Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Broken Down

With the creation of these structures, one might ask are they entirely necessary? If the United States exists under a two party system, it would be inherent that one party has a majority and the other the minority, and it would seem that the passing of legislation should be quite easy and painless. Hypothetically, the House would simply need a Speaker (as stated by the Constitution) and he/she would outline the party’s objectives and be able to pass legislation in accordance with said objectives relatively quickly and with little hassle. While from the outside, this may seem true, party politics particularly in the House, is much more fractured than strict party line voting. Representatives from any given party hold certain positions on any range of policy areas, not necessarily in accordance with party doctrine or discipline, and it is the leadership structure’s goal to hammer out these problems as they arise in legislation passing to achieve their party’s objectives. Similar to multi-party political systems in Europe, certain coalitions need to be created between say, fiscally conservative Democrats and more liberal Democrats looking to pass bailout or healthcare reform legislation. It is with areas of policymaking like this that party leadership truly shows it purpose and is important to the way the House does business.

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