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by: Ellie


Marketplace > University of Maryland > Political Science > gvpt170 > GVPT 170 NOTES OF LECTURE 4
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About this Document

Federalism (Cont.) and PUBLIC OPINION. Notes with examples from the lecture of Dr.Miler
American Government
Dr. Kris Miler
Class Notes
American Government, Politics, public opinion, federalism
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ellie on Wednesday February 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to gvpt170 at University of Maryland taught by Dr. Kris Miler in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see American Government in Political Science at University of Maryland.


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Date Created: 02/24/16
February 8 2016- Lecture  Race to the bottom: EXAMPLE: Cutting the unemployment benefits. States tend to cut spending money in such services when they face economically hard times. Recent Issues of Federalism:  There is a shift towards greater state power (devolation). Congress stays moderate, this shift is a small margin and we hope that it stays that way. Recently, there has been pieces of evidence that the court is pro-state rights.  On the other hand in some particular issues federal role has grown. -Role of federal standards. EXAMPLE: Voter registration, “No Child Left Behind” - U.S Supreme Court has tendethto support limiting state powers when it came to “the equal protection of the laws” 14 amendment EXAMPLE: Minimum wage, Same sex marriage Big Picture Issues When Thinking About Fiscal Federalism 1) What is FAIR distribution of resources? When reasonable people discuss, they might define “fair” very differently. Some argue that needs of people in different/distinct states are different. EXAMPLE: Wages and house prices in Florida vs New York 2) Is there a need for federal standards? Some people argue that with particular issues we need federal standards especially anything about safety. 3) Can states serve as “laboratories of democracy?” 4) What is the relationship between citizens and government? 5) Are state & local governments closer to the people? 6) What are citizens’ attitudes toward government? PUBLIC OPINION Concept: V.O Key said that “those opinions held by private people which government finds it prudent to head.” Some argue that public opinion demonstrate faults time to time and can be wrong. In fact, that’s why we elect our representatives to make the final and actual decisions on our behalves. So, what is the proper role of public opinion in a democratic government? What is the realistic role?  ACTIVE ROLE EXAMPLE: The representative says “Public opinion says 62% of the people are for this particular issue so I am going to do whatever they say, I will be for too.”  PASSIVE ROLE EXAMPLE: The representative says “ Well, we asked people they supported the idea by 62%. We will consider the results as we discuss and decide on what to do” Traits of Public Opinion -Salience: The importance of the issue among people when the individual asked her/his opinion they tend to answer because people feel like they are obligated to answer/ choose between the issues but they might not actually care at all. The issue might not be their #1 priority, the issue might not even affect them. The impotence of an issue might be different to an individual than the public opinion in general. -Stability: I s public opinion likely to change from time to time. EXAMPLE :Same sex marriage. Public opinion tends to be UNSTABLE. Also people tend to be pro-whatever is trending during that particular time. -Direction: For or against? -Intensity: How strongly are you supporting or against to the issue. In the polls, you as a passionate supporter considered as the same with the individual who is just stating random opinion. Sources of Public Opinion: Socialization Socialization Definition by Dr.Miler : The process by which an individual’s political opinions are shaped by information, other people and the surrounding culture. Sources: Family, school, peers, community Why Does Socialization Matter? ‐ Primacy: What is learned first, is learned best ‐ Persistence: What is learned first can shape the way people think and learn about politics later ‐ Affects ideology, trust, identity. Sources of Public Opinion: Events Individual Experiences  Generation‐Specific Events (EXAMPLE: “Generational Effects”)  Major Political or Economic Events ‐ Especially unexpected or unusual events ‐ Especially if people don’t have strongly held opinions


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