Texas GOVT 2306

TexasGOVT 2306

Questionone

Answer

Politicalculture refers to shared values and practices in a particular societythat related to governance and politics. Over the years, manypolitical ideologies and doctrines have emerged in Texas. Politicalculture in the state dictates that only the elites should be engagedin political activities. According to Professor Elazar, thepolitical culture is influenced by the founding experiences and theapproach towards government and political roles, participation inpolitics and marketplace. He argued that the political culture inTexas is traditionalistic. This political culture is based on thesocial values that existed in the plantation economy. It emphasizeson the traditional political systems, values and practices andmaintaining the existing political environment. In these systems, thewealthy and prosperous families are directly involved in politics andgovernance. Consequently, holding influential office is not intendedfor everybody because it would distort the social order. I agree withProfessor Elazar argument on the political culture in Texas. This isbecause the state has been a one-party state where it supports themost conservative party. The traditionalistic political culture isalso evident from the significant corporate dominance where laborunions, consumer organizations and environmental lobbies are eitherabsent or not influential in the decision-making processes. As aresult, there are strong ties between businesses and politics, wherecorporate owners and executives influence the political decisions inthe state (Brown et al., 2015).

Firststudent

Thestudent spends more time discussing the political history of Texas inthe 20th century and important event that shaped the state’shistory. Although he/she discusses the historical factors that haveinfluenced politics, little is said about political culture.Nonetheless, he/she identified the dominant political culture ofProfessor Elazar and explained why he agreed with him.

Secondstudent

Theauthor used the first paragraph to discuss the political culture inthe state of Texas. He/she also mentions why Professor Elazar wascorrect in his argument about the dominant political culture.However, the second and third paragraphs deviate from the topic.

Questiontwo

Answer

Althoughthe prisoners’ population in Texas has been falling in the last fewyears, the state has one of the highest numbers of inmates in theUnited States. Several factors contribute to the scores ofincarceration, which includes geographical location and populationdynamics. The decline in incarcerations is not attributed toimprovement in the criminal justice system, but changes indemographics in the state. The state institutions have goodreputations of being tough when dealing with criminals. However,several issues have been raised over the incarceration of offendersfor minor victimless crimes and the cost of incarceration. Somecritics have argued that majority of the people living incorrectional facilities in Texas should be under parole.Additionally, it has been asserted that the Texas penitentiarysystems aim at punishing people to deter crimes rather thanrehabilitating the offenders. Other issues that have emerged includethe racial disparities in incarcerations and health conditions in thefacilities. Capital punishment is legal in Texas. Consequently, itsrole in criminal justice is important in rating the effectiveness ofthe Texan system. This is due to a large number of people facing thecapital punishment in the state. In the recent past, severalindividuals from Mexico have been executed in Texas (Brown et al.,2015). Therefore, the state system is not very successful inpromoting justice and equality.

Firststudent

Thestudent gives a fair overview of the criminal justice in Texas.He/she looks at various aspects such as the rate of incarnation, thedeath penalty, and court processes to determine its effectiveness.

Secondstudent

Thelearner focuses on the failures of the Texan system. The challengesidentified include the high rate of incarceration, number of deathlaw inmates, public defense systems, and weaknesses in the courtsystem. He/she makes an excellent analysis of the challenges facingthe justice system.

Reference

Brown,L. et al (2015). PracticingTexas Politics.Boston MA. Cengage Learning.