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222 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
19th Amendment
Females can vote; vote cannot be denied based on sex
24th Amendment
No poll taxes to vote for any national political positions voted by the general public.
26th Amendment
Voting age is 18.
Article I of the US Constitution
Longest section of the Constitution; CONGRESS
Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution
Defines Congressional powers
Article II of the US Constitution
Deals with the EXECUTIVE Branch
Article III of the US Constitution
Deals with the JUDICIAL Branch
Agency loss
The difference between what citizens would like their agents to do and what the agents actually do.
The right to make and implement a decision
A two-house legislature (i.e. - US Congress House and Senate)
Bill of Rights
The first 10 Amendments to the US Constitution
Block grants
A sum of nat'l money given to a state gov't for a general area that is to be devided up as the state chooses.
Formal group of presidential advisers who head major depts of gov't. President chooses them.
A person running for an elected office.
Carrots and Sticks
Gov't provides incentives or impose penalties to get states to do what the nat'l gov't wanted
Checks and Balances
Constitutional mechanism giving each branch some weight of other branches (i.e. - presidential veto)
An alliance of un-likeminded ppl/grps to achieve some common purpose like lobbying, campaigning, etc.
Collective Action
An action taken by a group of likeminded individuals to achieve a common goal
Collective goods
Goods that everyone can use
Commerce clause
Art I, Sec 8: gives Congress the authority to regulate commerce with other nations and among the states.
Political system where states retain ultimate authority except for powers solely for a central gov't
Conformity costs
Difference bwtn what a person would prefer and what the group collectively decides to do.
Document outlining the formal rules and institutions of gov't and the limits placed on its powers.
Act of organizing a group to achieve a common goal. Prerequisite for effective collective action.
Credibility gap
The widespread suspicion among reporters that presidents will lie to the media when it's in their best interests and they think they can get away with it.
Declaration of Independence
Document drafted by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the 2nd Constitutional Congress on July 4, 1776, declaring the 13 colonies' independence from Gr. Britain
Direct democracy
System of gov't in which citizens make policy decisions by voting on legislation themselves, not by delegates.
Divided government
When one political party controls the executive branch and the other party or both legislative houses
Dual federalism
System of gov't in which the federal gov't and state gov't each have exclusive spheres of action
Elastic clause
AKA "Necessary and Proper Clause"
Electoral College
Electors from each state cote for the US pres and vp; # electors/state = # of state congressppl
Enumerated powers
(Article I, Section 8) Congress can tax, coin $, regulate commerce, and provide for the common defense
Public goods or bads that are by-products of private activity (i.e. - air pollution from car driving)
Group of ppl sharing common interests who are opposed to other groups with competing interests
System of gov't where power is divided btwn a central gov't and several regional gov'ts (nat'l and states)
Providing a context that affects the criteria citizens use to evaluate candidates, campaigns, and political issues
Franking privilege
Legal right of each member of Congress to send official mail postage-free under his or her signature
Free-rider problem
Where individuals can receive the benefits from a collective activity whether or not they helped pay for it, leaving them with no incentive to contribute.
Fusion tickets
Slates of candidates that "fused" the nominees of minor and major parties. (Eventually banned)
The institutions and procedures through which people are ruled.
Funds given by Congress to state or local gov'ts for a specific purpose
Great Compromise
Agreement between large and small states at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that decided the selection and composition of Congress.
Home rule
Power given by a state to a locality to enact legislation and manage its own affairs locally.
Increasingly popular, nontraditional source of political info that combines news and entertainment (i.e. - talk shows, MTV)
An organization that manages potential conflicts btwn political rivals, helps them to find mutually acceptable solutions, and makes and enforces society's collective agreements.
Interest group
An organized group of people seeking to influence public policy.
Issue voting
Voting for candidates based on their positions on specific issues, as opposed to their party or personal characteristics
Judicial review
The authority of a court to declare leglislative and executive acts unconstitutional and therefore invalid.
Activities through which individuals, interest groups, and other institutions seek to influence public policy by persuading gov't officials to support their grp's position
The result of legislative vote trading.
Majority rule
The principle that decisions should reflect the preferences of more than 1/2 of those voting.
National party conventions
A gathering of delegates to select a party's presidential and vice-presidential ticket and to adopt its nat'l platform
Constitutional reformers led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton who sought to replace the Articles of Confederation
Shifting to the national gov't responsibilities traditionally exercized by the states
Necessary and proper clause
(Art I, Sec 8) Grants Congress the authority to make all laws necessary and proper to execute those laws
Negative campaigning
The act of attacking an opposing candidate's platform, past political performance, or personal characteristics
New Deal coalition
An electoral alliance that was the basis of Democratic dominance from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Includeed lots of social groups.
New Jersey Plan
Proposal to reform the Articles of Confederation, introduced at the 1787 Convention, favored by those who supported states' rights
Open seats
Seats in states or districts being contested by candidates whom none currently hold the office.
Pack journalism
A method of news gathering in which news reporters all follow the same story in the same way bc they read each others' copy for validation of their own.
Parliamentary government
A form of gov't in which the chief executive is chosen by the majority party or by a coalition of parties in the legislature.
Party identification
An individual's enduring affective or instrumental attachment to one of the political parties; the single most accurate predictor of the vote
Party label
A label carrying the party's "brand name", incorporating th policy positions and past performance voters attribute to it
Party machines
State/local party organizations based on patronage to elect candidates
Performance voting
Basing votes for a candidate or party on how successfully the candidate or party performed while in office
Theory describing a political system in which all significant social interests freely compete with one another for influence over the gov't's policy decisions.
A vote in which the winning candidate receives the greatest # of votes (not necessarily a majority)
Political Action Committee (PACs)
A federally registered fund-raising group that pools $ from individuals to give to political candidates/parties.
Political party
Coalition of ppl who seek to control the machinery of gov't by winning elections
Political socialization
The process by which citizens acquire their political beliefs and values
Elected professional who specializes in providing compelling reasons for ppl with different values and interests to join in a common action
The process by which individuals and grps reach agreement on a common course of action even as they continue to disagree on the goals that action is intended to achieve
Preemption legislation
Laws passed by Congress that override or preempt state or local policies. (derives from the supremacy clause)
Primary elections
Election held before the general election in which voters decide which of a party's candidates will be the party's nominee for the general election
Prisoner's dilemma
Situation in which two or more actors can't agree to cooperate for fear that the other will find its interest best served by reneging on an agreement
Private goods
Benefits and services over which the owner has full control of their use
Prevent a common resource from being over-exploited by tying the benefit of its consumption to its cost
Progressive Era
Period from 1880-1920 and associated with the reform of gov't and electoral institutions in an attempt to reduce corruption and weaken parties
Proportional representation
An electoral system in which legislative seats are awarded to candidates or parties in proportion to the %age of votes received
Public goods
Goods that are collectively produced and freely available for anyone's consumption
Public interest lobby
A group that promotes some conception of the public interest rather than the narrowly defined economic or other special interests of its members
Representative government
Political system where citizens select gov't officials who, acting as agents, deliberate and commit the citizenry to a course of collective action
Form of gov't where power is vested in elected representatives
Revenue sharing
Nonspecific grants of $ made by the federal gov't to the states and based on size and population
Selective incentives
Private goods or benefits that induce rational actors to participate in a collective effort to provide a collective good
Separation of powers
The distribution of gov't powers among several political institutions (Congress, Pres, Sup Ct)
Shared federalism
System in which the nat'l and state govt's share in providing citizens with a set of goods
Shay's Rebellion
Angry farmers bc equipment and land were taken from them when banks demanded full payment or there would be repossession (1500 farmers went to courthouse to physically stop the foreclosures)
Simple majority
50% plus one
Single-issue voting
Basing votes on candidates'/parties' positions on one particular issue, regardless of their positions on other issues
Soft money
Money used by political parties for voter registration, public education, and voter mobilization. Outlawed by Congress in 2002.
Sound bite
A catchy phrase or slogan that encapsulates a politician's message, broadcast especially on TV news programs
Split-ticket voting
Act of voting for candidates from different political parties for different offices
Spoils system
System where newly elected office-holders award gov't jobs to political supporters and members of the same political party.
States' rights
Safeguards against a too-powerful nat'l gov't that were favored by one group of delegates to the Constitutional Convention; supported retaining Articles of Confederation's state rights
Supremacy clause
Nat'l laws are the "supreme" law of the land and take precedence over any law adopted by states/localities
Tragedy of the commons
Situation in which group members overexploit a common resource, causing its destruction
Transaction costs
Costs of doing political business reflected in the time and effort required to compare preferences and negotiate compromises in making collective decisions
Two-party system
A political system in which only two major parties compete for all the elective offices. 3rd party candidates usually have little to no chance of success
Form of gov't in which the ruling power exploits its authority and permits little popular control
Unitary government
A system of gov't in which a single gov't unit holds the power to govern the nation
Formal power of president to reject bills passed by both houses of Congress. Can be overridden by a 2/3 vote in each house
Virginia Plan
Whole new gov't, no revision, representation based on population, bicameral, exec and judicial chosen by legislature, pres = exec branch person
Yellow journalism
style of journalism with sensational stories
3/5 Compromise
At Constitutional Congress, representation measures were based on the # of free people and 3/5 of all other persons.
Absentee voting
Voting while not in the area at the time of elections.
Advantages of federalism
*Allows access to decision making
*Aids in times when states cannot help themselves
*Creates a system of shared cooperation
*States serve as laboratories for democracy
Amendment proposal
2/3 vote of both houses or a constitutional convention called by Congress on 2/3 petition of the 50 states
Amendment ratification
3/4 ok by 50 state legislatures or 3/4 ok by special constitutional conferences called by the states
American Voter model
1=spatial voting model
Opposed ratification of the Articles of Confederation and were more protective of states
Appellate jurisdiction
The jurisdiction which a superior court has to hear appeals of cases which have been tried in inferior courts.
Articles of Confederation
1st American gov't, where states had power w/o a central gov't; nat'l gov't only helped in state v. state pblms
Attack journalism
Journalism reporting falsehoods as if they were facts
Austrailian ballot
Secret voting
Ballot access laws
Regulate the conditions under which a candidate or political party is entitled to appear on voters' ballots
Boston Massacre
The shooting of five civilians by British troops on March 5, 1770, which became a riot among pro-independence groups and helped to eventually spark the American Revolutionary War
Boston Tea Party
324 tea chests dumped to protest the Townshend Acts
Buckley v. Valeo
Upheld federal limits on campaign contributions and ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech. The court also stated candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns
Candidate-centered election
An election in which the majority of the voting decisions rally around the candidates rather than the parties or issues
Categorical grants
Nat'l grants- gov't determines the purposes, or categories, for which the $ should be used. May be spent only for narrowly defined purposes and recipients often must match a portion of the federal funds
Causus v. Primary
Caucus is a group of elites deciding a party's delegate, primaries are public votes for the candidate
Process of obtaining information about every member of a population every 10 years
Coercive Acts (aka Intolerable Acts)
British blockaded entire harbor until tea was paid for after Boston Tea Party
Commission on Presidential Debates
Moderates the nationally televised U.S. presidential election debates, with criteria on who can debate and where the debate will be held
Committees of Correspondence
A body organized by the local governments of the American colonies for the purposes of coordinating written communication outside of the colony
Concurrent powers
Powers held by both the states and the federal government (tax, make roads, protect the environment, create lower courts and borrow money)
Congressional caucus
Group of members of the United States Congress which meets to pursue common legislative objectives
Conneticut Compromise
Madison - each state sent 1 person - made bicameral leg.(1 based on pop., 1 as rep), consensus ev.10 yrs, electoral college, checks and balances, 1 exec
Conflict among the founders
The degrees of government (state, nat'l)
Consensus among the founders
Change needed to happen
Consent of the governed
A government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is derived from the people or society over which that power is exercised
Cooperative federalism
National, state and local governments work together to solve ordinary and everyday problems (MARBLE CAKE)
Cross-cutting requirements
Form of unfunded mandate in which federal decision makers prescribe a condition or requirement and make it applicable to a variety of programs
Crossover sanction
A form of unfunded mandate in which federal decision makers impose a penalty in one area of policy unless state and local officials comply with federal requirements in another
Cutthroat competition
The temporary reduction of prices, often to unreasonable levels, such as below costs, for the purpose of eliminating competitors
Declining strength of parties
The tendency for parties to come to more of the middle ground to attract voters (becoming more moderate)
A group of people chosen to represent or act on behalf of others
1968 Democratic National Convention
The Democrats eventually settled on Hubert H. Humphrey, but would lose the election to Richard M. Nixon: McCarthy (after loss of JFK)
Disadvantages for 3rd parties
Duverger's law
Ballot access laws
Campaign finance law by FEC
Disadvantages of federalism
*Confusion as to who takes care of what when powers overlap
*Coordination & communication btwn govt's
*Confusion btwn states and their dif. policies
*Encourages states to not provide programs
*Race to the bottom
Dissensus distribution of voters
Most people favor one party or another, with little people in the middle
Disturbance theory
Interest groups form primarily in opposition to other interest groups to counteract influence in their respective political domains
Downsian model of voting
(Spatial) Puts voter on scale and aligns with whichever candidate is closest to them on that scale
Duverger's Law
Any system that uses a winner-takes-all, single member district electoral system will have 2 political parties
Equal-time provision
Requires a broadcasting station to give any political candidate as much time as it gives any other
Exit Poll
A survey of selected voters taken soon after they leave their voting place
Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)
Sets contribution limits, created PACs, set up FEC, set spending limits
Federal funding of campaigns
If willing to accept spending limits, matching federal support will come after 20 states get at least $5000/state in <$250 increments
Federalist #10
Addresses the question of how to guard against groups of citizens with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community. Madison argued that a strong, large republic would be a better guard against those dangers than smaller republics—for instance, the individual states
Wanted Constitutional ratification
1st Continental Congress
56 delegates came to Philly and came up with plans against the Coercive Acts - drew up Declaration of Rights and Resolves and decided if king didnt give in (didnt), theyd meet again in a yr
Focus group
A group of people are asked about their attitude towards something
Formula grants
Grants from the Feds or state to a lower level of government where a specific dollar amount is attached to some socioeconomic standard
Gender gap
The difference between male and female voting
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Ruled the power to regulate interstate navigation was reserved to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the Constitution
Horse race coverage
Any news story whose main focus is describing how a particular candidate or candidates is faring during the election, trying to predict the outcome
The first of two stages for a legislative body to remove a government official without that official's agreement
Implied powers
Powers not given specifically but interpreted to be so
Independent expenditures
Political activity intended to assist or oppose a specific candidate for office which is made without their cooperation, approval, or direct knowledge
Indirect democracy
Governing of the people through elected representatives
Interpretive journalism
News analysis, editorials, and critical reviews of campaigns and other electoral issues
Intolerable Acts
Aka Coercive Acts
Issue-centered election
Election with a basis on the issues (ie - abortion) rather than the candidates or parties
John Locke
At heart, we are good, not animals and naturally seek to connect with others and be endowed with a set of rights, but the state of nature can't guarantee this
Laboratories of democracy
States constantly experiment with new programs to set goods and bads for nat'l implementations, allow innovations for states to aid their own environment
Layer cake federalism
Dual-federalism: very clearly defined roles btwn fed and state govt's, but with some concurrent powers
a majority of the population is entitled to a certain degree of primacy in society, and has the right to make decisions that affect the society
Majority v. Plurality
Majority believes that the main group makes the decisions; plurality asserts that the competing interests will have the most say
Marble cake federalism
Cooperative federalism (no longer dual federalism) Mix of nat'l and state powers
Marbury v. Madison (1819)
Let the Sup. Ct. determine the constitutionality of the actions of coequal branches of government
Material incentives
Includes gov't jobs awarded to party members or their relatives or friends in return for services to the party
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Maryland taxed a non-state-owned bank (nat'l bank) - Necessary and proper clause said they can't tax bank since its ok for nat'l gov't to have a bank.
McGovern-Fraser Commission
*Caucuses must be local if no primary
*Quotas - women, minorities, young in caucus
*Proportional representation (%win=%delegates brought to national level)
Media bias
The tendency of a medium to lean towards one side of a politcal spectrum
Motor-Voter Law
Law that enables prospective voters to register when they obtain or renew a driver's license
Name recognition
Describes number of people who are aware of a politician
The theory that the political spectrum is getting further and further separated
New federalism
Nat'l holds it all together, but all the main issues are left to the states(less power -pinapple cake)
Nonsensus distribution of voters
Equal amount of people on all sides of the political spectrum or all moderate (produces 100s of parties)
Legal theory that a U.S. State has the right to nullify any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional
Original jurisdiction
Matters on which the court rules in the first instance, not appellate
Outsider lobbying
Getting popular support from constituents in order to exert pressure upon lawmakers
Partial preemption
States design and implement their own laws, as long as these laws are consistent with nat'l goals and meet federal guidelines
Party platforms
Basic ideas of a party
Party realignment
Changes in the political agenda of a party
Party-centered elections
Elections based on the political parties rather than the candidates or issues
Someone who supports or favors some individual, family, group or institution
Penny Press
Cheap papers that sensationalized and also talked of gov'tal issues
Pineapple-upside-down-cake federalism
New federalism
Good polls include diversity, random sampling, margin of error, answer of don't know/care, covers large span of time
527 organizations
Type of tax-exempt organization created to influence the nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates for public office, not under same restrictions as PACs
Presidential debates
Often televised debates between pres. candidates on issues that concern the votes
Project grants
State has a project in mind and applies to the nat'l gov't for funding
Psychological model of voting
Vote is based on the party; we are socialized into a party, then it becomes part of our psyche
Purposive incentives
Intellectual agreement with the overall government philosophy of the party or support of one or more particular issues that the party advocates
Race to the bottom
Giving as few benefits as possible to rid of those they don't want or lower regulations to attract those they do want
A vote to approve something
Rational voting
Voting for a social or monetary gain (semi-selfish)
Same-day registration
Registering for a party to vote that same day as the election
Will result in a 2 party election
2nd Continental Congress
During Revolutionary War, decided to sanction war, voted to make G. Washington Comm-in-Chief but avg. citizen was still loyal to the king
Social contract theory
All members in a society are assumed to agree to the terms of the social contract by their choice to stay within the society without violating the contract; such a violation would signify a problematic attempt to return to the state of nature
Sociological model of voting
Currently most accepted model of voting; social connections help waiver vote, may change as circumstances change (ie- black=dem, whitecollar=rep)
Soft news
Does not deal with formal or serious topics and events.
Stamp Act
Followed the Sugar Act; taxed letters, newspapers, wills, etc. (1765)
State of nature
The condition before the rule of positive law comes into being, thus being a synonym of anarchy
The civil right to vote, or the exercise of that right
Sugar Act
British taxed sugar, wine, tea, and coffee (1764)
Super Tuesday
The day when the most states hold their primary elections in early March
Delegates to a presidential nominating convention who aren't bound by the decisions of party primaries or caucuses
A requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which exceeds a simple majority in order to have effect
Tea Act
Brits gave a monopoly to the East India Tea Co., prices went way up and led directly to the Boston Tea Party
Thomas Hobbes
State of nature - life is nasty, brutish, & short. At core, ppl are greedy, not naturally collaborative, and to be secure, we must all give up some of our rights
Thomas Paine
Wrote "Common Sense" as propaganda, making an argument for independence, equating Britain with original sin
Townshend Acts
Brits passed, giving quarters to Brit soldiers, had a heavy tax on tea and other products (1767)
Tyranny of the Majority
There is little toleration of difference of opinion in democratic societies; majority rules
One legislative or parliamentary chamber
Unfunded mandates
Statute that requires government or private parties to carry out specific actions, but does not appropriate any funds for that purpose
Voter mobilization
The process of getting people to vote
Burglaries of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Hotel complex in Washington, D.C.. President Nixon had endured two years of mounting political embarrassments and eventually resigned
Yates and Lansing
Appointed by NY to go to the Constitutional Convention as delegates w/ Hamilton but left when they knew they were in the minority