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95 Cards in this Set

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HIGH-TECH POLITICS
Politics in which the behavior of citizens and policymaers and the politcal agenda itself are increasingly shaped by technology
MASS MEDIA
Televison, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and other means of popular communication
MEDIA EVENTS
Events purposely staged for the media that nonetheless look spontaneous. In keeping with politics as theater,media events can be taged by individuals, groups, and government officials, especially presidents
PRESS CONFERENCES
Meetings of public officials with reporters
INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
The use of in-depth reporting to unearth scandals, scams, and schemes, which at times puts reporters in adversarial relationships with political leaders
PRINT MEDIA
Newspapers and magazines, as compared with broadcast media
BRODCAST MEDIA
Television and radio, as compared with print media
NARROWCASTING
Media programming on cable TV or the Internet that is focused on one topic and aimed at a particular audience. Examples include MTV, ESPN, C-SPAN
CHAINS
Newspapers published by masive3 media conglomerates that account fr almost 3/4 of tha nations daily circulation. Often these chanins control broadcast media as well.
BEATS
Specific locations from which news frequently emantes, such as Congress or the White House. Most top reporters work a particular beat, thereby becoming spcialists in what goes on at that location
TRIAL BALLOONS
An intentional news leak for the purpose of asesing the political reaction
SOUND BITES
Short video clips of about 15 seconds; typically all that is shown from a politician's speech or activites on the nightly televions news
TALKING HEAD
A shot of a person's face directly to the camera. Because this is visually unappealing the major comerical networks rarely show a politicing talking one-on-one for very long.
POLICY AGENDA
The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics at the time
POLICY ENTREPRENEURS
People who invest their political "capital" in an issue. According to John Kingdon, a policy entrepreneur "could be in or out of government, in elected or appointed positions, in interest groups or research organizations"
POLITCAL PARTY
According to Anthony Downs, a "team of men seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election"
LINKAGE INSTITUTIONS
The channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the government's policy agenda. In the United States, linkage institutions include elections, politcal parties, interest groups, and the media.
PARTY IMAGE
The voter's preceptiong of what the Republican or Democrats stand for, such as conservatism or liberalsim
RATIONAL-CHOICE THEORY
A popular theory in political science to explain the actions of voters as well as politicians. It assumes that individuals act to their own best interest, carefully weighing the costs and benegits of possible alternatives.
PARTY IDENTIFICATION
A citizen's self-proclaimed prefernce for one party on the other.
TICKET-SPLITTING
Voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices. It has become the norm in American voting behavior
PARTY MACHINES
A type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern
PATRONAGE
One of the key undcuments used by party machines. A patronage jobm promotion, or contract is one that is given for politcal reasons rather than for merit or competence alone. Compre civil service and the mert principal
CLOSED PRIMARIES
Elections to select party nominees in which voters can decide on Election Day whether they want to participate in the Democratic or Republican contests
BLANKET PRIMARIES
elections to select party nominees in which voters are presented with a list of candidates from all the parties. Voters can then select some Democrats and som eRepublicans if they like.
NATIONAL CONVENTION
The meeting of party delegates every four years to chose a presidential ticket and write the party's platform
NATIONAL COMMITTE
One of the instituions that keeps the party operating between conventions/ The natonal committee is composed of representatives from the states and territores
NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON
The national chairperson is responsible for the day-to-day activites of the party and is usually hand-picked
COALITION
A group of individuals with a common interest upon which every political party depends
PARTY ERAS
Historical periods in which a majority of voters cling to the party in power, which tends to win a majority of the elections.
PARTY REALIGNMENT
The displace of the majority party by the minorty party, usually during a critical election period
CRITICAL ELECTION
An electoral "earthquake" whereby new issues emerge,new coalitions replace old ones, and the majrity party is often dislaced by the minorty party. Critical election periods are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more thn one election to bring about a new party era
NEW DEAL COALITION
A coalition forged by the Democrats, who dominated American politcs from the 30s to 60s. Its basic elements were the urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholics and Jews, the poor, Southerners, Afircan Americans, and intellectuals
PARTY DEALIGNMENT
The gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties, as seen in part shinking party identification
THIRD PARTIES
Electoral contenders other than the two major parties. American third parties are not unusual, but they rarely win elections
RESONSIBLE PARTY MODEL
A view favored by some poitcal scientists about how parties should work. According to the model, parties should offer clear choices to the vters, who can then use those choices as cues to their own preferences of candidates. Once in office, parties would carry out their campaign promises
NOMINATION
The official endorsement of a candidate for office by a politica party. Generally, sucess in the nomination game requires momentum, money, and media attention
CAMPAIGN STRATEGY
The master game plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign
NATIONAL PARTY CONVENTION
The supreme power within each of the parties. The convention meets every four years to nominate the party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates and to write the party's platform
CAUCUS
A meeting of all state party leaders for selecting delgates to the national party convention. Caucuses are usually organized as a pyramid
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES
Elections in which voters in a state vote for a candidate (or delegates pledged to him or her) Most delegates to the national party conventions are chosen this way
MCGOVERN-FRASER COMMISSION
A commission formed at the 1968 Democratic convention in response to demands for reform by minority groups and others who sought better representation
SUPERDELEGATES
National party leaders who automatically get a delegate slot at the Democratic national party convention
FRONTLOADING
The recent tendency of states to hold primaries early in the calendar in order to capitalize on media attention
NATIONAL PRIMARY
A proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries systems would replace these elctoral methods with a nationwide primary held early in the election year.
REGIONAL PRIMARIES
A proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries to replce these electoral methods with a series of primaries held in each geographic region
FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT
A law passed in 1974 for reforming campaign finances. The act created the FEC. Provided public financing for presidential campaign spending, required disclosure, and attempted to limit contributions
FEDERAL ELCTION COMMISSION (FEV)
A six-member bipartisan agency created by the Federal election Campaign Act of 1974. The FEC administers and enforces campaign finance laws
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUND
Founded by the $3 check-off on IRS tax forms, this fund provides a source of money for matching funds in the primaries and complete financing of Democratic and Republican presidential nominees in the general election.
MATCHING FUNDS
Contributions of up to $250 from individuals are matched for qualified presidential candidates in the primaries
SOFT MONEY
Political contributions earmarked for party-building expenses at the grass-roots level or for genric party advertising. For a time, such contributions were unlimited util they were banned by the McCain-Feingold Act
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES
Funding vehicles created by the 1974 campaign finance reforms. A corporation, union, or some other interest group can create a PAC and register it with the FEC, which will maticulously monitor the PAC's expenditures
SELECTIVE PERCEPTION
The phenomenon that people often pay the most attention to things they already agree with and interpret them accordig to their owns predispositions
SUFFRAGE
The legal right to vote, extended to African Americans by the 15th AMD, to women by the 19th,and to people over the age of 18 by the 20th AMD
POLITICAL EFFICACY
The belief that one's political participation really matters - that one's vote can actually make a difference
CIVIC DUTY
The belief that in order to support democratic government, a citizen should always vote
VOTER REGISTRATION
A system adopted by the staes that requires voters to register well in advance of Election Day. Although a few states permit Election Day registration for presidential elections, advance registration dampens voter timeout
MOTOR VOTER ACT
Passed in 1993, this act went into effect for the 1996 election. It requires states to permit people to register to vote at the same time they apply for a driver's license
MANDATE THEORY OF ELECTIONS
The idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his or her platforms and polotics. Politiciians like the theory better than political scientists do
POLICY VOTING
Electoral choices that are made onthe bias of the voters' policy preferences and on the basis of where the andidates stand on policy issues.
ELECTORAL COLLEGE
A unique American institution created by the Constitution, providin for the selection of th epresident by electors chosen by the state parties. Although the electoral college vote usually reflects a popular majority, the winner-take-all rule gives clout to big states
INTEREST GROUPS
An organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals. Interest groups pursue their goals in many arenas.
PLUARLIST THEORY
A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own prefered policies
ELTITE THEORY
A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of govermental organization
HYPERPLUARALIST THEORY
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakend. Hyperpluralism is an extremem, exaggerated, or preverted form of pluralism
SUBGOVERNMENTS
A network of groups within the American political sytem that exrvise a great deal of control over specific policy areas. Also known as iron triangles, subgovernments are composed of interest group leaders interested in a particular policy, the government agency in charge of administering that policy, and the members of congressional committees and subcommittees handling that policy
POTENTIAL GROUP
All the people who might be interest group members because they share some commin interest. A potential group is amos always larger than an actual group
ACTUAL GROUP
That part of the potental group consisting of members who actually join
COLLECTIVE GOOD
Something of value (money, a tax writeoff, prestige, clean air, and so on) that cannot be withheld from a group member
FREE-RIDER PROBLEM
The problem faced by unions and other groups when people do not join because they can benefit from the group's activities without officially joining
OLSON'S LAW OF LARGE GROUPS
Advanced by Mancur Olson, a principle stating that "the larger the grou, the further it will fall short of providing an optimal amount of a collective good."
SELECTIVE BENEFITS
Goods (such as information publications, travel dicounts, and group insurance rates) that a group can restrict to those who pay their annual dues
SINGLE-ISSUE GROUPS
Groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics. These features distinguish them from traditional interest groups
LOBBYING
According to Lester Milbrath, a "communication, by someone other than a citizen acting on his own behalf, direct to a governmental decision maker with the hope of influencing his decision"
ELECTIONEERING
Direct group involvement in the electoral process. Groups can help fund campaigns provide testimony, and get members to work for candidates, and some form of PAC
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
Political funding vehicles created by the 1974 campaign finance reforms. A corporation, union, or some other interest group can create a PAC and register it with the FEC which will meticulously moniter the PACs expenditures
AMICUS CURIAE BRIEFS
Legal brifes submitted by a "friend of the court" for the purpose of rasing additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the beifs of the formal parties. These briefs attempt to influence a court's decison
CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS
Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated
UNION SHOP
A provision found in some collective bargaining agreements requiring all employess of a business to join the union within a short period, usually 30 days, and to remain members as a condition of employment
RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW
A state law forbidding requirements that workers must join a union to hold their jobs. State right-to-work laws were specifically permitted by the Taft-Harley Act of 1947
PUBLIC INTEREST LOBBIES
According to Jeffrey Berry, organizations that seek "a collective god, the achievement of which will not selectively and materially benefit the membership or activites of the organization
INCUMBENTS
Those already holding office. In congressional elections incumbents usually win
CASEWORK
Activites of members of Congress that help constituents as individuals, cutting through ureaucratic red tape to get people what tey think they have a right to get
PORK BARREL
The mighty list of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, business, colleges, and institutions available in a congressional district
BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE
A legislature divided into two houses. the U.S. congress and every American state legislature except Nebraska's are bicameral
HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE
An institution unique to the HoR that reviews all bills (except revenue, budget, and appropriations bills) coming from a House committee before they go to the full House
FILLIBUSTER
A strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation to to talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debates. Today, 60 members present and voting can halt a filibuster
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
An office mandated by the constitution. the speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant
MAJORITY LEADER
The principal partisan ally of the the Speaker of the House or the party's manager in the senate. The majority leader is responsible for scheduling bills, influencing committee assignments, and rounding up votes i behalf of the party's legistlative positions
MINORITY LEADER
The principal leader of the minority party in the HoR or Senate
STANDING COMITTEES
Separate subject matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas
CONFERENCE CoMMITTEES
Congressional committees formed when the Senate and the House pass a particualr bill in different forms. Party leadership appoints membrs from each house to iron out the differecnes and bring back a single bill
JOINT COMMITTEES
Congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both homes
SELECT COMMITTEES
Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate investigation
LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT
Congress' monitoring of the buearucracy and it administration of policy, performed mainly though hearings.