Should small states (in terms of population, such as Nevada) favor or oppose the Electoral College? Should larger states (such as California) favor or oppose the Electoral College? Why

Should larger states (such as California) favor or oppose the Electoral College?

The role of money in campaigns has garnered much attention – in the media, in the courts, in our text, and in my lecture. What are your thoughts – in the context of the readings, lectures, and media – about campaign finance? In particular, should candidates be able to spend as they please? Should people be able to contribute as they please? Be sure to address the debate: while individuals should be “free” to contribute to campaigns, what about the equality issue that arises when certain people contribute much more to campaigns and thus are likely to have the “ear” of the elected official.

2.

Applying the concepts discussed in this week’s readings and lecture, respond to the following:

 

1. Should small states (in terms of population, such as Nevada) favor or oppose the Electoral College? Should larger states (such as California) favor or oppose the Electoral College? Why? (Remember, this is not an opinion on your part – this should apply the concepts we’ve learned about the Electoral College itself).

2. Of the reform alternatives discussed (primarily in lecture),which appears to be the best solution — or, should the current system remain in place as is? Why? Be sure to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the alternative you choose.

3.

WEBSITES:   US HOUSE  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.    

|   US SENATE (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

5.2 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – CHOOSE ONE (CONGRESS)

Visit the U.S. House of Representatives website and pick a committee (the lecture discusses committees) to report on. Familiarize yourself with the committee and report on the following: What type of committee is it (standing, select/special/joint?) What is the “jurisdiction” of the committee? Who is the chairman (and what party does he/she belong to?) and who is the ranking member? How many members are on the committee? Are there subcommittees attached to the committee?What has the committee been up to lately (check the press releases, or the legislation area). Do you recognize any members of the committee? Perhaps one of the Nevada delegation, or a member from your home state?. What items of particular interest do you note about the committee? Don’t copy and paste here, as was allowed with the polling question. Summarize your findings in your own words.

OR

Visit the U.S. Senate website and pick a committee to report on. Familiarize yourself with the committee and report on the following: What type of committee is it (standing, select/special/joint?) What is the “jurisdiction” of the committee? Who is the chairman (and what party does he/she belong to?) and who is the ranking member? How many members are on the committee? Are there subcommittees attached to the committee? What has the committee been up to lately (check the press releases, or the legislation area). Do you recognize any members of the committee? Perhaps one of the Nevada delegation, or a member from your home state?. What items of particular interest do you note about the committee? Don’t copy and paste here, as was allowed with the polling question. Summarize your findings in your own words.

OR

There are 535 members of Congress. Choose one and discuss the following: What committees does this member serve on? How long has this member served on these committees? Often, members will try to get on committees that have some relevance to the issues that are important in their state. Does the committee assignment for this member seem to make sense in relation to the area of the country that they come from? Use the U.S. House and U.S. Senate websites to conduct your search. Try and pick a member of Congress that is in some way related to you (not family relationship – but perhaps on a committee that affects your work or life) but perhaps another member from your home state, or if you are thinking about moving somewhere, find out who the members are from that area and report on them.

 

4.

Thinking about the past several lectures (and readings), what allows members of Congress to NOT deal with (i.e., promote changes) to issues that Americans continue to ask for (such as gun control reform, social security reform, immigration reform, etc). You can certainly consider social reasons (e.g., “we don’t need those”) but, more importantly consider institutional reasons — those are reasons that are built into the system (and we’ve talked about several). Identify and describe at least two of the institutional reasons.

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