The Mock Final
Exam will be given at TC3 at the following times and places. Choose any
Thurs., Dec. 2, 7:40 am to 10:30
am in TC3 cafeteria.
Thurs., Dec. 2, 2:00 pm to 4:50 pm. in room 262.
Fri., Dec. 3, 1:00 pm to 3:50 pm in TC3 Library.
Sat, Dec. 4, 9:00 am to 11:50 am in TC3 cafeteria.
Need a different time? Contact Dr. G for an appointment.
This Mock Exam is your chance to practice taking the final exam under
simulated exam conditions. Prepare for the Mock Exam by studying about
the exam topic. Before writing the exam, have a clear plan for the essay that you will write.
Bring with you to the exam: pens, A Pocket Style Manual and a
dictionary (other than an electronic dictionary).
As the heated
election between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry approaches,
unprecedented concern surrounds the fairness of the voting process.
Republicans charge that Democrats are padding registration lists;
Democrats say Republicans are trying to disenfranchise
African-Americans, Hispanics, former felons and others thought likely to
vote Democratic. Voting experts worry that new electronic voting
machines are susceptible to tampering and do not allow for an accurate
recount if the election is contested.
years after a vote-counting scandal in Florida had to be resolved by the
U.S. Supreme Court — and four decades after passage of the landmark
Voting Rights Act — civil rights advocates say the voting rights of
many Americans are still at risk. Public confidence also has been
undermined by persistent allegations of voter suppression, including
attempts to intimidate minority voters to keep them from going to the
nation's 193,000 polling places.
Kosova, Holly Bailey. "Can We Vote Yet? " Retrieved
Nov 26, 2004, from ProQuest.
Newsweek. New York: Nov 1, 2004. Vol. 144, Iss.
18; pg. 26E, 4 pgs
Here's a statistic for your next "I hate
politics" gripe session: by Election Day, the two parties and
outside groups will have spent $500 million on campaign ads-more than
half of it in the 10 biggest swing states. That's more than twice the
amount spent the last time around. As the days until voting dwindle, the
spots are getting more biting and harder to avoid
. . .
Sure, it's possible hackers could tap into the
new electronic voting machines and monkey with the results. But don't
waste your worries on that. Fret about this instead: About 30 million
people in 19 states will still be using chadspewing punch-card machines.
And except in Nevada, those sleek touchscreen machines don't have paper
backups, which means there's no way to do a recount.
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International
Information. "What is Democracy?"
Accessed Nov 27, 2004.
Kirkpatrick, scholar and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,
has offered this definition: "Democratic elections are not merely
symbolic . . .They are competitive, periodic, inclusive, definitive
elections in which the chief decision-makers in a government are
selected by citizens who enjoy broad freedom to criticize government, to
publish their criticism and to present alternatives."
do Kirkpatrick's criteria mean? Democratic elections are competitive.
Opposition parties and candidates must enjoy the freedom of speech,
assembly, and movement necessary to voice their criticisms of the
government openly and to bring alternative policies and candidates to
the voters. Simply permitting the opposition access to the ballot is not
enough. Elections in which the opposition is barred from the airwaves,
has its rallies harassed or its newspapers censored, are not democratic.
The party in power may enjoy the advantages of incumbency, but the rules
and conduct of the election contest must be fair.
elections are periodic. Democracies do not elect dictators or
presidents-for-life. Elected officials are accountable to the people,
and they must return to the voters at prescribed intervals to seek their
mandate to continue in office. This means that officials in a democracy
must accept the risk of being voted out of office. The one exception is
judges who, to insulate them against popular pressure and help ensure
their impartiality, may be appointed for life and removed only for
elections are inclusive. The definition of citizen and voter must
be large enough to include a large proportion of the adult population. A
government chosen by a small, exclusive group is not a democracy--no
matter how democratic its internal workings may appear. One of the great
dramas of democracy throughout history has been the struggle of excluded
groups--whether racial, ethnic, or religious minorities, or women--to
win full citizenship, and with it the right to vote and hold office. In
the United States, for example, only white male property holders enjoyed
the right to elect and be elected when the Constitution was signed in
1787. The property qualification disappeared by the early 19th century,
and women won the right to vote in 1920. Black Americans, however, did
not enjoy full voting rights in the southern United States until the
civil rights movement of the 1960s. And finally, in 1971, younger
citizens were given the right to vote when the United States lowered the
voting age from 21 to 18.
elections are definitive. They determine the leadership of the
government. Subject to the laws and constitution of the country,
popularly elected representatives hold the reins of power. They are not
simply figureheads or symbolic leaders.
democratic elections are not limited to selecting candidates. Voters can
also be asked to decide policy issues directly through referendums and
initiatives that are placed on the ballot. In the United States, for
example, state legislatures can decide to "refer," or place,
an issue directly before the voters. In the case of an initiative,
citizens themselves can gather a prescribed number of signatures
(usually a percentage of the number of registered voters in that state)
and require that an issue be placed on the next ballot--even over the
objections of the state legislature or governor. In a state such as
California, voters confront dozens of legislative initiatives each time
they vote--on issues ranging from environmental pollution to automobile
Babbidge, "A Different Perspective on Voting." retrieved from
League of Non-Voters web site on Nov 27, 2004. http://www.non-voters.org/different.shtml
can offer two personal reasons why I vote NOTA ["none of the
above"] . . . First
and foremost, I am tired of being offered echoes rather than choices.
Although the two major parties will attempt to confuse the issue with a
barrage of attack ads in the interminable weeks before the November
elections, I would suggest that we do not have two political parties in
this country. What we have are Democrat and Republican wings of the
"Republocratic" Party, a party controlled by a few hundred
corporations, special interest groups, and wealthy individuals.
are differences between the two wings of the Republocratic Party, and
within them as well, on the social issues of the day, e.g. abortion.
But, when it comes to the major economic and foreign policy issues that
face the country, they march in lock step. The rhetoric of the Democrat
wing of the party sometimes differs from that of the Republican wing on
economic issues, a few crumbs having to be tossed to big labor in
exchange for its self destructive support, but when you start looking at
actual votes, for example Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry's
support for such things as NAFTA, telecommunications deregulation, and
the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq, those differences are
exposed as rhetorical rather than substantive.
second reason why I will vote NOTA is the abysmal political coverage
offered by the corporate media. It is not only narrowly focused on the
"horse race" aspects of the campaign like polls and fund
raising totals, but all too frequently drops to the lowest common
denominator of discussing, in mind numbing detail, the personal
peccadilloes of the candidates. If there is one thing that the media
should have learned during the Clinton years, it is that we
don't care about the personal lives of our elected officials.
We do care about their policies, but information on that aspect of the
campaign will be a tiny part of the coverage offered, even in those
small areas of difference that do exist between the two wings of the
is political coverage of such poor quality? To answer that question, I
would suggest that despite the fact that NOTA will wallop the candidates
endorsed by the corporate media, recent elections have been the best of
times for the press, at least for its corporate owners. That is because
there is a built in conflict of interest in the American corporate
media's political reporting, one between what is best for the
corporation and what is best for the average citizen. What is good for
General Electric, owner of NBC, is not necessarily good for the country
as a whole. Unfortunately, there is no "average citizen" media
to espouse their viewpoint, only an ever more concentrated corporate
media establishment. Given this conflict of interest, it is not
unreasonable to say that the foxes are guarding the henhouse when it
comes to covering American elections.
through TC3 Library, ProQuest, on November 27, 2004. Robert J Samuelson.
"A Close Vote? Let's Hope Not. " Newsweek
Nov. 1, 2004.
Vol. 144, Iss.
18; pg. 39, 1 pgs. <http://www.proquest.com/>
new opinion poll from the Pew Research Center finds that only 11 percent
of registered voters fear that their votes won't be accurately counted
(62 percent are "very confident" that votes will be correctly
counted, 26 percent "somewhat confident"). But anything that
taints the voting process corrodes trust because voting is so symbolic.
We see it as an inalienable right that's always been at the core of
American democracy. This is a psychological truth and (unfortunately) a
from Justin Kaplan (ed), Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th
edition, 1992. Little Brown & Company, Toronto.
secure these rights [unalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of
happiness] governments are instituted among men, deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed" --Thomas Jefferson (page
in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is the
assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for how can 'the
consent of the governed' be given, if the right to vote is denied?
--Susan B. Anthony (pages 491-492)
basis of a democratic state is liberty." --Aristotle, Politics VI,
2 (page 78)
death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It
will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and
undernourishment." --Robert Maynard Hutchins (page 702)
ballot is stronger than the bullet." --Abraham Lincoln (page 448)
the strict sense of the term, a true democracy never has existed and
never will exist." --Jean Jaques Rousseau (p 319)
C. Doppelt and Ellen Shearer. Nonvoters: America's No Shows. Page 220.
Thousand Oaks, California, 1999. Sage Publishers.
The voice of the nonvoting
majority, with its competing strains of alienation and complacency,
political awareness and obliviousness, futility and indifference, speaks
of no heroes or icons in the political landscape. Nonvoters exhibit
little trust in the responsiveness of the political process, not even
those who believe it is working. They get little reinforcement at home
or on the job for the importance of the political or voting process.
What has resulted is a generation of which half of its members lives
outside the conventional body politic . . . The disconnect is enormous,
the conviction to snub the polling place ingrained.
Journal of Politics and Ethics, Summer 2001 v1 i2 p123(11)
Why vote? Sidney Gendin. Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2001 Nova
Science Publishers, Inc. Retrived from TC3 Library, InfoTrac, on
November 27, 2004. http://www.galegroup.com
On the whole,
arguments against any one person's not voting are pure drivel and
unexamined cliches that, thank goodness, no sensible person really
believes hold water. The common ones are:
1. A rhetorical appeal to "What would happen if everybody refused
2. An "argument" that voting is not so much an individual
right as it is a collective responsibility.
3. A misguided and historically inaccurate claim that high voter turnout
is very important to democracy.
4. A mathematically perverse notion that any one individual's vote may
make a crucial difference.
. . . It is
[also] commonly said that those who refrain from voting have no right to
complain about how the country is governed. This is clearly false. Since
it is one's legal right not to vote and one doesn't lose citizenship for
exercising that right, neither does one lose the right to complain.
"Democracy in America: The Election System is Broken; The vote of
most Americans won't matter on Election Day 2004. " Business Week
14 Jun. 2004: 104.
Americans gear up for the Nov. 2 Presidential election, they might ask
themselves if their vote will really matter -- because if they don't
live in one of 17 battleground states, it won't. It didn't count during
the primary season, either, unless they lived in Iowa, New Hampshire, or
a couple of other early-to-vote states. And if they vote in a
Congressional race, their choice won't matter unless they live in just
one of 35 Congressional districts. The other 400 districts have been
gerrymandered to guarantee the reelection of the incumbent. The sad
truth is that millions of Americans are being disenfranchised by the
archaic architecture of an outmoded electoral system. It's time to fix
at the current campaign. The balkanization of America's polity into Red
and Blue states, and the winner-take-all Electoral College mean that the
2.4 million Democrats in Texas and a combined 8.5 million Republicans in
New York and California will have no political representation. All the
electoral votes Texas casts will probably go to President Bush, and all
the votes California and New York cast will probably go to John Kerry.
The result -- dissenting voices go unrepresented.
the country is evenly split between Red and Blue states, Presidential
candidates focus more of their time and money persuading a smaller
number of voters in a shrinking number of competitive swing states to
vote for them. In the '70s, up to 40 states were in play in Presidential
years. Today, it's down to 17 or 18.
Business Week analysis shows that Ohio, Florida, and Missouri
will have clout utterly disproportionate to their population. Worse, it
is possible that either candidate could triumph in the popular vote and
lose in the Electoral College. A Florida reprise would create a serious
crisis of legitimacy in America. No wonder people feel
alienated from the political system to the point where voter
participation is down to 54.5% - - 139th among the world's 172
is an obvious solution: one person, one vote. Direct popular elections
or proportional voting for Electoral College representatives are long
more is needed. An astonishing 98.2% of incumbents won reelection to the
House of Representatives in 2002. Thanks to gerrymandering, there is
less competition and more polarization than ever. Computers allow
politicians to sift through demographic data to create convoluted
election districts that divide, conquer, and bury opponents. Candidates
are then chosen in primaries dominated by core left-wing Democrats or
right-wing Republicans. It all means less competition and more
polarization. No wonder there are so few moderates left in American
is an electoral monster killing U.S. democracy. Redistricting should be
taken out of the hands of politicians and given to nonpartisan panels
that draw reasonable districts and give incumbents no special edge. Iowa
has done this since 1981 and has the country's most competitive House
districts. Low turnout may be fine for the pols and ideologues who
dominate the process, but it isn't fine for the rest of the nation.
Special interests support incumbents, and challengers must be rich to
have a chance of winning.
votes don't matter in the U.S. Fewer competitive races, increased
political balkanization, more big-money politics, and the absence of a
true popular vote for the President are making a mockery of America's
democratic ideals. We must do better.