Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Donna Hoffman


There is a certain cynicism that prevails in our American culture when it comes to politics. Many people view politicians in a negative light, believing that a politician will say whatever voters want to hear while he or she is on the campaign trail, but that those promises are not made good upon after the election. It is for this reason that l chose to write on this issue of political promises. Despite the common attitude of skepticism, the question must be posed: Do parties and politicians keep their promises? There is no easy way to answer this question, because the nature of political science, and the behavior of government institutions can be difficult to interpret. One person may understand an action to have kept a promise, while another may say that the action did not go nearly far enough to solve the problem at hand. The most effective method of researching this topic is to examine the pledges made by each party in their party platform, and to compare those pledges with the actual legislative results that the parties were able to achieve in the following years. This writing will attempt to answer this question by examining the fulfillment of platform pledges in the 1996 general election, and will provide some evidence that parties do indeed still keep, or at least attempt to keep their promises.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (25 pages)