After conducting their study and analysis using regression analysis, Edwards, Barrett & Peake (1997) concluded there is no correlation between the divided government and the amount of legislation that passed or failed. Rather, they argued, “presidents oppose significant legislation more often under divided government and much more important legislation fails to pass under divided government than under unified government. ” What makes them ponder though is that the very most important legislation is more likely to fail when government is divided.
Other scholars conclude, said Edwards Barrett & Peake (1997) that legislative process is not affected by whether the government is unified, or divided. At a time government is divided, legislative decisions tend to become individual decision or one party decision. On one hand, the legislators are passing the responsibility to the court; on the other hand, they create a culture of “washing hands. ” They only want to deal with cases that can give them some financial benefits rather than solving a problem which does not provide financial benefits.
Similarly, legislative appointment of the judicial actors often bears witness to the gridlock of the legislative process. Judges, who are gay activists or gay sympathizers, for examples, are overruling the standards and norms of laws and legislations. Things that are taboos and are not fit for public consumption are claimed as “unconstitutional. ” Consequently, the number of pornography, child molestation, and other sexual crimes are ballooning while the rapists who molest or rape children and teenagers are being released on the ground of “consensual. ”
Neither Edwards, Barrett & Peake (1997) nor other scholars indicate that majority of today’s legislations are made by the interest groups and are tend to benefit certain groups (Denhardt et al, 2002) and not for the benefit of the public as a whole (Boyte, 2004). This is resulted in if one bill or legislation fails to pass, it would be brought up repeatedly in the same Congress. For example, said Edwards, Barrett & Peake (1997), “under President Bush there were multiple attempts to remove China's most favored nation trading status, and there were many efforts to extend funding for abortions.
Within each Congress, we count such efforts as only one policy that failed to pass… in the 94th Congress, President Ford twice vetoed bills which would have regulated strip mining. ” The process of important legislation does not represent a series of judgments (Edwards, Barrett & Peake, 1997) that present a balance and equitable policy but a series of debates, negotiations, and compromises to suit the need of the interest party, especially when the party who governs is based on minority choice.
Mayhew (1991) points out that many important bills for policy change could have been bundled into one and introduced as a lump sum policy; however, this may distort the result because each bill is intended for certain party not for all citizens. By the time, a Gallup Poll commissioned by CNN was released which indicated that 54% of the people in survey believed that government should let the things it does to individuals and businesses (Canon, 2006); legislators’ roles, functions, and responsibilities began to decline at diminishing rate.
The liberal movement toward market provision activists and lobbyists, backed by political power, setting pressure on the legislators to give out mandate and agenda rather than solving public problems. The sad thing of using poll as research analysis is that the result changes as long as the news last. In addition, using poll as a determinant research result is intended reinforce faster response and faster decision, but faster decision often produces more damages to the public (Russell & Harshbarger, 2003).
It also limits government’s ability to put resources and capital to conduct thorough research (Patton & Sawicki, 2001; Anderson, 1983). At the same time, it reduces government’s capacity. As Congress and legislators are being stripped of their roles and functions as suggested by Lisbeth Schorr (1997) that they should only serve as electoral purposes, they set their effort in development agenda even though they are not fit as the agents of development (Colfer & Capistrano, 2005).
Serving as electoral purposes, their interest is focused on the big issues such as foreign policy, war, and terrorism. They also emphasize their effort to raise fund for protocol campaign and the survival of a nonprofit political organization rather than solving public problems. Their political ability, mind, and experience are being shifted toward business minded and political minded. Suddenly their position becomes the most important position as, though they claim they are serving the public, they emphasize their work and attention to certain individuals who vote for them with their wallet.
Their position becomes “wet” with potential wealth creation and they indulge in public treasury expenses through projects development negotiations. Political debate becomes business negotiation. Many Congressmen and congressional representatives, so do the legislators, spend most of their time in the golf course with their business partners or future business partners or in club functions rather than studying about government.