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Relationship between electoral motivations and institutional changes Essay

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In elections, retention of power /office is the major pivot point in politics. Political scientist like Jonathan Katz, Brian Sala, Sarah Binder and Eric Schickler have critically studied the electoral system and political rules established by individuals who have interest in managing electoral offices.

For instance, in their article, Katz and Sala cite electoral motivation as a route, which compels the politicians to study and concentrate on policy making thus, retaining their positions in the electoral offices.

While Schickler and Binder note that, the establishment of a collective institution is in line with the majority members in the House a law, which undermines the rights of the minority group. Therefore, the House of Representatives or congress members enact laws, which alter or amend the institutions to favor their electoral incentives thus keeping them in power.

The electoral office has a specific time limit after, which the members have to face the voters. Depending on the electoral laws established by the members, they stand the chances of either losing or retaining their positions. Due to the aforementioned statement, there is a strong association between the electoral motivations and institutional changes in the House.

According to Sala and Katz, favorable institutional changes have a direct correlation with the reelection process (22-23). The first institution to undergo reforms is the electoral system. The legislative members are law or policy makers who have the power to enact ballot changes that will ensure they fulfill their electoral motives. The first electoral/ballot reforms is the issue of party identification.

Intuitively, the legislative members have to retain their positions in reputable parties in order to have a higher chance of maintaining their office. For instance, Sala and Katz analyze the party policy by giving the popularity of the Democratic Party over the Republican Party.

To maintain its popularity the democrats keep in mind the welfare of the poor, who are the majority group in the region. Consequently, the decision gives them an upper hand in the retaining their electoral offices. The cohesiveness of the party members and the subsequent policies relates directly to the electoral motives.

In addition, the lack of privacy in the voting process favors the reelection of a member. Furthermore, illiteracy and the use of already printed ballot papers restrain voters from altering the position of any member.

Therefore, the hierarchy of the office, level of personality and party affiliation are the major institutions, which determine the retention of a political office. Therefore, the independence of most political institutions or structures is in line with the electoral motivations of the political members holding office.

By drawing their facts from other political analysts like Cain, Ferejohn and Fiorina, Sala and Katz implicitly elaborate on aspects such as ballot reforms, parties and other institutional structures that favor the reelection of members.

In her article Sarah Binder asses the issue of majority and minority in the house especially when enacting house laws/rules. She focuses on the element of the leading party and the opposition party in the House in relation to electoral motives. Due to their large number, the majority members always strive to pass laws that carry on the legacy of the party even during future elections (Binder 22).

Consequently, this action, gives them an upper hand in fulfilling their election motives. The majority group in the house has the power to alter laws in relation to the reelection. Consequently, the minority are prone to losing their political offices to the majority party during the reelection. Binder analyzes the minority groups in the House of Representatives since the eighteenth century.

Moreover, the government/House members put their career on the limelight by increasing their years in the office. By alluding from the historical archives, Binder depicts that institutional changes for example, the suppression of the minority parties in the house gives the majority group an upper hand in securing reelection again.

Therefore, the political motives of the members and the goals of the party are the factors, which control institutions. Politicians put in mind their ambitions before enacting laws, which alter institutions like the electoral system, constitution and the ballot procedure.

In addition, the majority party adjusts the government or house procedures in order to suppress the activities of the minority groups. This is because during the house proceedings, the vote of the majority groups becomes a law. Therefore, the electoral motives of the House force them to spearhead any form of suppression and adjust the institutions accordingly.

Lastly, Eric Schickler focuses on the issue of power balance in the House and the eventual consequences to both the House and the electoral motives of the parties (270). Authentically, it is the majority party in the House, which control institutional changes in order to favor the reelection of its members.

However, a balance of power in the House ensures that institutional changes benefit people at macro level. The pivot points in the House include the position of the speaker and the committee. Thus, the majority party focuses on controlling these pivot points in the House to ensure they fulfill their political ambitions especially when seeking reelection.

Alluding from political theories like the majority party cartel model and the conditional party government perspective, Schickler highlights the tussle that occurs between the majority and minority parties in the House. However, Schickler adopts the ideological balance of power model to solve the crisis between the majority and minority parties in the House.

Schickcler’s model calls for party unity and coalitions, which favor the growth of the nation at a macro and not micro level (287).Therefore, the agenda of the political parties commonly lie within the retention of power or office rather than the progression of the nation.

In brief, various political scientists have put forward different models that describe the House especially in the United States government. The rivalry of power in the U.S is mostly between the democrats and the Republicans but an effort to suppress the opposition party weakens the political, economic and social development of the nation.

Eventually, the common citizens experience the negative impact of political imbalance in their society. However, the alteration of the ballot procedure, electoral systems and other vital points by the House, is the only channel the ruling party uses to retain its position in the government.

Therefore, electoral motivation of the majority party in the government determines the institutional changes, which will occur in the nation.

Although the institutional changes may carry various negative impacts, members of the majority group overlook the effects in order to carry on the legacy of the party and fulfill their personal interests. Thus, electoral motivations control the institutional changes within the House and the need for power retention or personal interest contributes to these changes.

Works Cited

Binder, Sarah. “The Partisan Basis of Procedural Choice: Allocating Parliamentary Rights in the House, 1789-1990.”The American Political Science Review 90.1(1996): 8-20. Print

Brian, Sala, and Katz Jonathan. “Careerism, Committee Assignments, and the Electoral Connection.” The American Political Science Review 90.1 (996): 21-33. Print

Schickler, Eric. “Institutional Change in the House of Representatives, 1867-1998: A Test of Partisan and Ideological Power Balance Models.” The American Political Science Review 94.2 (2000): 269-288. Print

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