googledoc - Congress Two purposes: representation of...

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Congress Two purposes: representation of interests and lawmaking -representation of interests = giving voice to viewpoints in society -lawmaking = finding agreement on new law and the budget Representation: Substantive versus Descriptive, Descriptive representation = a legislature should look like America, focus on characteristics that divide us like race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation = example – Norway requires an equal number of male and female candidates = criticism – external characteristics don’t always correspond with individual beliefs Substantive representation =that thinks like America, re-create the range and depth of opinion among citizens instead the legislature = criticism – a legislature that has diverse viewpoints but lacks diversity could lack legitimacy with citizens Trustee versus Delegate *Trustee Representation = elect an intelligent and trustworthy person to speak for you = “elect a MIND to office” = problem – what if they reach a different conclusion than you would? = agency problem = may think it’s in your best interest *Delegate representation = opposite of trustee = elect a person who will vote exactly like you would = “ elect a MIRROR to office” = problem – sometimes issues arise suddenly without time for an election U.S. House Districts: Census->Reapportionment->Redistricting All used to adjust the US house *Census = counting residents every 10 years *reapportionment = re-allocating house seats by population *redistricting = re-drawing district lines within a state to reflect population changes What is Gerrymandering? Drawing lines to suppress the voting strength of a rival political party = “packing” your opponents into few districts, “splitting” up your opponents to weaken their strength 2 classic acts: happened in Ga in 2000 = went to court = democratic party was gerrymandering Also racial gerrymandering = 1965 civil rights acts = voting acts right (Mississippi redid map) What are Majority-Minority Districts? -renewal of Voting rights Act in 1980s mandated that future redistricting not dilute minority voting strength – 1990s saw a major increase in number of Latinos and African-americans in US house – no law for women since women technically are not a minority = the majority of people living there are not white Why no major change in US Senate? = majority of most states are white Size of House 435, Size of Senate 100, Term of House = 2 years, Senate 6 Years Types of Committees: Standing, Select, Joint, Conference
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Standing = permanent committee, meet on a regular or irregular basis dependent upon their enabling act Select = temporary committee appointed to perform a special function that is beyond the authority or capacity of a standing committee Joint = made up of members from both House and Senate Conference = temporary panel of House and Senate negotiators, usually made up of senior members of the standing committee
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This note was uploaded on 06/07/2011 for the course POLS 1101 taught by Professor Taylor during the Fall '06 term at Kennesaw.

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googledoc - Congress Two purposes: representation of...

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