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I. Introduction A. Congress: the least popular branch B. Heavily emphasized in the text of the Constitution C. An independent and powerful institution During the 1970s party polarization was very much the exception to the rule. Some scholars insist that the ?disappearing center? in Congress reflects partisan and ideological divisions among average Americans, while other scholars seem equally sure that we are instead witnessing a ?disconnect? between a still nonideological and politically centrist mass public and its representatives on Capitol Hill. II. Congress versus Parliament Comparison with British Parliament Parliamentary candidates are selected by their parties. Become a candidate by persuading party to place name on the ballot

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