US Poli Thought: Group Assignment 1

Comprehension and Application Questions

  1. The republican dilemma.
    1. In 2 or 3 sentence max, explain the republican dilemma.
    2. Which minority group’s rights is Madison primarily concerned with?
    3. Explain why Madison thinks a pure democracy cannot solve the republican dilemma.
    4. For Madison, which form of government and 2 variables can solve the republican dilemma? (No explanation required, just list them).
  2.  Factions
    1. What are the 2 main causes of factions?
    2. Why does Madison think we should focus on mitigating the effects of factions rather than eliminating their causes?
    3. Given his thoughts on the causes of factions, why might Madison think that white supremacists like those in Welcome to Leith are foolish in attempting to create a white-only town or country?
  3. The Solution
    1. How does having a representative government mitigate the possibility of tyrannical government policy? (para 16)
    2. Even in a large representative democracy there can be problems:  Representative can represent either too many or too few constituents. What’s are the problem with going too far either way? (para 19)
    3. Given the current number of constituents per congression representative, what do you think Madison would think?
    4. Why is having a diffuse and diverse population important to solving the republican dilemma?
    5. Given Madison’s solution to the republican dilemma, what sort of immigration policy do you think he would he advocate and why?
  4. In pure democracies, all citizens/members have a vote. In representative governments, only the representatives vote. But why have only one if you can have both? Representative governments can also use referenda for specific issues. For example, The Great People’s Empire of Canada uses federal referenda on some issues.
    1. Fed #39 is evidence that there was great concern that policy not be formed at the national level. In other words, there would probably have been opposition to the idea of national referenda. What do you think the argument would be? (I.e., why were some groups so concerned that there not be national level policy-making?) I’m looking for a philosophical rather than historical reason (I.e., an answer from the level of theory, not from a particular case).
    2. Do you think there are policy domains or issues where there ought to be federal referenda? If so,
      1. (a) what sorts of issues should be decided this way, and
      2. (b) what is your justification for including the sorts of issues in (a) that you do and excluding others? Consider and reply to one objection to your view.
      3. © if you disagree with federal referenda, justify your answer and reply to one objection to your view.

  5. What is the main concern that Madison is trying to address in #39? What is his general reply to the concern? (a sentence is sufficient).