POL_SC 1100 Lecture 14: Parties, Interests Groups, Constitutional Filters also Federalism Old and New

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Political Science
POL_SC 1100
Stephen Seagrave

Parties, Interest Groups, Constitutional Filters • Definition of a faction- “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community” – Publius Federalist 10 • “The most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society” – Federalist 10 o We’re always going to have the rich and the poor and they will always have separate interests • The solution to the problems of factions isn’t getting rid of them ,but expanding them. IF society is big enough you won’t have 50% of society identifying with one interest • Is the Electoral College a good thing? o At the creation of the electoral college there weren’t any parties that electors could be loyal to and they didn’t have any penalties against them for voting for a candidate the citizens in their region didn’t choose • The People are still the ultimate political authority o The people -> Indirectly –> elected or appointed offices -> Economic Inequalities -> Representation & Political Parties -> Government • Federalism: Old and New o Original union of the colonies was a military alliance who only purpose was to join together to cast off British rule o We get Congress from Articles of Confederation • Problems with Old Federalism o Independence of the individual states o Lack of power in national government to enforce laws o National gov. not dependent on the people, just the states – no national sovereignty o Bad laws within the states – majority tyranny/faction o Old Federalism: People of state (sovereignty) -> State Gov. (People gave that power to states. Not national gov.) -> National Government ▪ National Government had no way to tax people. They couldn’t enforce laws. There was not national military o New Federalism: People of state -> States and National Gov. • National Government Itself- Partly National, Partly Federal o “Foundation” – federal (ratification by states) o “Sources of Power” – partly national, partly federal o “Operation of the government” – national (acts on individuals, not state) o “Extent of powers” – federal o “Authority for making amendments” – partly national, partly federal • Problems of Federalism o Nullification- States saying they won’t obey a federal law o Secession- Extreme version of Nullification. Breaking away from the US • Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, and Self-Interests o Idea originally introduced by Montesquieu. o “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or ma
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