Michael Lyons and Damon Cann, professors in the department of political science, spoke to students Wednesday about the aftermath of the 2010 midterm elections and what to expect from the government over the next two years. Lyons spoke first, focusing on the shift of power in congress that occurred following this year’s elections. He said historically, voters tend to distrust a single party holding both the white house and congress – as the Democrats have since the 2008 election – and the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives follows a pattern of establishing balance in the federal government. “We have come to distrust both parties so much,” Lyons said. Even though split-party control of congress can often lead to a legislative stalemate, Lyons said voters feel more comfortable with a division in power. “It just makes us feel safer and more protected,” Lyons said. “At the same time we claim to want change, we deadlock government.” Lyons suggested many of the Democratic Party’s struggles this election stemmed from the Obama administration not learning from the past, especially in regard to the recently-passed health care bill. Voters, he said, are wary of legislation that represents sweeping and dramatic change and interest groups were able to instill a certain degree of fear. “The American public is not receptive to change, no matter how appealing that is as a campaign slogan,” Lyons said.
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