Utilizing power when a political party has government control - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Utilizing power when a political party has government control

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Republicans in both the assembly and senate have approved a series of bills placing further restrictions on abortion rights.

Discussion of the bill is heated and controversial, leaving some critics questioning whether imposing further restrictions on abortion should be such a major focus of Republican lawmakers and Governor Scott Walker; the governor campaigned on job growth and boosting the economy.

According to UW-L Assistant Political Science Professor Tim Dale, when a party has the power in the legislature, they're going to push as many items on their platform as possible, or they're going to make compromises.

Either way, both economic and social issues come to the table.

If a party pushes for everything on their agenda, they do enforce the politics they want, but risk chances for reelection, Dale said.

If they compromise, they have a better chance at reelection, but lose their policy ideal, he added.

"Staying in power as long as possible is really one of the goals when you're in office," Dale said. "But the reason you want to stay in office is you want your policies passed. So, you have this kind of balancing act where you think, ‘What can I do to keep myself in power as long as possible, but also what can I do to maximize what I can get when I'm in government?'"

Dale said this is not a partisan issue but an issue every government with a strong majority faces.

The gamble is reelection, Dale said. In a state-wide election, politicians generally want to appeal to centrist voters. But, when it comes time to vote, it all depends on what the elector is thinking.

Another challenge with losing the majority is having some policies repealed, Dale added.

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