Reading Report Sample

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Government-Business Relations Reading ReportStudent Name:__________ Edith Smith _____________________________________________Class (eg Monday 10. 00am-11. 30am): _________________3 -4 PM__________________| Reading full reference| Liz Young, 1999‘Minor Parties and the Legislative Process in the Australian Senate: A study of the 1993 Budget’,Australian Journal of Political Science, 34(1): 7-27| Main point(s) made by the author(s)| The author has discovered a gap in research and literature regarding the tools and powers available and used by minor parties in the Senate to affect legislation and the behaviour of Parliament. The author explains that with the exception of a few mentioned studies, current research is focused on a single minor party or takes the primary aim of examining the impact of minor parties for a student audience. | Evidence and examples used | Detailed analysis of the votes, concession making, and negotiation that occurred in the Senate’s passing of the government’s 1993 Budget is provided by the author as empirical backing for the arguments developed and claims made throughout the article. The author uses the aims of minor parties, the voting and negotiation process, and resulting changes to specific clauses of the budget to examine the behaviour, activism and effect of minor parties in the Senate. | Strong and convincing parts of the text| The discussion of minor parties bargaining with the government for amendment to legislation, in the place of voting against the government, is well argued and supported and particularly convincing. Using the 1993 Budget case study the author explores the outcomes and consequences of both courses of action, and effectively concludes that negotiating with the government is preferred by minor parties as it affords minor parties more power than in a voting situation and is viewed more favourably by non-senate audiences. | Weak and unconvincing parts of the text| A weakness of the article is the narrow nature of the case study. This results in arguments and findings which may not be easily generalised or applied in other areas, such as lower houses or states, or in situations where minor parties do not hold a balance of power. In examining the senate’s passing of the 1993 Budget as the empirical support of her argument, the author concedes that using such a case study is a narrow empirical base for the claims which have been put forward. |

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