GOVT 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Equal Protection Clause, Voting Rights Act Of 1965, Warren Court

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29 Mar 2016
Course
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READINGS:
Brenand Nyhan, "Presidential Polls: How to Avoid Getting Fooled"
trust polling averages
be skeptical of outliers
track endorsements, not early polls
keep gaffes in perspective & heed rhythm of polls
Robert Shapiro “Do the Facts Speak for Themselves”
there is a partisan divide over basic facts
due to biased public opinion
polarization over seeing two different worldviews
democratic competence - how much political knowledge does democracy require
Converse 1964 - most people do not think ideologically = a rational public is only as wise
as info presented
Yphtach Lelkes, “Affect, Not Ideology”
debate over extent of (increasing) polarization
reinforced by media and news coverage = animosity for other party
affect is more appropriate indicator of polarization than ideology
Alexander Keyssar, “The Right to Vote”
right to vote is transformed in 1970s (blacks & women)
Voting Rights Act - ban literacy tests and restraints (poll tax, gf clause) for black voters
lower voting age to 18
Warren court introduces Equal Protection Clause to end racial barriers
Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox, “It Takes a Candidate”
why are electoral politics still a man’s world?
women are less politically ambitious
gender gap explained
traditional family role orientations
masculinized ethos
gendered psyche
number of women in power growing at slow rate
Gary Cox, “Making Votes Count”
few successful third party systems due to electoral rules
Duverger's Law - plurality rule elections structured within single-member districts tend to
favor a two-party system
stronger at district level over national level
law is hard to change, would result in emergence of parties specific to issues (working
class party?)
David Meyer, “The Politics of Protest”
social movements - collective and sustained efforts that challenge existing or potential
laws/policies/authorities
Boston Tea Party symbolizes resistance as a beginning social movement
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