Lecture 8 Quiz


“Political Parties

1. The Republican National Committee provides ________ to state parties and also to assist in political campaigns of candidates favored by the national leadership.

“The Republican National Committee provides money to state parties and also assists in political campaigns of candidates favored by the national leadership.”

“Soft money”

2. “Split-ticket voting” consists of what?

“Split ticket voting happens when a person votes for one party for one office (such as Congress) and another party for another office (such as the Senate).”

3. Protests over the Vietnam War and disputes about the Democratic Party’s nomination process caused it to make the process (a) more (b) less democratic. Select (a) or (b) and explain.

“Protests over the Vietnam War and disputes about the Democratic Party’s nomination process caused it to make the process more democratic by increasing the number of states that held presidential primaries.”

“The Democrat Party’s nomination process became (b) less democratic after the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Quotas were put in place because the party wanted to make sure minorities and women had a broader representation. I think quotas make systems less democratic because people are chosen on their appearance rather than their ideas.”

“The McGovern-Fraser commission increased the number of states holding primaries from 15 to 30. This made the nomination process more democratic.”

4. In three sentences or less, explain what “patronage” is.

“‘Patronage’ is the appointments or privileges that a politician can give to loyal supporters.”

“Patronage is the promise of a job or favor as a reward for party service/loyalty.”

5. It’s Election Day and you recently moved but forgot to register at your new address. If you were old enough to vote, could you? Should you be able to?

“No, if you have not registered, you cannot vote, and should not vote, either. On-side registration encourages fraud, such as voting in several districts and/or states.”

“Do we really want a million Joe 6-packs voting? No. I certainly do not. They will vote whichever way the coin lands. I believe it is a good think that one must register first in order to vote.”

“… Most states require that voters register before Election Day; however, Idaho and Minnesota do not have a pre-registration requirement according to Time Almanac 2001.”

“Why should we register our residence? Is the candidate going to come round for dinner? We should just be allowed to register with our party because frankly that’s all that matters. It would make voting so much easier.”

6. Which do you prefer: open or closed primaries? Why?

“I would favor a closed primary because I would be afraid of tons of Democrats voting in the Republican primary and causing the most liberal Republican being nominated.”

“I prefer open primaries. They allow increased voter participation by reducing the amount of paperwork and contribute to the democratic process by making it easier for people to change their party affiliation if they so wish.”

“… Bush was [able] to beat McCain for the nomination because of the closed primaries later in the year.”

7. Individuals cannot contribute more than $2000 to someone else’s campaign, but can spend as much money as he likes on his own campaign. For example, New York City Mayor Bloomberg spent over $25 million of his own wealth to win. Should someone be able to spent unlimited amounts of his own money to win? Explain briefly.

“A person should be able to spend unlimited amounts of their own money to win. It’s their money, and their campaign, and they have the right to do what they want. The First Amendment provides the right to freedom of speech, and telling people how and how not to spend their money is infringing on this right.”

“If I would like to waste millions of dollars of my money on a political campaign I should be able to use my money for that purpose. … The government has no right to take that from me ‘without just compensation.’” [Instructor’s note: creative use of “just compensation” clause, but courts find the right to spend money on one’s own campaign in the free speech clause instead]

“… [J]ust because someone spends tons of money does not guarantee a win. Money is not infallible nor is it always the best route to take. … [A] prominent person in the media may gain office for no reason but popularity.”

8. In a few sentences or less, explain the difference between hard and soft money in campaigns.

“Hard money is money that was raised directly by the candidate and is therefore subject to FEC scrutiny. Soft money is money used by the national, state and local parties. It is [mostly] unregulated.”

9. The Supreme Court held special argument in September to consider the constitutionality of a congressional ban on independent ads within thirty days of an election. Such ads are allowed at all other times. Do you think the Supreme Court should invalidate this ban? Briefly explain.

“I do not believe it is constitutional to regulate independent ads within 30 days of an election. This is free speech, even more so than an ordinary independent ad is, because companies are simply expressing their views. The government should not be able to prevent this.”

“I think that the Supreme Court should invalidate the ban because the people might forget what the candidates stand for, not being able to hear them for 30 days before the election.” [Instructor’s note: only independent ads are banned, but Scott’s point is still a good one.]

10. Do you think the winner of the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire in January will win the nomination? Briefly explain.

“Yes. The winner of the Democratic primary will get tons of publicity from the New Hampshire media. This will make the candidate’s name known around the U.S.”

“[I]f a candidate in the New Hampshire primary wins by a large margin he will win the nomination … but if [it] is a close vote then I think that it will be a close race until the end.”

“… I think that Dean will not win in conservative states because he is a very liberal man. I think that those states will try to pick the least of all the evils.”

11. Last week a student wrote that if the Republicans had kept Schwarzenegger off the ballot in the California recall, then conservative McClintock might have become governor. Do you think the Republican Party should be able to keep candidates off the ballot? What constitutional right could the Party have asserted if it wanted to keep Schwarzenegger off the ballot?

“The constitutional right of the party to keep Schwarzenegger off the ballot or at least from listing himself as a Republican on the ballot could have been based on freedom of association, a right implied in the First Amendment.”

“I read the Constitution backwards and forwards and I saw no clause that says Republicans can pick and choose who goes on the ballot and who doesn’t.”

“… The Republicans could have asserted their right of association in order to prohibit Schwarzenegger from campaigning as a Republican. The Supreme Court wrote that the right of association was implied by Amendment I in the decision of Democratic Party of California v. Jones.

12. Last Friday, the FDA (an agency in the executive branch of the federal government) announced that it plans to approve cloned animals for food (meat, milk, eggs, etc.). It says it cannot find any harm from it. Do you agree with allowing cloned food? Suppose you asked presidential candidates, and they all said it is up to the FDA, not them. How would you respond?

“I am highly against this cloning of animals. This approval could put cloning on such a slippery slope that it could take a dive for the worst. Once we start cloning animals, those evolutionists could turn this problem into cloning humans and a survival of the fittest race ….”

“I was previously doing research on this subject and found that fourteen cloned animals living in Australia actually died when they were only about one or two years old. How can cloned food be safe if the cloned animals are just dying for an unknown reason?”

“… Maybe after cloning a few animals we’ll end up creating a new disease. No one thought anything was harmful about homosexuality before STD’s were created!”

“A couple of years ago we could have said that abortion didn’t cause breast cancer – but now we see a correlation. Nobody has really eaten cloned food yet, so how can we know it’s not harmful?”

“If a presidential candidate claimed that this decision was fully the responsibility of the FDA when confronted with the question of whether or not it was permissible to allow the use of cloned animals as food, I would respond by informing him that the FDA is in the executive branch and was established under appointment powers of the president, granted in Article II Section 2 Clause 3.”

“I do not agree with cloned food. … The ultimate goal is to attain equality with God. I can think of two other times in history when God’s creatures tried to obtain equality with him. The first time was when Satan rebelled against God and God threw him and the angels who sided with him out of heaven. The second time is the story known as ‘The tower of Babel’ when men tried to build a tower that would reach to heaven, but God stopped them by causing them to speak all different languages. Cloning is an attempt to overshadow our Creator.”

“… The FDA may say that it is safe but is it right?”

“I don’t think using cloned animals for food is safe. The president has control of the FDA so it is up to him if cloned animals will be used for food or not. The president has a say in this matter so we better know where he stands on the issue.”