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American Politics

These areas are emphasized:

1. Research the interest group controversy, particularly referencing the Reform Act of 2002. Present arguments on both sides of this controversy, addressing provisions of the act, arguments for and against these provisions, and prospects for its effectiveness.

2. Based on what you have learned in your text about realignment, dealignment and the history of political parties in America, what changes do you foresee on the horizon for the two major political parties? What advice might you give each as they look to the future, particularly when the electorate seems so divided?

3. Research political participation in America compared to political participation in democracies abroad. Is political participation lower or higher in the United States? Be sure to take into account all forms of participation in your answer.

4. What electoral reforms should be made, particularly at the presidential level? Research opposing arguments regarding electoral reform and offer comments on key proposals. If possible, pay particular attention to controversies arising from recent elections.

5. Is the media biased toward or away from the political left or the political right? Research this question and present arguments and evidence on both sides.

Solution Preview

1. As you research the interest group controversy, particularly referencing the Reform Act of 2002, here are some ideas about both sides of this controversy. groups such as the National Rifle Association are banned by federal election campaign laws from making contributions toward federal elections based on this act. Although they can participate in many nonpartisan political activities, they cannot make direct funds. This angers some members of groups.

On the other hand, supporters of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 wanted to ensure that big sums of soft money were not going toward political parties.

I personally support the act because I think that the parties' ideologies, not interest groups, should be the election focus.

Please use this source for more data:

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/interestg.html

Besides money, you might look at the controversy of this act in terms of issue ads. Now ads have a "stand by your ad" attachment. You might have noticed that there are now tags such as "I'm Hilary Clinton, and I approve this message" after ads.

2. Based on what you have learned in your text about realignment, dealignment, ...

Solution Summary

Ideas about the effectiveness of American politics are briefly examined.

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