The Weakening of Representation and Policy-Making: The Downfall of Political Parties

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"It's a reflection of the political dynamic in America, where we don't look at America as a whole. We look at it through the red and blue prism” (Taylor, 1). The red and blue prism that Senator Olympia Snowe is referring to is the political parties that function in the United States. The current existence of political parties in America is a hindrance to effective representation of the people. Because of the lack of bipartisanship between the parties in Congress, the absence of compromise leads to gridlock in regards to passing legislations by members of Congress. In this paper, I will argue how the strengthening of political parties’ polarization in America—and the priority of party over constituents—contributed to a lack of effective…show more content…
As for gatekeeping, the majority party is able to control what bills get to the floor. The majority party attempts to bring in legislations it wants, while keeping out policies that the minority party are in favor of. In this particular instance, gatekeeping works in the House because of the germane requirements, as well as restrictive rules (Aldrich and Rhode, 3). In the House during the 1970s, power shifted from committees back to the leadership. Eventually, the leadership became increasingly powerful where the party had a strong influence on campaigning. Evidence revealed that there was stronger party loyalty after the 1970s because of the reform (Aldrich and Rhode, 25). In the Senate, when parties are homogenous, legislations offered by both parties should be the same. However, when the respective distributions of opinions are different, which is the current situation, parties will not agree (Aldrich and Rhode, 270). Jonathan Allen of Politico mentions that senators no longer enjoy being in Congress anymore. They feel that they are not making any improvements because they are not necessarily representing their constituents (Allen, 1). In Congress and Its Members by Roger H. Davidson, Walter J. Oleszek, and Frances E. Lee, members of the House generally vote along party lines, not according to constituents, which undermine representation (Davidson, Oleszek, and Lee, 263). While members of Congress may want to represent their constituents, the strengthening of

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