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American Government and Organization

American Government and Organization

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American Government and Organization

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  1. American Government and Organization PS1301 Friday, 16 January

  2. Announcements • Be sure to purchase text by January 31 to take advantage of free shipping • Purchase and register response pads by next Friday, January 23. • Donovan book for sale for $10 • Iowa Caucus is Monday, January 19; New Hampshire Primary is Tuesday, January 27. For further info see CNN: Special Reports.

  3. Outline for Course • A Case for Reform? Causes and Consequences • Concepts: Conflict, Rules, and Change • Principles of the Structure of U.S. Government: Constitution, Federalism • Institutions: congress, presidency, bureaucracy, the courts • Linkage Mechanisms: public opinion, elections, parties, interest groups, the media • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

  4. Indicators for Reform • Does the republic need reforming? • Dissatisfaction • Low Turnout • Failure to achieve electoral majorities - Loss of mandate • Lack of competitive elections – mostly congressional level • Crisis events – 2000 election and 1998 Clinton impeachment

  5. Trends

  6. Trust in Government Source: Table 2.1, p.19 Donovan and Bowler

  7. Trends

  8. Reasons for Distrust

  9. Lack of Influence (Efficacy)

  10. Political Responsiveness

  11. Attitudes about Congress

  12. Lack of Influence?

  13. Lack of Influence?

  14. Turnout in the US • In presidential elections, only half the eligible population participates and in midterm elections only one third participates • Previous elections had higher turnout; turnout has decline in almost every election since 1960. • How does the US compare to other countries?

  15. Turnout in Comparative Perspective

  16. Loss of Electoral Majorities – U.S. Presidential Elections

  17. Lack of Competition • Nearly all U.S. Representatives win reelection; just 10 percent of the races are viewed as “competitive” • When incumbents retire the result is largely predetermined.