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POLS1301 Introduction To Political Ideas

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POLS1301 Introduction To Political Ideas

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POLS1301 Introduction To Political Ideas

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Course Code: POLS1301
University: The University Of Queensland

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Country: Australia

Questions:

Creative thinking and your own wording are important aspects of an effective answer. Do not merely copy sentences or paragraphs from the readings. However, you should use ideas from the readings if they support your answer.
Interest groups attempt to influence politicians and public policy in a variety of ways.
 
Define the term interest group, distinguishing it from a political party, and briefly describe some of the ways interest groups seek influence.
Discuss the differences between economic groups and citizen groups. Which areas does each try to influence, and why? From which sources does each of these groups receive the funds needed to function?
Through inside lobbying, groups seek to gain direct access to officials in order to influence their decisions. Describe key elements and tactics of the process of inside lobbying. Define outside lobbying. Who is involved, and who are the targets? What tactics are used, and what relationship is there with elections?
Political action committees (PACs) are the financial arm of interest groups.
 
Discuss PACs and super PACs. Discuss some of the controversies surrounding.
Define a pluralist approach to group theory and the elite critique.
Summarize the historical development of the news media from the nation’s founding to today. What has been happening to the news audience and the news media in recent years, and how has that affected the information levels of the American public? Why is it important for citizens to be attentive and informed?
Define and explain the media functions of agenda setting, promoting the public good, watchdogs, and corporate revenue generator. Why is the media referred to as the fourth estate, and what are the other three? Explain your answer.
Discuss divided government. Does redistricting have any effect? What is gerrymandering?

Answers:

1.Interest group refers to organization of the people who have common interest and they want the promotion of the interest by exerting influence on the government. The interest groups can be said to vary greatly in terms of size, tactics along with aims. A political party refers to group of the people who are organized so that they can win the election whereas interest groups want to influence the policy makers (Berry 2015). The interest groups seek influence by taking recourse to lobbying and by engaging in the election activities. The political parties are generally larger groups and the interest group on the other hand comprises of small group that has a specific interest. The interest groups want to create influence by educating and mobilizing the public. The interest groups want to educate government officials along with interest group members.
2.Economic interest group is indicative of collection of the people who have the common concerns. Economic interest group is instrumental in advocating economic benefit for the members (Gilens and Page 2014). Citizen group refers to organization which is built around an issue which is not related to the vocational interest of the members. The Economic groups receive the money from dues of the members and the citizen groups on the other hand get the funds from the aspect of fundraising of the members (McFarland 2018).
3.Insider lobbying makes use of tactics which includes meetings and the members are enlisted to call the elected representatives. The members mail the letters and they send the e-mails. These kind of interactions can help in the creation of invaluable opportunities for that of the members of advocacy committee (Baumgartner and Talbert 2018). It can help in educating the policy makers regarding issue of concern of organization. The process of inside lobbying helps in building relationship with the politicians who can act as advocate in relation to certain causes. Outside lobbying acts as grassroots work which is meant for general public. It helps in raising awareness among the public that helps them in pressurizing elected officials (Hanegraaff, Beyers and De Bruycker 2016). Tactics made use of in the case of insider lobbying along with outsider lobbying can be said to be similar as the goal of both is building broad coalition that can help in affecting change (Dellmuth and Tallberg 2016).
4.Political Action Committees (PACS) are made use of for contributing money to the campain of the candidates. The PAC can contribute to any number of the candidates however there exist laws that have restrictions in relation to the amount that can be contributed to each of the candidates. In the case of general election, ceiling amounts to $ 5000 and in primary election, ceiling is $5000 which makes it $ 10,000 for each candidate (Junk 2016). State along with local laws helps in the regulation of PAC and it can be said that there exist some states which allow the aspect of unlined contribution. Contribution of PAC can be said to be one-fourth of that of the total money that is donated to the campaigns. Most of the PAC are related with business and they contribute in making up around 60 % (Godwin 2018). PAC’s are well aware of the fact that incumbents have more chances of winning elections which will allow them in staying in power.
5.Pluralist approach states that competition that exists among the diverse interest can be said to be good for a democracy. The approach states that completion that exists in between the groups by citizens can pave the path for a strong democracy. Elite critique points out the viewpoint that all the civil engagement are not equal and the policies of the government are affected by the interest groups which is associated with the wealthy individuals. Elite critique has emerged to be true in the scenario of US politics (Baumgartner and Talbert 2018).
6.The primary source of media that was available in relation to American public at the time of founding of nation were newspaper along with political publication. In the course of the years, technology helped in making the process of production of newspaper faster. Print media along with newspaper continued to exist till the modern time but they are recently in the declining stage. Radio evolved as an outlet pertaining to news in year 1920 (Schlesinger and Doyle 2015). Television was a source of media in the later part of 1930 and it became mainstream in 1950. In the recent age, television has succeeded in expanding with the help of satellite along with internet sources. Internet started in 1980 and it was widely used in the era of 2000. The developing of computer along with mobile devices became an important source pertaining to media that helped in serving the citizens. In the recent age, internet has been successful in connecting the people across the world (Newman et al. 2017). Everyone has been provided with a voice in the modern age of technology and the internet. There are various kinds of apps like Face book along with Twitter that allows the exchange of information. Internet has opened opportunities for allowing the aspect of media coverage. The news is distributed at the moment any special event occurs. Advancements made in the field of media has helped the public in knowing about the different kinds of biases that exist in the society. There are dangers that makes it important for the citizens to take care of the fact that the news are received from reliable sources and their content should be readily checked by the public.
7.The media is instrumental in performing various functions. Agenda setting takes place when the media takes a decision regarding which are the issues that should be revealed to public. A new outlet has to make the decisions on each day regarding the stories that should be published. These are the decisions that have an effect on what is seen and heard of  by the public. The media plays a crucial role in the promotion of public good and it plays the role of watch dog for the convenience of the citizens. The media helps in monitoring activities of government pertaining to impropriety and it makes reports on different aspects like corruption along with civil rights (McFarland 2018). It helps the citizens in staying informed and it helps in the formation of public opinion. Media is called forth estate and it makes participation in checks that helps in the running of a government. It opposes corruption along with the abuse of the power. Three branches of the government: Executive, Judicial and the legislative make up the rest of the three estates.
8.Divided government takes place in the event of a party leading White House and another party leading either one or both the houses of the Congress. Example of unified government can be said to be United States that occurred in the event of Democratic Party controlling both executive along with legislative branches. At the time of the first two year of the presidency of Obama, Executive along with branches of the Legislative were Democratic. It was the same in the case of the first two year of the presidency of Clinton (Farhang and Yaver 2016). A unified government can exist as is evident in recent times in the American history. Unified government can be said to be present in the event of a part controlling White House along with both of the houses of the Congress. Gerrymandering can be said to be a practice that can help in establishing political advantage in the case of a particular party. Gerrymandering takes place by the manipulation of district boundaries. The two tactics that are used in the case of gerrymandering are that of “cracking” along with “packing”. “Cracking” refers to dilution of voting power of supporters of opposing party across that of many districts (Katz 2016). “Packing” on the other hand is concentration of voting power of opposing party within one district that can reduce voting power in that of the other districts. Third tactic in relation to gerrymandering is homogenization of all the districts.
References
Baumgartner, F.R. and Talbert, J.C., 2018. Interest groups and political change. In The New American Politics: Reflections on Political Change and the Clinton Administration (pp. 93-108). Taylor and Francis.
Berry, J.M., 2015. Lobbying for the people: The political behavior of public interest groups. Princeton University Press.
Dellmuth, L.M. and Tallberg, J., 2016. Advocacy Strategies in Global Governance: Inside vs. Outside Lobbying.
Farhang, S. and Yaver, M., 2016. Divided government and the fragmentation of american law. American Journal of Political Science, 60(2), pp.401-417.
Gilens, M. and Page, B.I., 2014. Testing theories of American politics: Elites, interest groups, and average citizens. Perspectives on politics, 12(3), pp.564-581.
Godwin, R.K., 2018. Money, technology, and political interests: The direct marketing of politics. In The politics of interests (pp. 308-325). Routledge.
Hanegraaff, M., Beyers, J.A. and De Bruycker, I., 2016. Balancing inside and outside lobbying: The political strategies of lobbyists at global diplomatic conferences. European Journal of Political Research, 55(3), pp.568-588.
Junk, W.M., 2016. Two logics of NGO advocacy: Understanding inside and outside lobbying on EU environmental policies. Journal of European Public Policy, 23(2), pp.236-254.
Katz, E., 2016. The Impact of Divided Government on Legislative Output.
McFarland, A.S., 2018. Interest groups and the policymaking process: Sources of countervailing power in America. In The politics of interests (pp. 58-79). Routledge.
Newman, N., Fletcher, R., Kalogeropoulos, A., Levy, D.A. and Nielsen, R.K., 2017. Reuters Institute digital news report 2017.
Schlesinger, P. and Doyle, G., 2015. From organizational crisis to multi-platform salvation? Creative destruction and the recomposition of news media. Journalism, 16(3), pp.305-323.

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