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American Politics Analysis And Perspective By Ken Kollman

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In chapter 5 of, Readings In American Politics Analysis and Perspective by Ken Kollman, David R. Mayhew poses the question of “what would Congress look like if its members were only interested in re-election?” Mayhew poses this question as a pretext for his theories on this topic and uses it to form his own viewpoint based off of his experiences in the realm of domestic politics, more specifically Capital Hill. Directly after Mayhew poses this question, he answers it by saying that members would “posture” and “preen” and occasionally produce pieces of legislation that are useful to there constituencies, which would then be a direct representation of the legislation we observe in the United Sates in present day. In order to help the reader…show more content…
It is stated in the text, “a member will never come close to losing their seat but their need to have a seat is what inspires their behavior”. The example of congressmen Smith is used in the text which says that he is unbeatable but only if congressmen Smith continues to do what he is doing which is representing the common interest of his constituency. Mayhew is unable to prove this idea because no political actor is willing to risk halting his or her efforts in congress to prove a political theory at the expense of there seat in office. This first idea presented by Mayhew can be applied to common day politics because re-election is a key goal for all political actors, if that wasn’t a goal then why would the actors be running for a seat in office time and time again. This idea can be proven with the common day affairs in politics because political actors often use their advances in congress to maximize their votes and they’re potential to win the election. So if they had no advances then there potential to win would severely decrease, according to this theory and that would be a conflict of interest to the political actor because they want to win. For example, a governor who lives in the south will make advances in congress based off of agriculture because that is the primary interest of his or her constituency. Another idea introduced by Mayhew is the congratulationrationalization effect, which is an effect geared
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