The Power of the Chairman's Agenda: An Experiment for Teaching 'Committee Karate' in the Classroom
Posted: 28 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 24, 2017
The power of agenda setters is often raised when teaching parliamentary rules in political science and public choice classrooms. Most students do not have a frame of reference to understand the topic, and fail to internalize it. This paper describes a classroom experiment putting students in the position of representatives deciding over mutually exclusive proposals. The instructor divides students into subcommittees to lower the number of proposals to two, which are then voted for by the class. With proper planning, described within, the instructor can manipulate the outcome to match a preference held by a minority of the students.
Keywords: Voting, In-class activity, committees
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