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A Dime’s Worth of Difference? Party Governance in America.

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Presentation on theme: "A Dime’s Worth of Difference? Party Governance in America."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Dime’s Worth of Difference? Party Governance in America

2 I. The questions of party governance Do parties behave differently once in government? In a two-party system, are the two parties really all that different? Since American parties are weak, do their members even follow party lines?

3 Party Unity Votes, 1879-2010

4 II. Do parties matter? The Party- Policy Connection in Congress Roll-call votes = Behavioral measure of ideology (actions instead of words) Limited to 109 th /110 th Congresses (2005- 2006 and 2007-2008) Controversial issues only (split is between 40-60 and 60-40) High party unity on these votes (party line)

5 A. Foreign Policy: Republicans hard-line, skeptical of international cooperation IssueRepublican Representatives Democratic Representatives Iraq War / Surge / No DeadlineForAgainst Increase BMD FundingForAgainst Fund Cuba Democ ProgramsForAgainst New NukesForAgainst UN ReformForAgainst Limit AIDS $ForAgainst Border FenceForAgainst CAFTA-DRForAgainst Min. Rest Periods for TroopsAgainstFor Allow Contraceptives in Population Control Aid AgainstFor Increase Ag. Trade With CubaAgainstFor ICCAgainstFor

6 B. Economic Policy: Republicans pro- business, anti-tax, anti-union IssueRepublican Representatives Democratic Representatives Repeal Estate TaxForAgainst Restrict Indiv. BankruptcyForAgainst Tort ReformForAgainst AMT Relief (Unfunded)ForAgainst AMT Relief (Offset with Tax on Offshore Incomes) AgainstFor Overturn LedbetterAgainstFor Increase Min. WageAgainstFor Penalize Gas Price-GougingAgainstFor Tax Energy CompaniesAgainstFor Increase Mineral RoyaltiesAgainstFor Standards for Home LoansAgainstFor Recog. Union Check-CardsAgainstFor

7 C. Incompatible Values: Republicans against Gay Rights, Abortion, Drugs, Multiculturalism IssueRepublican Representatives Democratic Representatives Stem-Cell ResearchAgainstFor Ban Discrim. Against GaysAgainstFor Expand Hate Crimes LawAgainstFor Allow Abortion: Military Hosp.AgainstFor Bar Planned P-hood FundsForAgainst Limit Abortion: MinorsForAgainst Allow Relig. Hiring by Faith- Based Head Start Providers ForAgainst No Health Care Funds for Unmarried Couples ForAgainst Ban Needle Exchange in DCForAgainst Allow English-Only WorkplacForAgainst Require English on Financial Aid Applications ForAgainst

8 D. Social Welfare: Republicans willing to limit or privatize IssueRepublican Representatives Democratic Representatives Prohibit SSA-Mexico CoopForAgainst Social Security Private AcctsForAgainst Curb Medicare, Medicaid, Student Loans ForAgainst Restrict state oversight of HMOs ForAgainst Cut HIV/AIDS GrantsForAgainst Require Medicare to Negot. Drug Prices AgainstFor Expand S-CHIPAgainstFor

9 E. Environment: Republicans less willing to trade growth/profits for protection IssueRepublican Representatives Democratic Representatives Drill ANWR / CoastsForAgainst Limit Greenhouse GasesAgainstFor Limit Endangered Spec. ActForAgainst Regulate Workplace Exposure to Artificial Butter AgainstFor Increase Fuel Efficiency Standards AgainstFor

10 F. Civil Liberties Issues: Party split over which liberties are sacrosanct IssueRepublican Representatives Democratic Representatives Prohibit DC Gun Law Enforcement ForAgainst Immunize Gun Manufacturers ForAgainst Ban Flag BurningForAgainst PATRIOT ActForAgainst REAL ID ActForAgainst Ban Felons From Rebuilt Katrina Housing ForAgainst Immunize TelecomsForAgainst Prove Residency for Sect. 8ForAgainst Limit Eminent DomainForAgainst

11 F. Civil Liberties Issues: Party split over which liberties are sacrosanct IssueRepublican Representatives Democratic Representatives Limit Domestic SurveillanceAgainstFor Tape Detainee InterrogationsAgainstFor Give DC Voting Rep.AgainstFor Don’t Enforce Law vs. Med. Marijuana AgainstFor Ban TortureAgainstFor

12 G. Summary: General differences between parties in Congress In Congress… Republicans favor trade (except Cuba) and military expansion, oppose international courts and environmental treaties Republicans oppose abortion, gay rights, government social welfare programs, services to nonresidents, services to non-English speaking Republicans favor business and higher-income workers over lower-income workers or environmental protection, and oppose taxes and unions Republicans seek to expand gun rights and property rights but not speech rights or 4 th Amendment rights Democrats are opposite on each of these dimensions

13 H. Caveat: Party Unity Varies By Representative (Weak Party Discipline) Example: Republican Senators from Maine… Surprise: Despite reputation for unity, Republican scores were lower than Democrat scores in 2010!

14 III. Parties at the State Level A.Traditional finding: State party control has little effect on state policy 1.Possible explanation: State parties adapt to voters in the state and move to the center once elected. a.Result: Policy tends to follow ideology of state voters rather than which party controls government b.Examples: Pro-life Democrats in PA, pro-choice Republicans in NY 2.Possible exception: Highly competitive states (single-party states give ruling party no incentive to implement policy)

15 Findings State ideology determines state party positions Republicans in liberal states more liberal than Democrats in conservative states!

16 B. Social Welfare Spending: Democrats favor -- when threatened

17 IV. Unanswered Questions – Next lecture and Abramowitz A.To what extent does ideology predict party positions? B.To what extent are divisions between party elites mirrored in the general public? C.How do states’ political cultures and ideologies differ?

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