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Practical Politics
The Practical Politician

From Games, Activities, and Simulations for Teaching Civics
© Stevens & Shea.

The Practical Politician

Politicians are constantly faced with difficult decisions. In this series of activities you will be making the same types of decisions that politicians do.

There are no right or wrong answers in these decisions.

Politicians sometimes have to make compromises in order to be effective. Would you make compromises in the issues below?

Decision 1

One of the first bills you must vote upon decriminalizes marijuana. You know a vast majority of your constituents oppose this.

Personally, you believe that current laws are useless. They cost a lot to enforce and they do nothing to reduce marijuana usage. You believe that marijuana use should be legalized and law enforcement should concentrate on more important crime problems.

Do you vote against the wishes of your constituents?

What do you do?

Decision 2

The voters of your district would like to spend money on developing a park in your area. You have introduced a bill to do that.

However, to get your bill passed you will have to make deals with other legislators. One key legislator is Representative Jones. He tells you that he will make sure that your bill is passed if you vote for his bill.

His bill makes a drastic cut in welfare payments. About 1 person in 5 in your district receives some form of welfare. About 50% of the people favor the park.

Would you accept the deal in order to get the park?

What do you do?

Decision 3

The legislature has finally decided to approve a park in your district.

The State Parks Department has decided which land to buy. It is a secret, but they tell you about it.

As soon as the place is announced, the land around the park will increase in value.

You can take advantage of this by buying up, with your friends, the land around the park site.

You have not made any money in politics and you need to provide for the future of your family. If your friends benefit from this they will contribute heavily in future elections, increasing your chances of being re-elected.

What do you do?

Campaign Strategy

Conscience, Contributors or Constituents

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