Representation in Crisis: The Constitution, Interest Groups, and Political Parties

By David K. Ryden | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A
THE ATTITUDINAL ENVIRONMENT

A SURVEY OF EXPERTS AND PRACTITIONERS ON THE ROLES OF INDIVIDUAL, ASSOCIATIONAL, AND PARTY PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL REPRESENTATION

The research for this project included canvassing a variety of political actors who are practically involved with issues of political representation, political parties and interest groups, and the legal dimensions thereof. The survey was targeted at a cross-section of experts and practitioners whose work is directly relevant to the issues and dilemmas touched upon in this study. They included: (1) law professors, political scientists, and other academics with a special interest in questions of political representation; (2) legal practitioners, especially those representing political actors or litigating disputes in the electoral arena; (3) political party leadership and activists; and (4) lobbyists and interest group representatives.

The objectives of the survey were multi-fold, but interrelated. First, it was intended to enlarge and enrich the perspective of the dissertation with the pragmatic insights of practitioners. Their views and opinions, coming at the issues from the inside, are especially important for a deeper understanding of the attributes and dimensions of the problems of political representation. Second, it was hoped that they would offer opinions and reactions specifically with respect to the conclusions reached based on the textual analysis of the Supreme Court decisions. Again, agreement or disagreement of those involved on the real-life level ought to serve either to support and augment my judgments or suggest the need for further critical thinking and examination of the issues. Finally, the survey was intended to reflect the likelihood of legitimate reform of representative structures, by testing the beliefs held by

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