Am Govt Homework 8 Answers - Student One

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American Government and Politics: Lecture Eight Homework

Julia A.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Question 1:

The political “ground game” takes place when people actively work to cause other people to vote. When it is said that the Democrats won the ground game in the recent election, it means that their activity in encouraging people to vote was more extensive and more effective than the ground game of Republicans. They took advantage of the early voting system by encouraging Americans to send in their ballots, drove people to polling centers, and knocked on peoples’ doors, asking them to vote. While Republicans did this as well, Democrats played the ground game much harder, and it paid off.

Your answer explains the important concept well.

Question 2:

Initiatives occur when people put new laws on the ballot by collecting signatures; once the proper amount of signatures is reached and a state official has reviewed the proposed law, it can be voted upon. (This is the direct initiative process. If the state legislature puts another competing law on the ballot, the initiative process is called indirect.)

Referenda, however, are different. Rather than putting new laws up for vote themselves, the people vote on laws put on the ballot by the state legislature (in the instance of legislative referenda) or vote in order to pass or repeal a law that has just been passed by the legislature (called popular referendum). This popular referendum vote only takes place, however, if a large enough number of signatures is collected within a period of (usually) 90 days after the legislature has passed the law. In conclusion, initiatives allow the people to put laws on the ballot themselves; referenda allow them to vote on laws that have been developed by the legislature.

Excellent explanation.

Question 3:

I think that Obama won the election because many people support the controversial issues he stands for, such as abortion, homosexuality, feminism, etc., and they do not understand how poor his leadership is. A large number of Americans do not have a relationship with God or even a basic foundation in real moral values. Thus, they are more likely to be in favor of or neutral concerning homosexuality and abortion. Voters may also have been influenced by the feministic speakers at the Democratic convention and the Democrats’ claim that Republicans were the perpetrators of a “war on women.” The blindness of many people to moral decline and the lack of standards definitely helped our liberal president get another four years in which to lead our country in the wrong direction.

"feministic" -> "feminist". Superb answer otherwise.

Question 4:

The government is “divided” when Republicans control part of it while Democrats control another. “Gridlock” can thus occur, when laws are not passed since Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on the laws being proposed. Generally, most of the Republicans will be either for or against a certain law, and most of the Democrats will take the opposite position. Thus, if the currently Republican-controlled House creates a new law, the Democrats in the Senate will probably not pass in, and vice-versa. While gridlock can be a problem, divided government is not always a bad thing, as it can prevent bad laws from being passed or from one party having total control of the government. If this were the case, the country would lose some of the balance that is so important for it to maintain.

"not pass in" -> "not pass it." Excellent answer in substance.

Question 5:

New Jersey doesn’t allow initiatives, which is a good. Initiatives allow the people to put laws on the ballot; in some cases this might be beneficial, but in general this practice allows too much democracy—which is subject to the fickle whims of the people—in the government.

"which is a good." -> "which is a good thing." The answer is good too.

Question 6:

No, it wasn’t a good idea for Governor Christie to praise Obama so much so close to the election. It is actually very surprising that he did so, considering his dislike for Obama and strong support of Romney. The ball game analogy is a good one…

Team Romney and team Obama are playing basketball; there are two minutes left on the clock and the score is tied. Because one of the Obama players had directed him to the water fountain earlier, a Romney player passes the ball to him. The Obama team member quickly dribbles to the other end of the court and scores the winning point of the game. The Romney player contributed to his team’s loss by inflating the other player’s kindness, which was nothing especially commendable since that he attended the school in which the game was held, while Team Romney did not.

In the same way, Christie made a bigger deal of Obama’s visit than he needed to; after all, the visit was perfectly reasonable considering that Obama is one of the most influential leaders of our country and therefore has some responsibility to care for the American people. Christie, an influential leader, over inflated the “approval ball” and then passed it to Obama—right in front of everyone else.

One of the best answers in the class.

Question 8:

Ron Paul’s analysis was right. Many people receive funding from the government because of mental or physical conditions or because they are out of a job. Thus, when the election came up, did they vote for a candidate who was committed to turning the economy around and who might help them get a job? No. They voted for the candidate who would keep handing out free money, even though the country doesn’t have any. (Of course, it is an exaggeration to say that most people on government funding don’t want a job, but some people do like it that way.) He was also right in saying that it’s a bad sign that there are so many people receiving money from the government—it’s not just bad, it is frightening, too.

Excellent analysis.

Question 11:

Referendum occurs in two ways: legislative referendum and popular referendum. Legislative referendum takes place when the legislature puts a law on the ballot for the people to vote upon. Popular referendum, on the other hand, allows the people repeal a law that has been passed by the legislature in the past (normally) 90 days if they can collect enough signatures to put it on the ballot. I like popular referendum better than legislative referendum. Legislative referendum hands the people an opportunity for “dangerous democracy,” while popular referendum makes them work harder for an opportunity to directly impact laws. At the same time, it does give them this opportunity, which occasionally can be a good thing if a truly oppressive or bad law is passed.

Good description, although a popular referendum can be harmful in some important cases, as when it is used to repeal a much-needed pro-life law.

Question 13:

The thought that the Democrats are planning to change the filibuster rule for their own devices is frightening. As much as I wish that conservatives controlled the country, I recognize that our country was built on balance. If, as in the cases of so many governments, it was possible for one political group or one person to have total control over the nation, the United States would not have prospered as well as it has. If the Democrats manage to change the rule so that they can easily close filibusters, the balance maintained by our currently divided government will be sorely upturned.

Good choice of an important topic in the lecture, and an excellent discussion of it.
Total score: 90/90. Perfect homework.--Andy Schlafly 20:35, 23 November 2012 (EST)