Process by which young people acquire views and orientations about politics adn political life; A lifelong process, but, our basic values and principles are established early on in life.
What factors help to define our values and principles?
1. Family, 2. Education, 3. Peers, and 4. Other factors such as mass media, religion, gender, age, race and ethnicity, socio-economics, urban/rural living, personal events, etc.
What is Public Opinion?
What the public thinks about an issue/set of issue at any point in time.
What problems or shortcoming are associated with using public opinions poling directly to formulate public policy?
1. There is no "one" public opinion on an issue, 2. Very hard to konw exactly what the response mean, 3. Extremely hard to read the intensity adn meaning of public responses, 4. Value of public opinion on government decisions and policy, 5. sets broad limits on government decision makers in an inexact but crucial manner about what are our concerns, and 6. public feedback is essential to governemnt operation
Who began what we know today as the scientific method of polling?
what are the scientific method of polling?
stratified-random polling and margin error-sampling error
What are the different type of surveys?
standard, tracking polls, and exit polls
what are the negative aspects of polling?
polls cannot measure, polls can be manipulated and worded to support a personal agenda, and exit polls can discourage voting
What is the value of public opinions surveys and polling?
critical public feedback/information to guide and inform policy makers on what the concerns are among citizens
What is mass media?
very influential institution on our daily lives and on government operations
where does influence come from?
the power to direct our attention, our thinking toward an issue, subject, person-agenda setting; how the presented information is presented or framed- spin or interpretation
what does mass media provide?
news, entertainment, and advertising
Historic devolopment of mass media:
-Revolution/late 1800s: small private presses to large publishing firms (Hearst, Pulitzer, etc.). Era ends with "yellow journalism".
-Early 1900s to 1960s: professional journalism period: symbiotic relationships between the media and the government
-Mid 60s to Today: symbiotic relationship breaks over the issue of trust (Vietnam war reporting). Trust has not been restored. Investigative reportings becomes popular. Interpretive reporting becomes popular.
What are the functions of the mass media?
signaler, common carrier/go-between, watchdog, and a public representative.
A signaler is when
the mass media alerts and informs us of important news events. A critical function for a true democracy.
A common carrier or go-between
provides means by which our political representatives can communicate with us usually through a press conference or mailer format.
alerts the public to unlawful, deceitful, corrupt, practices by government or business officials.
A public representative
represents, speaks for the public.
What are the government restrictions on the media?
-mass media/the press enjoys First Amendment protection
-Federal Communication Act 1934, purpose was to prevent chaos in the expanding broadcast company
-1934 Act created the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) which:
1. approving and denying licenses to operate radio, tv, or other means of broadcast media
2. assigns frequencies adn maximum broadcast power (watts)
3. enforces standards of language and content
The Telecommunication Act of 1996
-loosen federal restrictions on media ownership
-made it illegal to make indecent sexual material accessible to minors on the internet
-allowed broadcasters, telephone companies, and cable providers to compete with one another
-led to greater concentration of news media into fewer conglomerates.
What are the different forms of political participation?
voting, lobbying, public relations (more like advertising), litigation (courts), protesting, and other community involvement
What were initially the requirement of suffarage?
white males, 21 years old, and property owners
Who was successful in removing property ownership requirement?
What gave former slaves the right to vote?
Post civil war passage of the 14th and 15th amendment
The 19th amendment
gave women the right to vote
The 26th amendment
lowers voting age from 21 to 18
What is the profile of a high frequency voter?
-age: older americans vote more
-gender: women by slight percent but more important is gender gap
-interested in politics
What are the turnouts of low voter?
-most interest in the presidential election
-midterm election is less
-local election has the lowest turnout
What is a turnout?
of eligble voter, the actual number who voted
What are reasons for not voting?
too busy, alienation/apathy/frustration, registration requirements, voter fatigue, candidates/parties similar, absentee ballot problems, just lazy/not interested
What are some attempts to increase voter turnout?
-instant voter registration at polls
-make voting a holiday
-simplify absentee ballot processes
-strengthen political party involvement in encouraging people to vote
What is the most importan task or job of Congress?
the power of force (control over the nations military forces) and the power over money
What is the senate leadership?
Ceremonial-represents the elite members of society
What is the size of senate/house?
what is the sole unique powers of senate/house?
-senate: all ideas raised can receive a thorough public airing, power to approve treaties (by two-third vote) and approve appointment of ambassadors
-house: better equiped to play a routine role in the governmental process
What has allowed congress to increase in expressed powers?
How does a bill become law?
A bill is drafted or proposed by a member of Congress, the White House, or a federal agency, but it does not become an official bill until it is introduced in either the House or Senate by a member of Congress.
The bill is then referred to the appropriate standing committee with jurisdiction over the subject matter of the legislation and then assigned to subcommittee for markup. Ninety-five percent of bills die in committee.
If the bill is successfully voted out of committee, then it is sent to the House Rules Committee for a rule or submitted for unanimous consent in the Senate.
Debate is limited in the House pursuant to the rules imposed by the Rules Committee.
The Senate, however, places no limits on debate, bringing about the possibilities of a filibuster and cloture proceedings.
Voting on legislation can be done by voice vote or by roll call.
A conference committee is called if differences exist between the House and Senate versions of a bill, and the report of the conference committee must be approved by both chambers before it is sent on to the president.
The president may sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto the legislation (veto message or pocket veto).
A presidential veto may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both chambers.
What are the constitutional qualifications to be President?
You must be a naturally born US citizen. There is also a minimum age requirement. Age: 35 You must have live in the us 14 consecutive years.
What is the purpose of the State of the Union address?
to make recommendations for congress's consideration
what are the power and authority of modern vice presidents?
The vice president exists to succeed the president and to preside over the Senate, breaking tied votes if necessary; but he or she is essentially a political resource for the president during the election. Recent vice presidents have played an active role in policy making.
What authority and influence does the president have in the lawmaking and budget process?
obligation to make recommendation for consideration by Congress and the ability to veto legislation.
How many presidential electors does a state have?
It depends upon the total number of representatives per state in the senate and congress.
Overall, has the presidency increased in authority or decreased?
What are the characteristics of the ideal (Weber) model of the bureaucracy?
-specification of jobs with detailed rights, obligations, responsibilities, scope of authority
-system of supervision and subordination
-unity of command
-extensive use of written documents
-training in job requirements and skills
-application of consistent and complete rules (company manual)
-assign work and hire personnel based on competence and experience
Why was the Civil Service system enacted?
The Civil Service Act of 1883 created the merit system by requiring that appointees to public office be qualified for the job, thereby ending the spoils system.
Who does the bureaucracy answer to?
Congress has delegated a significant amount of authority to the federal bureaucracy by granting the agencies the power to draft federal regulations (rule making) and to adjudicate conflicts over these regulations.
Why do the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accounting Office exist?
The agency exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.
Review the structure of the judicial branch and functions
-In the United States, systems of courts have been established by the federal government and by the governments of the individual states.
-Cases involving federal laws, treaties, and the Constitution are heard by the federal courts. Federal cases include tax evasion, drug crimes, and terrorism.
-Cases involving the overwhelming majority of issues involving the public’s health, safety, welfare, and morality are the jurisdiction of state courts.
How do federal judges get their jobs?
The Constitution is silent on the number of judges that will serve on the Supreme Court—but the number has been fixed at nine since 1869.
Federal judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
There are no qualifications for service as a judge, but partisan politics has begun to play a major role in the appointment process.
--Presidents attempt to appoint judges whose judicial philosophy is consistent with their own political ideology. Seven of the nine justices were appointed by Republican presidents, helping explain the conservative trend in Supreme Court rulings.
Senate scrutiny checks the president’s ability to appoint judges that are perceived to be too extreme, yet the decision to stop the recount and declare George W. Bush the winner in Bush v. Gore was made by the five most conservative judges on the court.
Marbury v Madison
is a landmark case in United States law. It formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. Chief Justice John Marshall established the Supreme Court's power to rule on the constitutionality of federal and state laws. This power makes the Court a lawmaking body.
What is the 22nd Amendment?
Limited presidential term
What is the 25th Amendment?
provided presidential succession in case of disability
what is Regulatory Commissions?
departments, bureaus, or independent agencies whose primary mission is to impose limits, restrictions, or other obligations on teh conduct of individuals or companies in the private sector.
what is Reapportionment?
the process of dividing the number of State representatives
and senators among the State’s population in order to assure, as close as
possible, districts of equal size.
What is Judicial restraint/activism?
-judical philosophy whose adherents refuse to go beyond teh clear words of the Constitution in interpreting its meaning
-judical philosophy that posits that the Court should go beyond the words of the Constitution or a statute implications of its decisions
What is Stare Decisis?
literally, "let the decisions stand." The doctrine that a previous decision by a court applies as a precedent in similar cases until that decision is overruled.
What are the Cabinet departments?
justice, defense, state, homeland security, health and human services, treasury, agriculture, housing and urban development, interior, commerce, labor, education, transportation, energy, and veterans affairs.