform young Americans that their rights were in danger of being limited by a government in which they had little or no influence.
b. Some attribute most of the decline to changes in voter's attitudes toward politics.
i. One major factor is the growing belief that government is not responsive to citizens and that voting does no good.
c. Voter turnout in the United States is not likely to increase until the government does something to restore people's faith in the effectiveness of voting.
2. U.S. Turnout Versus Turnout in Other Countries.
a. Scholars cite 2 factors to explain the low voter turnout in the U.S. compared with that in other countries.
i. Differences in voting laws and administrative machinery.
a. In a few countries, voting is compulsory, and obviously turnout is extremely high.
ii. Nearly every other democratic country places the burden of registration on the government rather than on the individual voter.
a. Voting in the United States is a 2 stage process, and the first stage has required more initiative than the 2nd stage.
b. Although voting requires little initiative, registration usually has required high initiative.
c. Besides burdensome registration procedures, another factor usually cited to explain low turnout in American elections is the lack of political parties that mobilize the vote of particular social groups, especially lower-income and less-educated people.
d. Although the act of voting requires low initiative, the process of learning about the scores of candidates on the ballot in American elections requires a great deal of initiative.
i. Some people undoubtedly fail to vote simply because they feel inadequate to the task of deciding among candidates for the many offices on the ballot in U.S. elections.
VI. Participation and Freedom, Equality, and Order
A. Participation and Freedom
1. Individuals should be free to participate in government and politics in the way they want and as much as they want. And they should be free not to participate as well.
2. According to the normative perspective, we should not worry about low voter turnout because citizens should have the freedom not to vote as well as to vote.
3. Freedom to participate also means that individuals should be able to use their wealth, connections, knowledge, organizational power, or any other resource to influence government decisions, provided they do so legally.
B. Participation and Equality
1. Each citizen's ability to influence government should be equal to that of every other citizen, so that differences in personal resources do not work against the poor or otherwise disadvantages.
2. Groups of people who have few resources individually can combine their votes to wield political power.
C. Participation and Order
1. Some types of participation promote order and so are encouraged by those who value order; other types promote disorder and so are discouraged.
2. To maintain order, the gov't has a stake in converting unconventional participation to conventional participation whenever possible.
3. The right to vote was extended to 18 yr. olds not because young people demanded it but because "public officials believed suffrage expansion to be a means of institutionalizing youths' participation in politics, which would, in turn, curb disorder.
VII. Participation and the Models of Democracy
A. Elections are institutional mechanisms that implement democracy by allowing citizens to choose among candidates or issues. But elections also serve several other important purposes.
1. Elections socialize political activity.
a. That is, the opportunity to vote for change encourages citizens to refrain from demonstrating in the streets.
2. Elections institutionalize access to political power.
a. They allow ordinary citizens to run for political office or to play an important role in selecting political leaders.
3. Elections bolster the state's power and authority.
a. The opportunity to participate in elections helps convince citizens that the government is responsive to their needs and wants, which reinforce its legitimacy.
B. Participation and Majoritarianism
1. Majoritarian model favors conventional, institutionalized behavior-primarily, voting in elections.
a. Relies on counting votes to determine what the majority wants, its bias toward equality in political participation is strong.
2. Limits individual freedom in another way: its focus on voting as the major means of mass participation narrows the scope of conventional political behavior by defining which political actions are "orderly" and acceptable.
C. Participation and Pluralism
1. A decentralized and organizationally complex form of government allows many points of access and accommodates various forms of conventional participation in addition to voting.
2. In one view of pluralist democracy, citizens are free to ply and wheedle public officials to further their own selfish visions of the public good.
3. Another viewpoint, pluralism offers citizens the opportunity to be treated as individuals when dealing with the government, to influence policymaking in special circumstances, and to fulfill their social potential through participation in community affairs.
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I. Political Parties and their Functions
A. Americans have a love-hate relationship with political parties. They believe that parties are necessary for democratic gov't; at the same time, they think parties are somehow obstructionist and not to be trusted.
B. What is a Political Party?
1. An organization that sponsors candidates for political office under the organizations name.
2. True political parties select individuals to run for public office through a formal nomination process, which designates them as the parties' official candidates.
C. Party Functions
1. Parties contribute to democratic government through the functions they perform for the political system- the set of interrelated institutions that link people with government.
2. Four of the most important party functions.
a. Nominating Candidates- Without political parties, voters would confront a bewildering array of self-nominated candidates, each seeking votes on the basis of personal friendships, celebrity status, or name recognition.
i. In nominating candidates, parties often do more than pass judgment on potential office seekers; sometimes, they go so far as to recruit talented individuals to become candidates.
b. Structuring the Voting Choice- Political parties also help democratic government by structuring the voting choice- reducing the number of candidates on the ballot to those who have a realistic chance of winning.
i. The ability of established parties to mobilize their supporters has the effect of discouraging nonparty candidates from running for office and of discouraging new parties from forming.
c. Proposing Alternative Government Programs- Parties also help voters choose among candidates by proposing alternative programs of government action-the general policies their candidates will pursue if they gain office.
i. The types of policies advocated by candidates of one party tend to differ from those proposed by candidates of other parties.
ii. Candidates of the same party tend to favor policies that fit their party's underlying political philosophy, or ideology.
d. Coordinating the Actions of Government Officials- a government based on the separation of powers, such as the United States, divides responsibilities for making public policy.
i. Political party organizations are the major means for bridging the separate powers to produce coordinated policies that can govern the country effectively.
ii. Parties do this in two ways:
a. Candidates and officeholders' political fortunes are linked to their party organization, which can bestow and withdraw favors.
b. Members of the same party in the presidency, the House, and the Senate tend to share political principles and thus often voluntarily cooperate in making policy.
II. A History of U.S. Party Politics
A. The Preparty Period
1. In 1787 it was common then to refer to groups pursuing some common political interest as factions.
2. Factions existed even under British rule.
a. In colonial assemblies, supporters of the the governor were known as Tories or Loyalist, and their opponents were called Whigs or Patriots.
3. Those who backed the Constitution were loosely known as federalist, their opponents as antifederalist.
4. Elections then were vastly different from elections today.
a. The Constitution provided for the president and vice president to be chosen by an electoral college-a body of electors who met in the capital of their respective states to cast their ballots.
5. Caucus- a closed meeting of the members of a political party to decide upon questions of policy and the selection of candidates for office.
6. The political cleavage sharpened between those who favored a stronger national government and those who wanted a less powerful, more decentralized national government.
a. The first group led by Alexander Hamilton, proclaimed themselves Federalist.
b. The second group led by Thomas Jefferson, called themselves Republicans.
B. The First Party System: Federalists and Democratic Republicans.
1. In 1796, the Constitution provided that the presidency would go to the candidate who won the most votes in the electoral college, with the vice presidency going to the runner-up.
a. Adams, a Federalist, had to accept Jefferson, a Democratic Republican, as his vice president.
2. The party function of nominating candidates emerged more clearly in the election of 1800.
a. Both parties caucused in Congress to nominate candidates for president and vice president.
i. The first true party contest for the presidency.
3. The twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, required the electoral college to vote separately for president and vice president, implicitly recognizing that parties would nominate different candidates for the two offices.
4. The election of 1800 marked the beginning of the end for the Federalists, who lost the next four elections.
a. By 1820, the Federalist were no more.
5. Before 1824, the parties' role in structuring the popular vote was relatively unimportant because relatively few people were entitled to vote.
a. But the states began to drop restrictive requirements for voting after 1800, and voting rights for males expanded even faster after 1815.
6. The 1824 election was the first in which the voters selected the presidential electors in most states.
C. The Second Party System: Democrats and Whigs
1. The Jacksonian faction of the Democratic Republican Party represented the common people in the expanding South and West, and its members took pride in calling themselves simply Democrats.
2. By 1828, relaxed requirements for voting had increased the vote by more than 300%, to more than 1.1 million.
3. As the electorate expanded, the parties changed. No longer could a party rely on a few political leaders in the state legislatures to control the votes cast in the electoral college.
4. Parties now needed to campaign for votes cast by hundreds of thousands of citizens.
5. Parties devised the national convention.
a. At these gatherings, delegates from state parties across the nation would choose candidates for president and vice president and adopt a statement of policies called a party platform.
6. The Anti-Masonic Party, which was the first "third" party in American history to challenge the 2 major parties for the presidency, called the first national convention in 1831.
7. The Democrats adopted the convention idea in 1832 to nominate Jackson for a second term, as did their opponents that year, the National Republicans.
8. The label National Republicans applied to John Q. Adams's faction of the former Democratic Republican Party.
9. A coalition made up of former National Republicans, Anti-Masons, and Jackson haters formed the Whig Party in 1834.
D. The Current Party System: Democrats and Republicans
1. In the early 1850's, antislavery forces began to organize. At meetings in Jackson, Michigan, and Ripon, Wisconsin, they recommended the formation of a new party, the Republican Party, to oppose the extension of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska territories.
a. This party founded in 1854, continues as today's Republican Party.
b. Entered its first presidential election in 1856.
c. In 1860, the Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln. The Democrats were deeply divided over the slavery issue and actually split into 2 parties.
i. The northern wing kept the Democratic Party label and nominated Stephen Douglas.
ii. The Southern Democrats ran John Breckinridge.
d. A fourth party, the Constitutional Union Party, nominated John Bell.
e. Lincoln took 40% of the popular vote and carried every northern state.
2. The election of 1860 is considered the first of 3 critical elections under the current party system.
a. A critical election is marked by a sharp change in the existing patterns of party loyalty among groups of voters.
b. This change in voting patterns, which is called an electoral realignment, does not end with the election but persists through several subsequent elections.
3. The South's solid Democratic record earned it the nickname "the Solid South."
E. Eras of Party Dominance Since the Civil War
1. The critical election of 1860 established the Democratic and Republican parties as the dominant parties in our two-party system.
a. A political system in which 2 major political parties compete for control of the government. Candidates from a third party have little chance of winning office.
2. Third-party candidates tend to be most successful at the local or state level.
3. When one party in a two-party system regularly enjoys support from most voters in an era, it is called the majority party in that area; the other is called the minority party.
4. Since the inception of the current two-party system, three periods have characterized the balance between the two major parties at the national level.
a. A Rough Balance: 1860-1894- From 1860 through 1894, the Grand Old Party won eight of ten presidential elections, which would seem to qualify it as the majority party.
i. An analysis shows that the Republicans and Democrats won an equal number of congressional elections, each controlling the chamber for nine sessions between 1860-1894.
b. A Republican Majority: 1896-1930: A second critical election, in 1896, transformed the Republican Party into a true majority party.
i. The election of 1896 helped solidify a Republican majority in industrial America and forged a link between the Republican Party and business.
ii. The GOP dominated national politics-controlling the presidency, the Senate, and the House-almost continuously from 1896 until the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
c. A Democratic Majority: 1932 to the present?- The Republicans' majority status ended in the critical election of 1932 between incumbent president Herbert Hoover and the Democratic challenger, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
i. Roosevelt promised new solutions to unemployment and the economic crisis of the Depression.
ii. The electoral realignment reflected by the election of 1932 made the Democrats the majority party.
iii. Signs are strong that the coalition of Democratic voters forged by Roosevelt in the 1930s has already cracked.
iv. Instead of a full realignment, we seem to be in a period of electoral dealignment- in which party loyalties have become less important to voters as they cast their ballots.
III. The American Two-Party System
A. Minor Parties in America
1. Bolter parties are formed by factions that have split off from one of the major parties.
a. Have rarely won significant proportions of the vote with the exception of Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party in 1912.
2. Farmer-labor parties represent farmers and urban workers who believe that they, the working class, and are not getting their share of society's wealth.
a. The people's Party, founded in 1892 and nicknamed "the Populist Party", was a prime example of a farmer-labor party.
3. Parties of ideological protest reject prevailing doctrines and propose radically different principles, often favoring more gov't activism.
a. Socialist party the most successful.
b. Have tended to come from the right, arguing against government action in society.
4. Single-issue parties are formed to promote one principle, not a general philosophy of government.
a. The Anti-Masonic parties of the 1820s and 1830s.
b. The Prohibition Party- the most durable example, opposed the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
B. Why a Two-Party System
1. In the typical U.S. election, two or more candidates contest each office, and the winner is the single candidate who collects the most votes, whether those votes constitute a majority or not.
2. Majority representation- awards legislative seats to each party in proportion to the total number of votes it wins in an election.
3. Proportional representation tends to produce several parties because each can win enough seats nationwide to wield some influence in the legislature.
C. The Federal Basis of the Party System
1. By concentrating only on presidential elections, we tend to ignore electoral patterns in the states, where elections often buck national trends.
2. Victories outside the arena of presidential politics give each party a base of support that keeps its machinery oiled and ready for the next contest.
D. Party Identification in America
1. It signifies a voter's sense of psychological attachment to a party.
2. Voting is a behavior, identification is a state of mind.
3. Three Points
a. The number of Republicans and Democrats combined far exceeds the independent in every year.
b. The number of Democrats consistently exceeds that of Republicans.
c. The number of Democrats has shrunk over time, to the benefit of both Republicans and independents, and the 3 groups are now almost equal in size.
4. If they vote against their party often enough, they may rethink their party identification and eventually switch.
5. People who have lower incomes and less education are more likely to think of themselves as Democrats.
6. Jews are strongly Democratic compared with other religious groups, and African Americans are also overwhelmingly Democratic.
7. Women tend to be more Democratic than men.
IV. Party Ideology and Organization
A. Differences in Party Ideology
1. Democrats are more disposed to government spending to advance social welfare than are Republicans.
2. Voters and Activists- One way to examine the differences is to compare party voters with party activists.
a. Relatively few ordinary voters think about politics in ideological terms, but party activists often do.
3. Platforms: Freedom, Order, and Equality.
a. We can look to the platforms adopted at party conventions.
b. Party platforms also matter a great deal to the parties' convention delegates- and to the interest groups that support the parties.
4. Different but Similar- The Democrats and Republicans have very different ideological orientations. Yet many observers claim that the parties are really quite similar in ideology compared to the different parties of other countries.
a. Both support capitalism
b. Both tend to be more conservative on economic matters than are parties in other 2-party countries.
B. National Party Organization
1. At the national level, each major party has 4 main organizational components
a. National convention- every 4 years, each party assembles thousands of delegates from the states and U.S. territories in a national convention for the purpose of nominating a candidate for president.
b. National committee- governs each party between conventions, is composed of party officials representing the states and territories.
c. Congressional party conferences- select their party leaders and decide committee assignments.
d. Congressional campaign committees- an organization maintained by a political party to raise funds to support its own candidates in congressional elections.
C. State and Local Party Organizations
1. Party Machines- a centralized party organization that dominates local politics by controlling elections.
D. Decentralized but Growing Stronger
1. Although the national committees have gained strength over the past 3 decades, American political parties are still among the most decentralized parties in the world.
2. The absence of centralized power has always been the most distinguishable characteristic of American Political parties.
V. The Model of Responsible Party Government.
A. A set of principles formalizing the ideal role of parties in a majoritarian democracy.
B. Four principles
1. Parties should present clear and coherent programs to voters.
2. Voters should choose candidates on the basis of party programs.
3. The winning party should carry out its program once in office.
4. Voters should hold the governing party responsible at the next election for executing its program.
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I. The Evolution of Campaigning
A. Voting in free elections to choose leaders is the main way that citizens control gov't.
B. Election campaign- an organized effort to persuade voters to choose one candidate
over others competing for the same office.
C. Candidates learn about voter's interests today by contracting for public opinion polls.
D. Candidates plan their campaign strategy and tactics now by hiring political consultants
to devise clever sound bites that will catch voters' attention on television.
E. Candidates deliver their messages to voters by conducting media campaigns.
A. Nomination for Congress and State Offices
1. Primary election- a preliminary election conducted within the party to select its
2. The nomination process is highly decentralized.
3. States hold different types of primary elections for state and congressional offices.
4. Closed primary- voters must declare their party affiliation before they are given the
primary ballot, which lists the party's potential nominees.
5. Open primary- voters may choose either party's ballot to take into the polling booth.
6. Blanket primary- voters receive one or more ballots listing all parties' potential
nominees for each office and can mark their ballots for any candidate, but only one for each office.
B. Nomination for President
1. Delegates attending the parties' national conventions, held the summer before the
presidential election in November, nominate the presidential candidates.
2. Selecting Convention Delegates
a. Presidential primary- special primary held to select delegates to attend a party's
national nominating convention.
b. Local caucus- begins with local meetings, or caucuses, of party supporters to
choose delegates to attend a larger subsequent meeting, usually at the county level.
c. Front-loading- describes the tendency during the last two decades for states to
move their primaries and caucuses earlier in the calendar year to gain attention from the media and the candidates.
3. Campaigning for the Nomination
a. The process of nominating party candidates for president is complex, drawn-out
affair that has no parallels in any other nation.
b. Would be presidents announce their candidacy and begin campaigning many
months before the 1st convention delegates are selected.
c. Soon after one election ends, prospective candidates quietly begin lining up
political and financial support for their likely race nearly 4 yrs. later.
d. Consequences of requiring prospective presidential candidates to campaign
before millions of party voters in primaries and hundreds of thousands of party activities.
i. When no incumbent in the White House is seeking reelection, the presidential
nominating process becomes contested in both parties.
ii. Candidates favored by most party identifiers usually win their party's
iii. Candidates who win the nomination do so largely on their own and owe little or
nothing to the national party organ., which usually does not promote a candidate.
A. General election- a national election held by law in Nov. of every even-numbered year.
B. Presidential Elections and the Electoral College
a. Each of the 50 states is entitled to one elector for each of its senators and one
for each of its representatives.
b. The total number of electoral votes is 538. Candidate needs a majority of
electoral votes,or 270 to win the presidency.
a. In 1789, the first set of presidential electors was chosen under the new constitution.
b. A candidate is not chosen president by national popular vote but by a majority of
the states' electoral votes.
c. In each state, the candidate who wins a plurality of its popular vote, wins all of the
state's electoral votes.
3. Abolish it?
a. Between 1789 and 2000, about 700 proposals to change the electoral college
were introduced in Congress.
b. The more troubling criticism centers on the electoral vote system, which makes
for a federal rather than a national election.
c. Many reformers favor a majoritarian method for choosing the president-by
nationwide direct popular vote.
They argue that it is simply wrong to have a system that allows a candidate who
wins the most popular votes nationally to lose the election.
d. 3 lines of argument support selecting a president by electoral votes rather than by
i. if one supports a federal form of gov't as embodied within the Constitution, then
one may defend the electoral vote system because it gives small states more weight in the vote.
ii. If one favors presidential candidates campaigning on foot and in rural areas
rather than campaigning via television to the 100 most populous market areas, then one might favor the electoral vote system
iii. If one does not want to see a nationwide recount in a close election, then one
might want to keep the current system.
C. Congressional Elections
1. Straight ticket- in voting, a single party's candidates for all the offices.
2. Split ticket- in voting, candidates from different parties for different offices.
3. First-past-the-post-elections- A British term for elections conducted in
single-member districts that award victory to the candidate with the most votes.
A. The Political Context
1. The 2 most important structural factors that face each candidate planning a
campaign are the office the candidate is seeking and whether he or she is the incumbent or the challenger.
2. Open election- which lacks an incumbent because of a resignation or death or
3. Every candidate for Congress must also examine the characteristics of the state or
district, including its physical size and the sociological makeup of its electorate.
4. The party focus of the electorate is an important factor in the context of a campaign.
1. Regulating Campaign Financing
a.In 1971, during the period of party reform, Congress enacted the Federal Election
Campaign Act, which imposed stringent new rules for full reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures.
b. 1974 an amendment limited the amounts they can contribute to election
campaigns. Also created the Federal Election Commission to implement the law.
2. Financing Presidential Campaigns
a. 1974 a new campaign finance law made public funds available to presidential
candidates under certain conditions.
b. Candidates for each party's nomination for president can qualify for federal funding
by raising at least $5000 in each of twenty states.
c. Originally, the 1974 legislation imposed spending limits both on monetary
contributions by individuals and organizations to a candidate's campaign and on expenses incurred by individuals or organizations who campaigned, independently, on behalf of the candidate.
3. Financing Congressional Elections
a. The rise of wealthy candidates for Congress has attracted systematic study.
b. Incumbents almost never finance their own campaigns.
c. Three-quarters of all competitive nonincumbents, however, used more than $1000
of their own money that year, and 15% used more than $100,000.
C. Strategy and Tactics
1. 3 Basic strategies of campaigns
a. A party-centered strategy, which relies heavily on voters' partisan identification as
well as on the party's organization to provide the resources necessary to wage the campaign.
b. An issue-oriented strategy, which seeks support from groups that feel strongly
about various policies.
c. An image-oriented strategy, which depends on the candidate's perceived personal
qualities, such as experience,
leadership ability, integrity, independence, trustworthiness, and the like.
2. Well-funded candidates can purchase a "polling package" that includes:
a. A benchmark poll that provides "campaign information about the voting
preferences and issues concerns of various groups in the electorate and a detailed reading of the image voters have of the candidates in the race.
b. Focus groups, consisting of ten to twenty people "chosen to represent particular
target groups the campaign wants to reinforce or persuade...led in their discussion by persons trained in small-group dynamics," giving texture and depth to poll results.
c. A trend poll "to determine the success of the campaigns in altering candidate
images and voting preferences.
d. Tracking polls that begin in early October, "conducting short nightly interviews
with a small number of respondents, keyed to the variables that have assumed importance.
3. Making the News
1. Campaigns value news coverage by the media for two reasons: the coverage is
free, and it seems objective to the audience.
4. Advertising the Candidate
1. In all elections, the first objective of paid advertising is name recognition. The
next is to promote candidates by extolling their values.
2. Campaign advertising can have a negative objective- to attack one's opponent.
3. Political ads convey more substantive information than many people believe.
4. Attack ads- those that advocate nothing positive.
5. Contrast ads- describes those that both criticize an opponent but also advocate
policies of the sponsoring candidate.
5. Using New Media
1. The public ranked the internet far below television as their major source of
a. allowed campaigns to communicate continually with activists on substantive
issues, campaign appearances, requests for help, and requests for money.
2. Candidates liked the internet because it was fast, easy to use, and cheap.
V. Explaining Voting Choice
A. Party Identification
1. Party identification had a substantial effect on the presidential vote in 2000.
2. The winner usually gets most of the independents, who split disproportionately for him.
3. Democrats do not turn out to vote as consistently as Republicans do and
Democrats tend to defect more readily from their party.
B. Issues and Policies
1. Candidates exploit issues that they think are important to voters.
2. Challengers usually campaign by pointing out problems and promising to solve them.
3. Incumbents compile a record in office and thus try to campaign on their accomplishments.
C. Candidates' Attributes
1. Candidates' attributes are especially important to voters who lack good information
about a candidate's past performance and policy stands.
2. In a close election, such as the 2000 presidential election, almost any measurable
factor can be identified as deciding the outcome.
D. Evaluating the Voting Choice
1. Citizens should vote according to the candidates' past performance and proposed policies.
2. Issues, candidates' attributes, and party identification all figure in the voting decision.
E. Campaign Effects
1. Television Campaign
a. Because of the propensity of television news shows to offer only sound bites,
candidates cannot rely on television news to get their message out.
2. Although candidates seek free coverage on news and entertainment programs,
they fight their television campaigns principally through commercial advertisements.
2. Presidential Debates
1. In 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon held the first televised presidential
debate, but debates were not used again until 1976.
2. Sitting presidents have been reluctant to debate except on their own terms.
VI. Campaigns, Elections, and Parties
A. Parties and the Majoritarian Model
1. According to the majoritarian model of democracy, parties link people with their
government by making government responsive to public opinion.
2. In nominating presidential candidates, basic party principles do interact with the
presidential primary process, and the candidate who wins enough convention delegates through the primaries will surely comfortable with any platform that her or his delegates adopt.
B. Parties and the Pluralist Model
1. The way parties in the United States operate is more in keeping with the pluralist
model of democracy than the majoritarian model.
2. Our parties function as 2 giant interest groups. The parties interests lie in electing
and reelecting their candidates, in enjoying the benefits of public office.
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I. Interests Groups and the American Political
A. Interest group- an organized body of individuals who share some political goals and try
to influence pubic policy decisions.
1. lobbies and their representatives are lobbyists.
B. Interest groups Good or Evil?
1. Tocqueville was suggesting that the ease with which we reform organizations
reflects a strong democratic culture.
2. James Madison warned of the dangers of "factions", the major divisions in American
3. Factions can be eliminated only by removing our freedoms because "liberty is to
faction what air is to fire?
C. Roles of Interest Groups
a. Interest groups represent people before their government.
b. Interest groups articulate their member's concerns, presenting them directly and
forcefully in the political process.
a. They provide a means by which like-minded citizens can pool their resources and
channel their energies into collective political action.
a. Interest groups help educated their members, the public at large, and government
4. Agenda Building
a. The process by which new issues are brought into the political limelight.
b. Make the gov't aware of problems and then try to see to it that something is done
to solve them.
5. Program Monitoring
a. Keeping track of gov't programs, usually by interest groups.
b. When a program is not operating as it should, concerned interest groups push
administrators to change them in ways that promote the group's goals.
II. How Interest Groups Form
A. Interest Group Entrepreneurs
1. An interest group leader or organizer.
2. Have something attractive to "market" in order to convince people to join.
B. Who is Being Organized
1. Why groups may or may not become fully organized
a. An adverse change or disturbance can contribute to people's awareness that they
need political representation.
b. The quality of leadership is critical in the organization of interest groups.
c. The higher the socioeconomic level of potential members, the more likely they
are to know the value of interest groups and to participate in politics by joining them.
III. Interest Group Resources
1. Members give an organization not only the political muscle to influence policy but
also financial resources.
2. Maintaining Membership
a. To keep the members it already has, an organization must persuade them that it
is doing a good job in its advocacy.
3. Attracting New Members
a. Groups try to distinguish themselves from competitors by concentrating on a few
key issues and developing a reputation as the most involved and knowledgeable about them.
b. Direct mail- letters sent to a selected audience to promote the organization and
appeal for contributions.
4. The Free-Rider Problem
a. Getting people who sympathize with a group's goals actually to join and support
it with their contributions is difficult.
b. When a lobbying group benefits, those benefits are not restricted to the members
of the organization.
1. Make sure that people in gov't know what their members want and that their
organizations know what the gov't is doing.
C. Political Action Committees
1. Pools campaign contributions from group members and donate the money to
candidates for political office.
IV. Lobbying Tactics
A. Direct Lobbying
1. Relies on personal contact with policymakers.
2. Must maintain contact with congressional and agency staffers, constantly providing
them with pertinent data.
B. Grassroots Lobbying
1. Involves an interest group's rank-and-file members and may include people outside
the organization who sympathize with its goals.
a. Letter-writing campaigns and protests
C. Information Campaigns
1. organized efforts to gain public backing by bringing their views to the public's attention.
a. Public relations
b. Sponsoring research
D. High-Tech Lobbying
1. Using resources such as direct mail, e-mail, faxes, polling, and the World Wide
Web, lobbies have tried to find ways to expand their reach and increase their impact.
2. Speeds up the political process
E. Coalition Building
1. Several organizations band together for the purpose of lobbying.
V. Is the System Biased?
A. Membership Patterns
1. Those who work in business or in a profession, those with high level of education,
and those with high incomes are the most likely to belong to interest groups.
B. Citizen Groups
1. Lobbying organizations built around policy concerns unrelated to members'
C. Business Mobilization
1. Partly a reaction to the success of liberal citizen groups, which business tended to
view as hostile to the free-enterprise system.
1. American gov't is generally characterized by the broad access it grants to interest groups.
1. The gov't has placed some restrictions on interest group campaign donations.
2. Strong disclosure requirements now exist.
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The Great Compromise:
Struggle between high population states and lower populous states.House: Has right to originate revenue bills, power of impeachment
Compromise- equal representation in Senate and House would be based on population.
Reapportionment- used to handle population shifts
Voters choose between incumbents or nonincumbent (rascal throwing)Congressional Agenda:Normally voters reelect incumbentsRedistricting is one explanation for this reelection
Gerrymandering- altering district lines for partisan advantage
Name recognition is an advantage for incumbents
Casework- majority of work performed by large staffs of Congress
Formal legislative process- member of congress introduces billCommittees:
Issues have to be on the Congressional agenda to be looked at
Division of labor- House and Senate divided into committeesOversight- following through on legislation to make sure policies are worked out as Congress wanted them to
Standing Committees- permanent committees in a specialized area
Joint Committees- members from both House and Senate
Select Committees- temporary committee formed for a certain purpose
Conference Committee- temporary and formed to work through differences in House and Senate
Representatives and senators elected by voters in districts and states.Majoritarian View of Committees:
Membership is looked for by committees whose decisions are most important to their constituents.
Members of the committees are mainly from same ideological backgroundLeadership Task:
Speaker of the House- the majority party’s leaderRules of Procedure:
Majority Leader- power in the senate resides in this
Operations are structured in House and Senate through formal rules and informal norms of behaviorConstituents:
Filibuster- started by senator who wants to stop a bill and talk it to death
Cloture-means of limiting debated
The people who live and vote in legislator’s district or state and their opinions are crucial part to legislative decision-making processInterest Groups:
One way constituents influence Congress, b/c they represent an array of vocational, regional, and ideological groupings within our populationPresidents and Shopping bags:
Members of Congress live in two worlds, the world of president and the world of personalized shopping bags. This means members spend time in both Washington and home district working with different groups of his or her districtTrustees:
Representative are obligated to consider views of their constituents, but don’t have to vote according to those views if they feel that those views are misguidedDelegates:
Are duty-bound to represent the majority views of their constituents and get instructions on how to vote on crucial issues from homeParliamentary System:
Chief executive is the legislative leader whose party holds most seats in legislature after an election or whose party forms a majority part of the ruling coalition. They only vote for their members of Parliament and thus influence the choice of the prime minister indirectly.Earmarks:
Included in appropriation bills in pork barrel projects that benefit specific districts or states and further add to any deficitChap. 11: Congress
I. The Origin and Powers of Congress
A. The Great Compromise
1. A bill cannot become law unless it is passed in identical form by both chambers.
2. Said the small states would receive equal representation in the Senate, but the
number of each state's representatives in the House would be based on
3. Population shifts are handled by reapportionment.
B. Duties of the House and Senate
1. Share the power to declare war, raise an army and navy, borrow and coin money,
regulate interstate commerce, create federal courts, est. rules for the
naturalization of immigrants, and "make all laws which shall be necessary and
proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.
2. House has the right to originate revenue bills, power of impeachment.
3. Senate has the power to try impeachment's and to approve major presidential
appointments and treaties with foreign nations.
II. Electing Congress
A. Incumbency Effect
1. Incumbent-current officeholder.
a. the way House districts are redrawn by state legislatures after a census-based reapportionment.
b. Gerrymandering-altering district lines for partisan advantage.
3. Name Recognition
a. Incumbents develop significant name recognition among voters simply by
being members of Congress.
b. Franking privilege-the right to send mail free of charge.
c. casework-services for constituents such as tracking down a social security
check or directing the owner of a small business to the appropriate federal
4. Campaign Financing
a. Challengers must spend large sums of money to run a strong campaign with
an emphasis on advertising.
5. Successful Challengers
a. Vulnerable incumbents bring out higher quality challengers.
6. 2000 Election Left the Republicans in control by a slim 221-212 margin.
B. Whom do We Elect?
1. Most members of congress are professionals.
2. Women and minorities have long been underrepresented.
3. Descriptive representation -legislature should resemble the demographic
characteristics of the population it represents.
4. Racial gerrymandering-the drawing of a legislative district to maximize the
chances that a minority candidate will win election.
III. How Issues Get on the Congressional Agenda
A. The formal legislative process begins when a member of Congress introduces a bill.
B. Senators give their bills to a Senate clerk or introduce them from the floor.
C. The problem or issue must find its way onto the congressional agenda.
IV. The Dance of Legislative: An Overview
A. A bill is assigned a committee with jurisdiction over that policy area.
B. The bill is the assigned to a specialized subcommittee.
C. The bill is revised or modified and then sent to the full committee.
D. If approved it is sent to the entire membership of the chamber.
E. Bills coming out of House committees go to the Rules Committee before going to the
full House membership.
F. If both chambers approve the bill, it goes to the president for his signature or veto.
V. Committees: The Workhorses of Congress
A. The Division of Labor Among Committees
1. The House and Senate are divided into committees to develop and use expertise
in specific areas.
2. Standing Committees
a. Permanent committees that specialize in a particular area of legislation.
b. Members acquire expertise by continually working within the same fairly
narrow policy area.
3. Other Congressional Committees
a. Joint committees-composed of members of both the House and the Senate.
b. Select committee-temporary committee created for a specific purpose.
c. Conference committee- temporary committee, created to work out differences
between the House and Senate versions of specific piece of legislation.
B. Congressional Expertise and Seniority
1. Seniority-years of consecutive service on a particular congressional committee.
C. Oversight: Following Through on Legislation
1. Oversight= the process of reviewing agencies' operations to determine whether
they are carrying out policies as Congress intended.
2. Hearings, requesting reports on specific agency practices and operations.
D. Majoritarian and Pluralist Views of Committees
1. Pluralism: Representatives and senators are elected by the voters in their
particular districts and states, and they tend to seek membership on the
committees that make the decisions most important to their constituents.
2. Majoritarian: Although some committees have a surplus or shortage of legislatures
from particular kinds of districts or states, most committee members reflect the
general ideological profiles of the two parties' congressional contingents.
VI. Leaders and Followers in Congress
A. Leadership Task
1. Speaker of the House-the presiding officer of the House of Representatives.
2. Majority Leader-Head of the majority party in the Senate; the second highest
ranking member of the majority party in the House.
B. Rules of Procedure
1. House uses its Rules Committee to govern floor debate.
2. Senate relies on unanimous consent agreements to set the starting time and
length of debate.
3. Filibuster-senator can start this to try to stop a bill by talking it to death.
4. Cloture-the mechanism by which a filibuster is cut off in the Senate.
C. Norms of Behavior
1. Members show respect for their colleagues in public deliberations.
2. Individuals should be willing to bargain with one another.
VII. The Legislative Environment
A. Political Parties
1. Do not control the nominations of House and Senate candidates.
2. When congressional parties are more unified, it gives voters a stronger means of
influencing pubic policy choices through their selection of representatives and
B. The President
1. Capitalize on their popular election and usually act as though they are speaking
for the majority.
1. The people who live and vote in a legislator's district or state.
2. Influence contributes to pluralism b/c the diversity of America is mirrored by the
geographical basis of representation in the House and Senate.
D. Interest Groups Exemplify pluralist politics.
VIII. The Dilemma of Representation
A. Presidents and Shopping Bags
1. Every member of Congress lives in 2 worlds: the world of presidents and the world
of personalized shopping bags.
B. Trustees or Delegates?
1. Trustee-representatives are obligated to consider the views of their constituents,
but they are not obligated to vote according to those views if they think they are
2. Delegates-duty-bound to represent the majority view of their constituents.
IX. Pluralism, Majoritarianism, and Democracy
A. Parliamentary Government
1. Parliamentary system-the chief executive is the legislative leader whose party
holds the most seats in the legislature after an election or whose party forms a
major part of the ruling coalition.
B. Pluralism Versus Majoritarianism in Congress
1. Members of Congress try to win projects and programs that will benefit their
constituents and thus help them at election time.
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I. The Constitutional Basis of Presidential
A. Initial Conceptions of the Presidency
1. The final structure of the presidency reflected the "checks and balances" philosophy that had shaped the entire Constitution.
B. The Powers of the President
1. Serve as administrative head of the nation
2. Act as commander in chief of the military
3. Convene Congress
4. Veto legislation
5. Appoint various officials
6. Make treaties
7. Grant pardons
II. The Expansion of Presidential Power
A. The Inherent Powers
1. Authority claimed by the president that is not clearly specified in the Constitution. Typically, these powers are inferred from the Constitution.
B. Congressional Delegation of Power
1. Delegation of Powers- gives the executive branch more responsibility to administer programs that address those problems.
C. The President's Power to Persuade
1. Influence comes from his assigned responsibilities and his political skills and how effectively he uses the resources of his office.
2. Cannot intervene in every legislative struggle.
D. The President and the Public
1. Popular president is more persuasive than an unpopular one because he can use his public support as a resource in the bargaining process.
2. Popularity is typically at its highest during a president's first year in office.
3. Factors that explain the rise and fall in presidential population.
a. Public approval of the job done by a president is affected by economic conditions, such as inflation and unemployment.
b. A president is affected by unanticipated events of all types that occur during his administration.
c. American involvement in a war.
II. The Electoral Connection
A. Mandate- endorsement by voters. Presidents sometimes argue they have been given a mandate to carry out policy proposals.
B. Divided government- one party controlling the White House and the other party controlling at least one house of Congress.
C. Congressional independence is at the heart of why contemporary presidents work so hard to gain public support for their policies.
D. Gridlock- a situation in which government is incapable of acting on important issues.
III. The Executive Branch Establishment
A. The Executive Office of the President
1. Advise him on crucial political choices, devise the general strategies the administration will follow in pursuing congressional and public suport, and control access to the president to ensure that he has enough time for his most important tasks.
2. Chief of Staff- leader of the staff
3. National security advisor- provide daily briefings on foreign and military affairs and longer-range analyses of issues confronting the administration.
4. Executive Office of the President- The presidents's executive aides and their staffs; the extended White House executive establishment.
B. The Vice President
1. Primary function is to serve as standby equipment.
2. Also have political chores-campaigning, fundraising, and "stroking" the party faithful.
C. The Cabinet
1. Composed of the heads of the departments of the executive branch and a small number of other key officials.
2. Constitute an adivisory body that meets with the president to debate major policy decisions.
3. The Cabinet has become rather large.
4. Most cabinet members have limited areas of expertise and simply cannot contribute much to deliberations in policy areas they know little about.
5. The president often chooses cabinet members because of their reputations or to give his cabinet some racial, ethnic, geographic, gender, or religious balance, not because they are personally close to the president or easy for him to work with.
IV. The President as National Leader
A. From Political Values
1. Presidents differ greatly in their views of the role of government.
B. To Policy Agenda
1. Over time, presidential candidates have been increasingly likely to make appeals for support that reflect a pluralist view of American politics.
C. Chief Lobbyist
1. The president is not only to propose legislation but also to make sure that it passes.
2. Legislative Liason staff is the communications link between the White House and Congress.
3 . A certain amount of the president's job consists of stereotypical arm twisting-pushing reluctant legislators to vote a certain way.
4. The White House also works directly with interest groups in its efforts to build support for legislation.
Presidential aides hope key lobbyist will activate the most effective lobbyist of all: the voters back home.
D. Party Leader
1. Part of the president's job is to lead his party. This is very much an informal duty, with no prescribed tasks.
2. The president is the "fundraiser in chief" for his party.
E. Foreign Relations
1. Presidents not only used overt and covert military means to fight communism but also tried to reduce tensions through negotiations.
F. Crisis Management
1. Periodically, the president faces a grave situation in which conflict is imminent or a small conflict threatens to explode into a larger war.
A. Americans must make a broad evaluation of the candidates' personalities and leadership styles.
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I. Organization Matters
A. Bureaucracy- a nation's laws and policies are administered, or put into effect, by various departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, and other government units.
B. Bureaucrat-an employee of a bureaucracy, usually meaning a government bureaucracy.
II. The Development of the Bureaucratic State
A. The Growth of the Bureaucratic State
1. Reasons gov't has grown
a. Increasing complexity of society
b. The public's attitude toward business has changed.
c. General attitudes abut gov'ts responsibilities in the area of social welfare have changed too.
d. Ambitious, entrepreneurial agency officials have expanded their organizations and staffs to take on added responsibilities.
B. Can We Reduce the Size of Government?
1. If gov't is to become smaller, bureaucracies will have to be eliminated or reduced to size.
2. Budget surplus has reduced the pressure to cut the size of the bureaucracy.
3. Strength of the American economy has led politicians to feel comfortable in arguing for an enhanced role for government.
III. Bureaus and Bureaucrats
A. The Organization of Government
1. Departments-the biggest units of the executive branch, covering broad areas of gov't responsibility.
2. Independent agencies-executive agency that is not part of a cabinet department.
a. Regulatory Commission-an agency of the executive branch of gov't that controls or directs some aspect of the economy.
3. Government Corporations-a gov't agency that performs services that might be provided by the private sector but that involve either insufficient financial incentive or are
better provided when they are somehow linked with gov't.
B. The Civil Service
1. The system by which most appointments to the federal bureaucracy
are made, to ensure that gov't jobs are filled on the basis of merit and that employees are not fired for political reasons.
2. To make gov't offices accessible to the people they serve.
C. Presidential Control over the Bureaucracy
1. New president establishes an extensive personnel review process to find appointees who are both politically compatible and qualified in their field.
2. Bureaucracy is not responsive b/c:
a. Pluralism can pull agencies in a direction other than that favored by the president.
b. Bureaucracy can try to push an agency toward one of the available options.
IV. Administrative Policymaking: The Formal Process
A. Administrative Discretion
1. The latitude that Congress gives agencies to make policy in the spirit of their legislative mandate.
2. The wide latitude Congress gives administrative agencies often leads to charges that the bureaucracy is out of control, a power unto itself.
B. Rule Making
1. The administrative process that results in the issuance of regulations by gov't agencies.
2. Regulations-administrative rules that guide the operation of a gov't program.
a. Have the effect of law.
V. Administrative Policymaking: Informal Politics
A. The Science of Muddling Through
1. Compared the way policy might be made in the ideal world with the way it is formulated in the real world.
2. Real-world decision making parts company with the ideal in another way: the policy selected cannot always be the most effective means to the desired end.
3. Policymaking can never be based on truly comprehensive analyses.
4. Incrementalism-Policymaking characterized by a series of decisions, each instituting modest change.
B. The Culture of Bureaucracy
1. Americans often find their interactions with bureaucrats frustrating because bureaucrats are inflexible or lack the authority to get things done.
2. Norms-an organization's informal, unwritten rules that guide individual behavior.
Vi. Problems in Implementing Policy
A. Implementation-the process of putting specific policies into operation.
1. May be difficult because the policy to be carried out is not clearly stated.
2. Policymakers can create implementation difficulties by ignoring the administrative capabilities of an agency they have chosen to carry out a program.
3. Obstacles to effective implementation can create the impression that nothing the gov't does succeeds, but programs can and do work.
VII. Reforming the Bureaucracy: More Control or Less?
1. a bureaucratic reform by which the gov't reduces its role as a regulator of business.
2. Regulation-Government intervention in the workings of business to promote some socially desired goal.
3. Conservatives have championed deregulation because they see freedom in the marketplace as the best route to an efficient and growing economy.
B. Monitoring, Accountability, and Responsiveness
1. Bureaucracies must also strive to be responsive to the public, to provide services in an efficient and accessible manner.
2. Total quality management-a management philosophy emphasizing listening closely to customers, breaking down barriers between parts of an organization, and continually improving quality.
3. Government Performance and Results Act-a law requiring each government agency to implement quantifiable standards to measure its performance in meeting stated program
Government intervention in the workings of business to promote some socially desired goal.
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I. National Judicial Supremacy
A. Judicial Review of the Other Branches
1. Marbury v. Madison
a. The case began in 1801.
b. The act authorized the Supreme Court to issue orders against gov't officials.
c. Court held that when an act of the legislature conflicts with the Constitution, that act is invalid.
d. Judicial Review-the power to declare gov't acts invalid because they violate the Constitution.
e. Marshall expanded the potential power of the Supreme Court to equal or exceed to power of the other branches of government.
B. Judicial Review of State Government
1. Court in 1796 said that the Constitution's supremacy clause, which embraces national laws and treaties, nullified the state law.
2. Has the authority to review state court decisions that called for the interpretation of national law, because the Constitution's meaning would vary from state to state.
C. The Exercise of Judicial Review
1. Early cases that established the components of judicial review
a. The power of the courts to declare national, state, and local laws invalid if they violate the Constitution.
b. The supremacy of national laws or treaties when they conflict with state and local laws.
c. The role of the Supreme Court as the final authority on the meaning of the Constitution.
II. The Organization of Courts
A. Some Court Fundamentals
1. Criminal and Civil Cases
a. Crime is a violation of a law that forbids or commands an activity.
b. Criminal laws are created, amended, and repealed by state legislatures.
c. Criminal Cases-a court case involving a crime, or violation of public order.
d. Civil Case-a court case that involves a private dispute arising from such matters as accidents, contractual obligations, and divorce.
2. Procedures and Policymaking
a. Judges make policies in 2 different ways.
i. Common law-Legal precedents derived from previous judicial decisions.
ii. The application of statutes enacted by legislatures.
b. US district courts- a court within the lowest tier of the 3 tiered federal system; a court where litigation begins.
c. US court of appeals- a court within the 2nd tier of the 3 tiered federal court system, to which decisions of the district courts and federal agencies may be appealed for review.
B. The US District Courts
1. Sources of Litigation
a. Federal criminal cases
b. Civil cases, brought by individuals, groups or gov't, alleging violation of natural law
c. Civil cases brought against the national gov't
d. Civil cases between citizens of different states
C. The US Court of Appeals
1. Appellate Court Proceedings
a. Public, but lack courtroom drama.
b. No jurors, witnesses, or cross-examinations
c. Based strictly on the rulings made and procedures followed in the trial courts.
d. Regional courts.
e. Convene in panels of 3 judges to render judgment
2. Precedent and Making Decisions
a. Precedent- a judicial ruling that serves as the basis for the ruling in a subsequent case.
b. Stare Decisis-let the decision stand; decision making according to the precedent.
c. Devote their energies to correcting errors in district court proceedings and interpreting the law.
3. Uniformity of Law
a. The regional character of the courts of appeals undermines uniformity somewhat because the courts are not bound by the decisions of other circuits.
III. The Supreme Court
A. Access to the Court
1. The Supreme Courts cases come from 2 sources.
a. Original Jurisdiction-the authority of a court to hear a case before any other court does.
b. Appellate Jurisdiction-The authority of a court to hear cases
that have been tried, decided, or reexamined in other courts.
2. Federal question-an issue covered by the constitution, national laws, or US treaties.
3. Docket- a court's agenda
4. Rule of Four-an unwritten rule that requires at least 4 justices to agree that a case warrants consideration before it is reviewed by the Supreme Court.
B. The Solicitor General
1. Represents the national gov't before the Supreme Court, serving as the hinge between an administration's legal approach and its policy objectives.
2. Amicus curiae brief- a brief filed by an individual or group that is not a part to a legal action but has an interest in it.
3. Play 2 different roles
a. They are advocates for the president's policy preferences
b. They traditionally defend the institutionally interests of the national gov't.
C. Decision Making
1. Judicial Restraint and Judicial Activism
a. Judicial restraint-maintains that legislators, not judges, should make the laws.
b. Judicial activism-maintains that judges should interpret existing laws and rulings with little regard to precedent and to interject their own values into court decisions.
2. Judgment and Argument
a. Judgment- voting outcome, the decision on who wins and who loses.
b. Argument-the heart of a judicial opinion; its logical content separated from facts, rhetoric, and procedure.
c. Concurrence-agreement with a judgment for different reasons
than those set forth in the majority opinion.
d. Dissent-the disagreement of a judge with a majority decision.
3. The Opinion
a. The most senior justice in the majority decides which justice will write the majority opinion.
b. Opinion writing is the justices' most critical function.
D. Strategies of the Court
1. Liberal justices choose freedom over order and equality over freedom.
2. Conservative justices choose order over freedom and freedom over equality.
E. The Chief Justice
1. Social leader, generating solidarity within the group.
2. Embody intellectual leadership
3. Provide policy leadership
IV. Judicial Recruitment
A. The Appointment of Federal Judges
1. Hold their position for life.
2. The Advice and Consent of the Senate
a. Senatorial courtesy- a practice whereby the Senate will not confirm for a lower federal court judgeship a nominee who is opposed by the senior senator in the president's party in the nominee's state.
3. Recent Presidents and the Federal Judiciary
a. Jimmy Carter-wanted to base judicial appointments on merit and wanted to make the judiciary more representative of the general population.
B. Appointment to the Supreme Court
1. Attract more intense public scrutiny than do lower-level appointments, effectively narrowing the presidents options and focusing attention on the Senate's advice and consent.
V. The Consequences of Judicial Decisions
A. Plea Bargain- a defendant's admission of guilt in exchange for a less severe punishment.
B. Supreme Court Rulings: Implementation and Impact
1. When the Supreme court makes a decision, it relies on others to implement it, to translate policy into action.
C. Public Opinion and the Supreme Court
1. The politics coming from the Supreme Court rarely seem out of line with the public's ideological choices.
2. Three explanations for the Court's reflecting majority sentiment
a. The modern Court has shown deference to national laws and policies.
b. The Court moves closer to public opinion during periods of crises.
c. Rulings that reflect the public view are subject to fewer
changes than rulings that depart from public opinion.
VI. The Courts and Models of Democracy
A. The argument that our judicial system fits the pluralist model gains support from a legal procedure called a class action.
1. Device for assembling the claims or defenses of similarly situated individuals so that they can be heard in a single lawsuit.
B. When judges reach decisions, they pay attention to the views of other courts-and not just those above them.
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