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Debating Reform
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Debating Reform
Conflicting Perspectives on How to Fix the American Political System

Fourth Edition
Edited by:


January 2020 | 400 pages | CQ Press
Getting students away from spouting opinions about highly-charged partisan issues, Debating Reform, Fourth Edition looks at key questions about reforming political institutions, with contributed pieces written by top scholars specifically for the volume. Each pro or con essay considers a concrete proposal for reforming the political system. By focusing on institutions, rather than liberal or conservative public policies, students tend to leave behind ideology and grapple with claims and evidence to draw their own conclusions and build their own arguments. Students will explore how institutions work in their American government text, but this reader helps them to understand how they can be made to work better.

 
Preface
 
Contributor
 
1. Resolved, Article V should be revised to make it easier to amend the Constitution and to call a constitutional convention
Pro:

Sanford Levinson
Con:

David E. Kyvig
 
2. Resolved, American democracy needs less sunshine and more closed-door negotiations
Pro:

Bruce Cain
Con:

Gary D. Bass, Danielle Brian, and Norm Eisen
 
3. Resolved, Andrew Jackson should be removed from the $20 bill in favor of Harriet Tubman
Pro:

Brian Weiner
Con:

Mark Cheathem
 
4. Resolved, Congress should restore each state's freedom to set its drinking age
Pro:

John McCardell
Con:

James C. Fell
 
5. Resolved, Congress should pass the Democracy Restoration Act restoring the right to vote in federal elections to people with criminal records
Pro:

Erika L. Wood
Con:

Roger Clegg
 
6. Resolved, states should enact voter id laws and reduce early voting
Pro:

Mike Nelson
Con:

Keith Bentele and Erin O'Brien
 
7. Resolved, the United States should adopt a national initiative and referendum
Pro:

Todd Donovan
Con:

Richard J. Ellis
 
8. Resolved, the United States should adopt compulsory voting
Pro:

Martin P. Wattenberg
Con:

Jason Brennan
 
9. Resolved, Congress should remove the caps on the amount that individuals can contribute to candidates for federal office
Pro:

John Samples
Con:

Richard Briffault
 
10. Resolved, political parties should nominate candidates for president in a national primary
Pro:

Caroline J. Tolbert
Con:

David P. Redlawsk
 
11. Resolved, Congress should bring back earmarks for special interest groups
Pro:

Scott A. Frisch and Sean Q. Kelly
Con:

Jeffrey Lazarus
 
12. Resolved, proportional representation should be adopted for U.S. House Elections
Pro:

Douglas J. Amy
Con:

Brendan Doherty
 
13. Resolved, the redistricting process should be nonpartisan
Pro:

Elaine C. Kamarck
Con:

Justin Buchler
 
14. Resolved, the Senate should represent people not states
Pro:

Bruce I. Oppenheimer
Con:

John J. Pitney, Jr.
 
15. Resolved, Senate Rule XXII should be amended so that filibusters can be ended by a majority vote
Pro:

Steven S. Smith
Con:

Wendy J. Schiller
 
16. Resolved, the electoral college should be abolished
Pro:

George C. Edwards III
Con:

Gary L. Gregg
 
17. Resolved, the 22nd Amendment should be repealed
Pro:

David Crockett
Con:

Mike Korzi
 
18. Resolved, bring back the bureaucrats
Pro:

John Dilulio
Con:

Brad DeWees
 
19. Resolved, the terms of Supreme Court justices should be limited to 18 years
Pro:

David Karol
Con:

Ward Farnsworth
 
20. Resolved, Americans should receive four more years of free public education
Pro:

Robert Samuels
Con:

Neal McCluskey
 
21. Resolved, national security would be strengthened by requiring the government to keep fewer secrets and to become more transparent
Pro:

Michael Colaresi
Con:

Stephen Knott

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