Policy Point-Counterpoint: Is Divided Government Good for the United States?
Franklin, Daniel P., International Social Science Review
As one of my favorite professors used to say, "the Framers set out to design a government that didn't work very well ... and they were enormously successful." (1) The separation of powers design built into the U.S. Constitution guarantees a level of inefficiency in government that is breathtaking at times, especially in an era of divided government. (2) Political scientists have expended much effort to study the causes and effects of divided government. Since the United States will experience divided government at least through 2012, and quite likely beyond that, it is important to consider the consequences occasioned by this artifact of America's constitutional design.
First of all, why divided government? Political scientists are divided on this question. Some argue that divided government is a function of a conscious voter choice. (3) Others contend that the American system of government is hard-wired to produce divided government. (4) While both explanations have some validity, this writer favors the latter. Because America's national elections run on a two-year cycle that reflect the …
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Publication information: Article title: Policy Point-Counterpoint: Is Divided Government Good for the United States?. Contributors: Franklin, Daniel P. - Author. Journal title: International Social Science Review. Volume: 86. Issue: 3-4 Publication date: Fall-Winter 2011. Page number: 160+. © 2008 Pi Gamma Mu. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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