This chapter discusses the origins and principles of the Welfare State, and traces the changing attitude of the parties and their policy makers to it. The term welfare is not a precise one so that a Welfare State may contain a variety of different services. In Britain, where the system is broad based, there are a large number of services included in the term. These are: personal health services, public health provision, social services, subsidised housing, education and social security. The chapter examines three political traditions: Liberalism, Conservatism and Democratic Socialism (i.e. Labour). A future Conservative government, especially under its new leader, Iain Duncan Smith, may well decide to replace state health or education provision with private-sector arrangements. They have a sense that the Welfare State is not appropriate for a modern, pluralist society as there is sufficient prosperity for people to be able to make private arrangements.
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.