By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy through Deliberative Elections

By John Gastil | Go to book overview

Notes

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
1
Mitchell 1996: 49, 77. The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago conducts the General Social Survey.
2
The survey data are from Harris polls and a survey conducted by the Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University (Blendon et al. 1997: 206–9).
3
Kay 1998: 2. For a wide range of explanations for the recent drop in public confidence in government, see Nye, Zelikow, and King 1997. I do not argue that misrepresentation, per se, is the cause of a decline in public trust. Quite the contrary, in chapters 2, 3, and 5, I offer a critique of American politics that goes beyond the distinctive features of its present practice. There may be a greater public awareness of the inadequacy of the existing system, but the quality of representation has probably not declined so much as it has remained low. In this book, I suggest reforms that, if successful, would provide a reason for the public to place greater trust in government.
4
Herrera, Herrera, and Smith 1992. The validity of this study's findings is limited by a low response rate among members of Congress, though the sample the authors obtained did resemble the larger legislative population in some respects. Another approach would be to compare ideological ratings of elected officials with citizen voting in a high-intensity (and presumably more ideologically driven) election. Using this approach, Erikson and Wright 1993 found a significant correlation between the percentage of congressional districts' votes for Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election and their House members' voting-record ratings, as calculated by the American Conservative Union and Americans for Democratic Action. To some extent, this approach simply measures partisanship twice—once as presidential vote and once as roll-call

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