Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chapter 11 Part III

Questions (no terms for this section):

Describe how the president works with Congress in the legislative process.

To what extent do Congressmen directly mirror the opinion of their constituents, and to what extent do they make independent decisions? (trustees versus instructed delegates)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Chapter 11 Part II


House Rules Committee
Speaker of the House
Majority Leader
Party Whips
Minority Leader
Standing Committees
Joint Committees
Conference Committees
Select Committees
Legislative Oversight
Committee Chairs


How does the House and the Senate have unique roles in bringing bills to the discussion and deciding whether to vote on it (i.e. House Rules Committee and Filibustering)?

Explain the difference between the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader, and the Majority Party Whip.

Explain how committees and subcommittees influence legislation, and provide congressional oversight.  How might the decentralized nature of the Senate make committees complicated and cause fragmentation?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chapter 11, Part I


Why have there been fewer minorities (including women) in Congress? Can descriptive representation be as effectively as substantive representation?

What advantages do incumbents in Congress have in winning re-elections? Why might incumbency impact senators differently than House representatives?

In what circumstances is it more likely for an incumbent to be defeated?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chapter 9 Part IV

Questions - Provide Brief Bulleted Responses

What do voters consider the most when making their decisions--party affiliation, candidate evaluation, or policy?  Why?

There are two contrasting ideas about who has the power before and after the election process.  According to the mandate theory of elections, elected candidates feel that their victory entitles them to enact the policies they want.  Conversely, voters feel that since elections are frequent, the government needs to be more responsive to their needs.  Which idea is more accurate, and why?

What are the pros and cons to the electoral college?  How does geography play into this question?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chapter 9 Part III


selective exposure
political efficacy
civic duty
voter registration laws
voter ID laws


What are some of the arguments for against voting?

To what extent have voter registration and voter ID laws affected voter turnout?

Consider the arguments for and against voter ID laws.  Which side do you agree with?

What social factors make people most likely to vote?  Are there any ways that we can increase participation among certain categories that are lacking?

Chapter 9 Part II


role of internet on campaigning
importance of commercials
impact of the news
important tasks of organizing the campaign (pick 3)
campaign contributions vs. independent expenditures
Federal Election Campaign Act
soft money
McCain-Feingold Act (2002)
527 Groups
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
501 (c) Groups
Super PACs


What is more useful towards learning about a candidate: the internet or commercials?  How might this connect to our discussion of the mass media?

Describe the intricate process of campaign organization.  How might this connect to financing a campaign?

What are some of the restrictions on campaign financing, and how have people gotten around them?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chapter 9 Part I


campaign strategy
national party convention
McGovern-Fraser Commission
invisible primary
presidential primaries
party platform


How were national party conventions criticized as not being fully democratic? How is the McGovern-Fraser Commission significant here, and how was the nomination process modified?

Do superdelegates really have more power over regular delegates?  Why or why not?

How do presidential candidates work towards nomination within the political arena before the primaries and caucuses?

Which is more important towards selecting a nominee? The caucuses and primaries or the party convention?  Why is this?  What are some of the criticisms of primaries and caucuses?