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48 Cards in this Set

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System of government in which policy making autority is divided between a central government and regional government and that division is backed by Constitutional guarantees
Policy Making Authority
authority to make rules/laws over people and things (possessions, land)
Special District
Local government created to provide a limited range of services (ex: sanitation, water supply, schools)
Political Culture
how people in an area think and feel about their government in an enduring way (not casual opinion); newcomers accultured; national and regional poli cultures in same area; deals with beliefs, attitudes, values, and myths
most common; marketplace political system encourages competition, bargaining; seen as corrupt by other 2 political systems; government not good/bad, a tool/instrument, limited defense of government; larger government, more demands, yet government is not a positive force (try to limit government size to provide basic functions); strong state + local government; participation limited by view of government as way for people to advance selves; high corruption
took up commonwealth idea; community's job to help people pursue good life; politics dignified, public service good; suspicious of parties and politicians, ideas and issues most important; no big government, handle at local/private level
government is positive force; must maintain stability of the social order (balanced budget); officials owe something to the community that elected them; bottom class except their position and stays there; party competition yields stress in this system; religious values often dominate; leaders are caretakers, not innovators; found mostly in South; low voter turnout, restrictive voting regulations
Political Resourses
1) revenue (money brought in), 2) expenditures (money spent)
-state and local shares of total government revenue over last 50 years has increased while federal has decreased
Proportional Approach to Taxation
takes same proportion of everyone's wealth (same %), still takes more from the rich; most state and local revenue systems lean to proportional
Regressive Approach to Taxation
poor pay more taxes than rich, ignores ability to pay; defense - if the rich are happy, they'll do more for you
"poor pay more"
Progressive Approach to Taxation
the more you own, the more you pay; proportionally the rich pay more than the poor; use income brackets, higher your income, the more you pay
"rich pay more"
Criterion/Prinicples of Taxation
1) ability to pay
2) revenue production
3) administrative ease (how involved system is)
4)political feasibility (how easy system is to put into place)
Marginial Utility
Since dollars are less important to the rich, the community needs them to pay more (progressive)
Sales tax
old form of taxation, poor spend larger percentage of their income on; should keep low and try to exempt necessities to keep poor from paying such a large share
Income tax
most states use form that's roughly proportional, poverty level pay a bit less; least effected by economic fluctionations, income witholding made tax possible (fewer problems)
Property tax
predominately used by local governments, government must determine property value; technology made easier; keeping current list of property and values difficult - don't assess at true value; usually regressive tax
not really a tax, ability to pay poor because the poor buy more than the rich
-state and local level: used to pay expenses/services of government
-national level: used to pay government expenses and to regulate the economy (encourage growth, forestall inflation)
General Obligation (full faith and credit) bonds
when State and local borrow money with this, they get the authority at the local level to sell bonds to investment houses who sell to private investores, they promise to pay back loan no matter what; credit rating determines interest rate or whether bond is issued at all; less risk
Revenue (producing) bonds
high risk loan because chance won't be repaid, high interest payment; also exempt from federal taxes; State/local loaned money to build something that will yield revenue; success = paid back, failure = don't; often include conditions for use of money
3 levels of law at State Level
1) state constitutional law (and judicial interpretation)
2) statatuory law (legislation)
3) local laws (ordinances)
federal money given to state/local government for specific use; requirement for using federal money, spent as Congress wants; used to impose federal doctrine/agenda on state and local level
Typical Judiciary Levels
4)General court
3)Circuit court
2)Intermediate court of appeals
1)Supreme Court
Reform ideal: State/Local Constitution/Charter
brief documents (so people can understand), flexible and clear
Reform ideal: Executives
powerful with considerable flexibility of movement (admire US president)
Reform ideal: Short ballot
gives executive power by limiting the number of positions elected by the people (more for him to appoint), burden for voter made as simple as possible in hopes that will yield more informed choices
Reform ideal: Elected officials
the more there are, the harder it is to to get policy convergence for the executive; harder it is for people to tell multiple candidates apart
Reform ideal: Legislature
small, perhaps one house, if 2 keep as small as possible with equal representation; small helps voter pin accountablility; legislators need staffs to be effective; should be free of executive domination
Reform ideal: Ballot
use simple, short ballot; non-partisan ballot better
Reform ideal: Courts
use of elected judges minimized; should be powerful, appointed by the executive and often confirmed later by vote
Reform ideal: Civil Service
strong and merit based insulated from political pressure
Reform ideal: Amendment process
should be fairly easy
Devices of Direct Democracy
ways people can force governmental accountability between elections; varied support among reformers
Special Purpose Elections
Compulsory Referendum
no petition needed, request for borrowing money, especially for general obligation bonds; some states school budgets approved this way
Protest Referendum
requires petition; if legislature does something people don't like, petition of voters can stop implementation of law until voted on by ballot
Advisory Referendum
way to get measure of public opinion without requiring legislature to do anything; official public opinion poll; called by petition or legislature; often used to avoid political accountability
many states allow, little used; can avoid impeachment process to get official out of office; requires petition, if enough sign, yields special election; doesn't have to be high crimes or misdemeanors
way for people to adopt laws and constitutional amendments without going through the legislature; requires petition; usually fail, sign does not equal support for passage
Dillon's Rule
state and local relationship, especially for general purpose municipalities
-local government exercises only the power delegated to it by state
-authority must be expressly granted
-conflict between state and local resolved in favor of the state
Home Rule
-state allows localities to adopt own charters, usually puts outer limits on this with state constitution
-idea is that local governments won't have to go to state legislature to get permission to do everything
-no federalism within federalism - delegated authority not shared power
-localities most interested in financial authority
Methods of revising State Constitution
1)constitutional convention
2)constitutional commission
3)constitutional initiate
4)constitutional amendment
5)legislative proposal
Constitutional Convention
least used; way to write brand new constitution; major cost, outcome unsure
Constitutional Commission
legislature picks senior, bipartisan group given the responsiblility to create/report on a new constitution; reports to legislature which decides what to act on; more scholarly and political input; voter action always required
Constitutional Initiate
petition yields proposal on ballot; way to revise constitution by vote on amendments; not all states have
Influences on voter turnout
1)time of election
2)breakdown of national party sectionalism (decr)
3)breakdown of party financing (decr)
4)varying types of primaries
5)residency requirements
6)Progressive movement (decr)
7)force voting (incr)(ex Australia)
8)hold vote on Sunday/multiple days (incr)
Interest group
formal organization that tries to achieve at least some of its goals through publi policy
political movement in the early 1900s that created an intense distrust of party organizations and reliance on widespread citizen participation