Experts’ essays deal with the importance of representative government and why it is important to vote, among other topics.
History and Civics Education Act
Senator Lamar Alexander uses his maiden speech in the Senate to introduce the above titled bill: "It is time that we put the teaching of American history and civics back in its rightful place in our schools so our children can grow up learning what it means to be an American."
for Representative Democracy: What American Ought to Know about
A must-read for concerned Americans to understand the true value of America's legislative process uncolored by today's sense of cynicism and mistrust. These excerpts from the publication of the Conference of State Legislatures take a candid look at criticisms of the legislative process and effectively counters them by offering a more positive and accurate perspective on American democracy.
of a British Intern
Joel Rivlin, from Leeds, England, served internships in both the House of Commons and the U.S. House of Representatives. In this essay, he compares the two experiences, reflecting on the similarities and differences between the two bodies. See also "What Every Student Should Know About Congress."
the Electoral College: Two Views from Congress
In the wake of the 2000 presidential election, reformers called for changes to, if not the end of, the Electoral College. The following presents the views of Congressman Ray LaHood, who favors eliminating the College, and Senator Peter Fitzgerald, who endorses the function of the Electoral College.
Congress” Would Weaken Deliberative Process
David Dreier (R-CA), chairman of the House Rules Committee, warns against "calls for electronic democracy" as a reaction to shutting down Congress in the wake of September 11. Although very aware of the advantages technology brings, Dreier reminds us that "the personal and intimate relationships and the physical and emotional interactions that serve as the vital fuel driving consensus building in Congress have been key ingredients to the more than 200-year success of our great American experiment."
High School Government Teachers Should Know about Congressional
Political scientist Jeff Bernstein explains why incumbents win re-election at such an astounding rate and offers suggestions about how to teach the subject to high school and college students.
Why It is Important
Steve Frantzich, Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Naval Academy, answers this basic question in a selection directed to students during the 2000 campaigns. He also summarizes the policy positions of the four major political parties and suggests useful Web sites.
In accepting the 2005 Freedom Award from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, Lee Hamilton, President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, explains how Congress defends freedom by representing the people, remaining accessible, retaining its status as a co-equal independent branch of government, and maintaining a fair and deliberative legislative process.