Discussion questions and student replies

Each discussion response length is a paragraph and half

Discussion #1

In this module’s materials, we discussed the differences between professional and citizen-legislator models of state legislatures.  Which of these models seems preferable?  What are some potential advantages or disadvantages of each of these models?

Discussion #2

In this week’s materials, we briefly discussed the issue of descriptive representation.  How important is it that a legislature is as demographically diverse as it’s constituents?  How might this effect the overall functioning and responsiveness of the legislature?  If descriptive representation is important, what are some ways that statehouses might become more diverse? 

Each reply can be 4 sentences each

Student reply #1

I think we can remain using mostly professional legislatures because it’s understood that they have the educational credentials and sometimes even law backgrounds to equip them to have the best decisiveness and clear thinking. This is a quote that I got from my research:

“It is not possible that an assembly of men called for the most part from pursuits of a private nature, continued in appointment for a short time, and led by no permanent motive to devote intervals of public occupation to a study of the laws, the affairs, and the comprehensive interests of their country, should, if left wholly to themselves, escape a variety of important errors in the exercise of their legislative trust.” -James Madison


I really have no argument here because a citizen legislature is so respectable–even though they lack skills they represent freedom when they use their voice, understanding they have the power to make change.

Student reply #2

Descriptive representation is essential because we are a diverse people. Every culture and social group must be accounted for when making decisions that affect the entire population. It is also important to pay attention to the nuance in every culture and group of people. Unfortunately, in our country, people often marry beleifs and ideologies to people based on appearance and or the social group they belong to. Everyone must have the same level of access to resources for everyone to have an opportunity to represent their cause and beliefs. Inclusion is crucial because it creates a culture of unity, compassion, and empathy for people who may not have a similar background and beliefs. Regardless of individual ideologies, it is vital for people to feel respected and included to provide the highest quality of life possible for everyone. The solution to this issue of diversity is encouraging the younger generations to pursue careers in politics: as well as giving them the access and knowledge that it takes to be effective in these positions. It is apparent in this country that everyone does not have the same outlets as others for many reasons. This reason alone makes it imperative that law is in place to provide the necessary tools for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender.

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