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POS 101                                                                                                                                       
R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance                                                                                                              

4th EXAM ANSWERS- Fall 2000


1.  In the current conflict over the presidential election results, the Democrats have in effect argued that "fairness" requires determining the "real winner" of the election in Florida by a hand count of the votes.  The Republicans have responded that hand counting the ballots cannot be "fair" because

a.   it is against the law to hand count ballots in Texas so this shouldn"t be done in Florida.


b.  all ballots were machine counted elsewhere in the country, so they should also be only machine counted in Florida.


c.   the way the ballots are being hand counted in Florida guarantees that serious mistakes will be made.


d.  it is not fair that the hand counting is going on only in heavily Democratic counties.


2.  It can be argued that the fairer a political system is seen to be, the more legitimacy that system will have with the general public"which is clearly desirable.  However, according to Shively,

a.   what seems to be fair is not always efficient and what is efficient is not always fair, that is, "efficiency" (for example, the pursuit of the legitimate needs of the community as a whole) can result in some people being treated unfairly.


b.  treating everyone equally is not always "fair;" for example, this can result in some people working hard for what they get while others get the same without having to work nearly as hard.


c.   while the "market" generally results in people having to "earn" what they get, this approach still does not guarantee consistent fairness.


d.  Shively argues all of the above.


3.  If there is in fact a "power elite" in a country, then there should be which of the following?

a.   A relatively small group of influential people who know each other and who work together to promote their shared interests.


b.  A relatively small group of people who are able to influence government policy to their benefit"even when what they want does not benefit the rest of the society.


c.   A relatively small group of people who, for example, can manipulate the media into publishing what they want the public to know"even when this isn"t the truth.


d.  All of the above.


4.  One can argue that there is not in fact a true power elite in the U.S. because

a.   There are frequently competing elites which tend to counterbalance one another.


b.  The media actually has an incentive to publicize any "abuse of power" by those who are most influential in our society.


c.   There are interest groups that make a point of criticizing the policies of the "rich and famous."


d.  Regular democratic elections give the public the opportunity to get rid of political leaders who are found to be "giving in" to the demands of influential people to the detriment of the general public.


e.   One can argue that all of the above serve to limit the influence of any "elite."



5.  Which of the following would Machiavelli be least  likely to agree with?

a.   An effective ruler has to be concerned first and foremost with what people think of the way he goes about protecting the interests of the state.  If he uses "extreme means" he will loose legitimacy.


b.  Acting with moderation is generally not the best way to get the job done in politics.


c.   The ends justify the means.


d.  Cunning and deceit can be very effective political tools.


6.  Based on his article, "Who Rules America Today?" which of the following, if any, would William Domhoff not  agree with?

a.   The "power elite" has great influence over the federal government.


b.  Business leaders complain that they have little influence over what the government does that effects them.


c.   At the local level the "power elite" are those who own land and buildings and who, therefore, are generally in favor of economic growth"whether or not that benefits the community as a whole.


d.  In many countries the "working class" has more power than it does in the U.S."thanks especially to the effectiveness of labor unions.


e.   Domhoff would agree with all of the above.


7.  According to Alan Neustadtl, the best way to limit the influence of the "power elite" would be to

a.   require all members of the elite to report regularly on their political activities, so that the public will have a better idea of what they are up to.


b.  further restrict the amount of money that wealthy people can donate directly to political campaigns.


c.   provide public financing for political campaigns in order to put challengers on an equal footing with incumbents.


d.  ban political activity by the power elite.


e.   because it is controlled by the elite, restrict the use of television during political campaigns.


8.  The major difference between the Communist view of civil rights and the view of  Western democracies is

a.   Communists officially want to deny people all of their rights while Western democracies want to protect those rights.


b.  Communists emphasize the right to things like education and medical care while Western democracies emphasize the right to be informed and to question and criticize.


c.   Western democracies are completely above board in their defense of civil rights while the Communists have always lied about what they are doing.


d.  All of the above are major differences between the Communist vs. the Western approach to civil rights.


9.  Which of the following, if any, is the protection of Western style civil rights not   meant to accomplish?

a. Make it easier to challenge those in power when they are abusing their power.


b.     Make it easier to uncover and correct mistakes.


c. Protect the basic rights each individual should have"just because they are a human being.


d.     Increase support for the political system.


e. The protection of civil rights can reasonably be expected to contribute to all of the above.


10. Which of the following alleged problems with civil rights can be best defended as a "real" problem?

a. Individuals and groups can use those rights in ways that genuinely damage the society as a whole.


b.     People can use their freedom of speech to raise issues that will only lead to controversy.


c. Liberal reporters can use the freedom of the press to undermine public support for conservative views.


d.     The protection of civil rights encourages anarchy.







11. From the information and arguments presented in the two articles about the efforts to protect minority students from verbal abuse by some white students ("Fighting Words: It Seemed Like a Noble Idea" and "Free Speech for Campus Bigots?"), it is reasonable to conclude which of the following?

a. If properly drafted, "hate-speech codes" can have a major impact on eliminating racist slurs.


b.     It is necessary to carefully draft prohibitions against hate speech because, otherwise, the courts will declare them unconstitutional.


c. The courts (and the ACLU) can go too far in protecting "freedom of speech."


d.     Probably the best way to minimize "hate speech" is to try to educate students to the point where "words that wound" become socially unacceptable.


12. In the article, "Sex, Obscenity, and Censorship," the author argues all but  which of the following?

a. Despite the difficulty of defining "obscenity," a clear legal definition is needed if society"s legitimate interests are to be protected.


b.     There is clear evidence that obscene materials in fact contribute to behavior that harms society.


c. The Supreme Court tried to leave it up to each state to decide exactly what is and is not "obscene""based on the "community standards" of that state.


d.     Artists, writers and others have a right"and a need"to know what they can and cannot do under the law.


e. We have to be careful that the effort to protect society from "obscenity" doesn"t become the first step toward "stamping out" other "unpopular" views.


13.  In his article, "The Opening of the American Mind," Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. argues which, if any, of the following?

a. Some things, like the American flag, are so "sacred" that the government needs to be protect them from desecration.


b.     There are in fact "absolute truths" that can be identified by reasonable people.


c. It is always possible to separate "good" from "evil" in human activities.


d.     Huck Finn did the right thing when he initially decided to turn in the runaway slave, Jim"as required by law.


e. Schlesinger does not argue any of the above.






14. Which of the following, if any, is not  a reason why the rule of law is important?  Without it,


a. it is more likely that people who have power will be able to abuse that power.


b.     it is more difficult for a system to promote fairness and equality.


c. it is more difficult to "challenge" those in power when they make a mistake.


d.     it is more difficult to protect the rights of individuals and minorities.


e. All of the above are reasons why the rule of law is important.




15. Which of the following is the least  important problem with the effort to implement the rule of law  ?

a. As illustrated by the current conflict over the election of the next president, it can be difficult to get everyone to agree on exactly what the rule of law means in specific cases, especially when a great deal is at stake.


b.     The fact that the application of the law does not always result in decisions that are fair to everyone concerned.


c. The difficulty of persuading elected officials that they have to obey the law along with all of the rest of us.


d.     The difficulty of helping the public always understand the importance of, for example, protecting the rights of minorities.


e. The challenge of upholding the law in the face of strong public opposition, as, for example, in the case of the decision to send Japanese Americans to camps during World War II.


16. Which of the following, if any, is it not  reasonable to say about countries which have made a significant effort to implement the rule of law in comparison with countries which do not try to implement this type of system?  Rule of law countries

a. tend to have fairer political and economic systems.


b.     tend to have a higher standard of living.


c. are more likely to be able to transfer political power without bloodshed or other major political disturbances.


d.     tend to have more legitimacy.


e. It is fair to say all of the above.





17. Which of the following, if any, is not  argued in the article, "What Does the Rule of Law Mean to a Russian?  The rule of law requires

a. predictability.


b.     respect for the individual.


c. respect for the law.


d.     A lack of trust between the authorities and the citizens.


e. The article argues all of the above.


18. In "The Rule of Law & President Clinton," Representative Bob Barr argues all but  which of the following?

a. The President is clearly guilty of obstruction of justice.


b.     Even the most important people cannot be allowed to stand above the law.


c. Americans are free to disagree with the law but not to disobey it.


d.     While there is sufficient evidence to warrant the charge of obstruction of justice, the case in question is not important enough to justify the conviction of President Clinton.


19. In the article, "The Rule of Law and Russian Culture"Are They Compatible?" the author argues, or at least implies, all but  which of the following?

a. Russian culture, as it currently stands, is not compatible with the rule of law.


b.     Many of the problems with current Russian culture have their roots in the past.


c. Russians are not "culturally inferior" to Americans.


d.     Despite all the problems, there is hope that significant positive changes can be made in Russian culture over time.


e. Since the fall of the Communist system the problem with petty theft has diminished considerably, that is, there is less of a problem with theft today than under the Communists.


20.  In connection with the current struggle over who won the presidential election, both sides have invoked "the rule of law."  In what way do the Democrats and the Republicans differ  over exactly what "the rule of law" requires (or involves) in this case?

a. The Democrats are arguing that the "law requires" that all votes be counted, by hand if necessary, while the Republicans are arguing that under existing law only machine counted votes can be fully trusted.


b.     The Republicans are arguing that the Florida Supreme Court has, in effect, changed Florida election law"after the election was held"which would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.  The Democrats are arguing that the Florida Court was merely interpreting the law in view of the fact that there is a conflict between the requirement that the election results be certified 7 days after the voting has been completed and the provision for hand counting ballots in the case of an extremely close election.


c. Some Democrats at least are implicitly arguing that the winner of the popular vote ought to be the winner of the election, while the Republicans are pointing out that, under existing election law, the winner of the Electoral College vote must be declared the winner of the election.  (And Vice President Gore agrees with the Republicans on this issue.)


d.     Republicans and at least some Democrats disagree over all of these issues.




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