The “Student Blog Post” series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
One of the biggest events in the news within the past couple of weeks has been the resignation of the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Boehner’s resignation also takes place amongst the tumultuous 2016 presidential primaries. The looming question for days has been who would take John Boehners place. A few days after the race to replace Boehner had begun, House Majority leader, Kevin McCarthy dropped out of contention. This has created an issue for the GOP as to finding a viable candidate to win the race. Many have been pointing to Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan to run. However, Ryan himself has stated that he doesnt want to take the job. Another possible candidate that also refused the position was South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy. With people dropping out of the race and refusing to take the job, who will take the job?
There are still a few remaining candidates that may take the position, including Representatives Daniel Webster, Marsha Blackburn and Peter Roskam. Encouraging candidates to run, and trying to figure out who is best to become Speaker of the House, leads to the questions of why elections are important in the first place. More importantly, it leads to the question of why this specific election is so important. In general, elections are a way for citizens to express their opinions and use their power. Elections also give the government authority and a sense of legitimacy. They also lead to the question of accountability, which means making sure those that are elected are doing the job theyre supposed to do. This is one of the big questions the public and the Republican Party are asking. With the resignation of John Boehner, and hopefully an upcoming election of his successor, the public presumably wants to make sure that the person that takes his place will be able to lead the House of Representatives in an appropriate manner.
Will the next Speaker of the House be able to keep the peace between the house majority and minority? New leadership also makes people wonder what ideas and laws will come out of the House of Representatives. The new leader might help the public understand what might happen in the future under new leadership. These questions show why this election of Speaker of the House is more important than those in the past. Also, a discussion on Fox News regarding the race for the Speaker of the House, points to the fact that citizens are angry with the lack of work that is being done by leaders and that they cant come together on anything. Another big issue they discuss on the show is that people know that their government is corrupt and that they want something to be done about it. They also mention that these feelings are not specific to the Republican Party, but occur on both sides of the spectrum.
Recent events involving the race, show that a leader needs to be elected that can somehow unite both parties. This also brings up accountability, as I previously discussed and the need for a leader who is willing to work through the checks and balances, so that no one single leader crosses a line. This election is a chance to strengthen a government that has become weak because of the lack of leadership, and one that has been corrupted by leaders who arent doing their job right.
Hannah Mousa is a fourth-year political science major at Cal Poly Pomona. She plans to get a master’s degree in political science and might potentially go to law school to work in government. Her hobbies include singing, reading, watching TV, and being with family and friends.