Wilson Chapter 17 - Public Policy

Wilson Chapter 17 - Public Policy - Wilson Chapter 17 The...

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Wilson Chapter 17 – The Politics of Public Policy How the American System Affects Policy Making Consider the effects of 4 constitutional provisions on how we make policy: 1. the separation of powers: o two results: the president and congress will be rivals, even when they are from the same political party; stalemates will be the rule members of congress will first and foremost represent their districts and states; bills have to be adjusted to reflect differing demands of local constituencies 2. Federalism o Hard to have truly national policy on anything – even if we do, the states have a huge role in implementing it 3. Judicial Review o Fed courts can declare an act of the president/congress unconstitutional etc o Have a huge role in implementing laws 4. Freedom of speech and assembly o Can place restrictions on lobbyists because have group rights just like individuals Best way to describe our government – adversarial o Puts a premium on the ability to dramatize issues, gain publicity, mount demonstrations and attack opponents o Downplays the ability to conduct quiet negotiations make commitment, and accept personal responsibility o Politicians have incentive to claim that government must do something and that they know just what to do- this creates incentive for interest groups to act; more pressure to draft a bill Checks and balances and individualistic style of political campaigning – incentive to dig up dirt and blow a whistle on rivals Policies get made in many ways because so many people in power and adversarial How the American System has Changed Change to more participatory and adversarial fed government now does more things affecting more people than ever before Thus more people try to influence Washington – pushing and shouting For any new policy to take effect, both houses have to agree, the president has to sign it, and the courts have to accept it as constitutional; since all elected separately, neither can readily use a political party to control the other branch purpose of constitution is to ban huge growth in gov’t activity; this is a buffer o Sphere in which the fed government can act in state is small Vast increase in the scope of its activities and the reach of its powers o Originally – regulated foreign commerce, distributed the mail, and sometimes went to war etc – very little did it do; small arguments etc
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Wilson Chapter 17 - Public Policy - Wilson Chapter 17 The...

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