This chapter explains the essential differences between Dagestan and Chechnya within the examined parameters of the ethno-cultural, historical and socio-political themes. The existing difference between Dagestan and Chechnya in the period of communist leadership was that in Dagestan throughout the whole of its Republican status the highest leaders were, as a rule, representatives of the core nationalities. The Dagestani model of political structure was formed free of any influence from the concept of consociational democracy. The ruling elite of the Caucasian Republic, consisting of representatives of the basic Dagestani nationalities, having lost their base in the power structures which had collapsed, re-established it in the systems of confidence between personal friends, relatives, co-regionalists and especially among co-ethnics. With all of the pro-Chechen political action and nationalist rhetoric of Dzhakhar Dudaev, his power not only failed to strengthen but actually lessened from the beginning of his leadership.
This chapter shows the responsibilities and goals of newly elected representatives and senators. It first describes the kinds of people who get elected into Congress, and then lists the different goals of the new members of Congress. This is followed by a list of the different ways a member of Congress can achieve his/her goals, including policy specialisation and pork barrel. The chapter also cites two examples – the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and term limits – that show the subtleties involved in Congressional decision making.
This chapter discusses the floor deliberations and debates in Congress, which are sometimes televised live. It reveals that very few members are present during typical debates, although more members can be summoned to the chamber when a vote is called or a quorum count is to be held. The chapter states that the floor debate determines the final fate of legislation, and then compares the debates held in the House of Representatives with the debates held in the Senate. It discusses amendments and their main purpose, before studying the differences between voting in the Senate and in the House, and ends with a section on the House–Senate Conference, which serves to reconcile the Senate and the House before the legislation is sent to the President for signing.