95. Political Science American Government
1)It is often claimed that the media play an important role in setting the political agenda. Evaluate how good of a job they do. That is, do the media put the appropriate policies on the political agenda? Would U.S. democracy be better off if some other institution took over the media’s agenda setting function? Explain your answer.
2) James Madison warned of the "mischief of factions." In hindsight, do you think interest groups have indeed caused mischief? Explain your answer.
3)Why are some social movements more successful than others? Pick one successful social movement and one unsuccessful social movement. Using specific examples from each, why did one fail and the other succeed?
4)What is proportional representation (PR), and how is it different from what we have in the United States? Would the U.S. be better off under a PR system?
5) In your opinion, is representative democracy or direct democracy preferable? Based on your answers, what changes would you make to the American political system?
6) Describe four ways in which American elections are different from those in most other democracies. For each of these dimensions, evaluate whether the U.S. should become more like other democracies.
7) Describe the trustee and delegate styles of representation. Which best describes how your specific member of the House operates? In your opinion, how should members of Congress act?
8) How does party control of Congress affect presidential success?
9) Describe the "battle for the courts" that has been waged in the past decade. Who is engaging in the battle, and why do they feel so passionately about it? What weapons and tactics have been wielded and to what effect? In your opinion, is this battle over the courts beneficial to American democracy? Why or why not?
10)President Obama fulfilled his Constitutional requirement of keeping Congress apprised of the State of the Union. Please watch the State of the Union ( https://www.whitehouse.gov/sotu) and take notes. Select at least three issues the President discussed and state your educated opinion on whether or not his proposals will help you as an individual and the nation as a whole.