1. Texas is described as having a traditionalistic individualistic political culture. Is this true for
the entirety of Texas? Where might you find differences in political cultures within the state?
2. Consider the main purpose of the first Texas state constitution Coahuila y Tejas-1827. What function did it serve and what did it prioritize? What problem(s) led to crises and conflict with the Federal Constitution of Mexico?
3. Has the evolving relationship between the federal government and the states changed for the better or for the worse? Why?
4. Do you think there are too many local elected officials? Why or why not? Can this high
number have an effect on voter turnout during local elections? How might Texas increase
voter interest in, and information about, local elections?
5. Why do you think the writers of the Texas Constitution adopted a part-time legislature? What are the benefits to having a part-time legislature? What are the costs?
6. Do you think Texas has struck the right balance in terms of gubernatorial power? Should the governor have more power? What additional powers should the governor have?
7. Texas is unusual in that it has two high courts: one to hear civil cases and one to hear criminal
cases. Why do you think Texas has such a system? What are the consequences (good and
bad) of having two separate high courts?
8. Traffic in Texas has increased in recent years, causing significant delays and higher fuel
expenses. What are possible solutions to these issues? What are the drawbacks of those
9. Why are interest groups so influential in Texas politics? What types of institutional reforms
could the legislature enact to reduce the influence of interest groups?
10. What is the purpose of a primary election? Why is the Republican Party primary in Texassignificant? What effect do you think this has on primary voter turnout?
11. Do any of you consistently vote for one party at the national level and another party at the
state level? Why or why not? How prevalent do you think this practice is?