Governors and Public Policy

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Objective: The objective for this assignment is for students to understand the critical linkage between participatory democracy (elections) and public policy in a representative democracy. It is the individual and corporate responsibility of the voters to make sure that elected officials implement public policy beneficial to the public and, if they do not, to remove them from office the next election. Students must explain how elected governors can use their formal and informal powers to influence public policy.

Scenario for the assignment:

Congratulations! You have recently been elected the Governor of Texas. You built your successful campaign around promises to address four issues that are significant to the voters of Texas: controlling immigration from Mexico, limiting the power of the national government, making sure the death penalty is applied fairly and improving k-12 education. Please discuss each of these issues and focus on the following:

1. Write a paper that answers the questins below.

2. In explaining how you will vote on the bill, be sure to explain the following:

  • Why these issues likely helped get you elected Governor (refer to Campaign message and campaign strategy from Unit 2)?
  • Discuss the formal and informal powers of the Governor Texas?
  • What is at least one formal power (do not use the same formal power all of the issues) that you can use to get each policy passed by the legislature?
  • What is at least one informal power (do not sue the same informal power for each of the issues) that you can use to get each policy passed by the legislature?

3. The paper should include subject headers (ie. Campaign Issues, Formal Powers, Informal Powers, etc.).

4. Follow the rubric for grading criteria.

Percent

0 %

60%

80%

100%

Why were these issues chosen for the campaign?

15%

No Effort

Repeats issues, but limited discussion of why they matter.

Lists issues, but more a generic discussion of why issues matter- not specific to these issues.

Explains why each of this issues would be important to Texas voters.

Formal and Informal Powers

25%

No Effort

Just lists formal and informal powers or does not distinguish between the two.

Lists, but does not thoroughly discuss formal and/ or informal powers.

Thoroughly distinguishes between and explains nature of each formal and informal power.

Apply Formal powers to issues.

25%

No Effort

Lists formal powers but does not apply to each issue.

Discusses formal powers, but does not apply a specific power to each issue.

Thoroughly explains how a formal power can be used to influence each public policy issue.

Apply informal powers to issues.

25%

No Effort

Lists informal powers but does not apply to each issue.

Discusses informal powers, but does not apply a specific power to each issue.

Thoroughly explains how an informal power can be used to influence each public policy issue.

Grammar/ Structure

10%

No Effort

Numerous grammatical and typographical errors, no headers.

Some grammatical and/ or typographical errors and/ or no headers.

Well written and well organized

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