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State & Policy Initiatives

Democrats, for example, tend to believe that preservation of natural resources must take precedence over individual gain, while Republicans favor preserving economic resources and less governmental regulation in all areas, including the environment.

A chart published in Time magazine shortly before the election spelled out the positions of both men on 15 separate issues. Their stands on environmental policies mirror those of their respective parties. They also serve to indicate the philosophies that differentiate Democrats from Republicans. For example, the chart notes that Clinton vetoed two Republican-sponsored bills, one designed to dilute the Clean Water Act and a second to promote development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Both bills are typical examples of the Republican preference for reduced governmental regulation. Both bills are also supportive of the democratic ideal of the rights of the individual to seek personal fortune without either guarantees or interference from the state. Democrats, while supporting this same ideal, believe that both the individual and the common good require the approval and guidance of the majority. The chart observes that Dole and the Republicans believe that "environment and human health can be protected with less intrusive and less expensive regulations."

Beyond political campaigns and individual party differences, the policy initiatives undertaken by entire governments provide insight into the philosophies guiding each government's approach to politics. Two separate environmental disasters offer telling examples. The incident at the nuclear power plant on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania gave Western democracy its first real taste of the catastrophic dangers posed by this relatively new source of energy. As embarrassing a public relations problem as the incident was, its most enduring legacy was to spark an ongoing and energetic argument on the relative merits of nu...

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State & Policy Initiatives. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:49, September 19, 2017, from
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