When the constitution of United States was framed there were discussions on various methods of selecting the President and the method of a direct popular vote was rejected. The reasons for rejection were the poor state of communications and the large distances in between the states. This was felt to make the voters really be familiar with the candidates from their own states and this might lead to the victory of a large number of candidates from different states, and thus there may not be any candidate dominating the total election. Another possibility was of the larger states dominating the presidential election.
Instead the oman method of selecting a College of Electors was chosen. This gave every states representation in the college through a number of people proportionate to its seats in the Congress, or two Senators and a quantum of representatives based on the population. (The American…… [Read More]
The Electoral College could easily lead to the election of a President that does not have the popular support of the entire nation (Amar pp). Moreover, many believe that the clauses of the U.S. Constitution that provide for the electoral system should be removed before the country elects a candidate despite the fact that another candidate received more votes (Amar pp). Today, technology allows for an informed national electorate as well as efficient recounts, thus direct national election would be possible, and Federalism is not a sufficient basis for maintaining an out-dated system of voting (Amar pp). The scheme of presidential selection set up by Article II and refined by the 12th Amendment was a brilliant eighteenth century invention that makes no sense today (Amar pp).
Amar, Akhil Reed. "A constitutional accident waiting to happen."
Constitutional Commentary. June 22, 1995. Retrieved September 14, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library…… [Read More]
The current function of the Electoral College is that each state has a set number of votes for the President, based on the population of that state. The candidate with the most votes in that state would receive all of that state's Electoral College votes. The system has come under fire from critics would point out the flaws in this system. For example, it does not differentiate between a landslide victory and a squeaker, and the Electoral College encourages politicians to only compete in battleground states, ignoring the needs of other states entirely. These concerns are justified, in that a President can be elected despite the other candidate having more votes. This does not sound like a perfectly-functioning democratic system. Critics of the Electoral College have proposed instead that the national popular vote be the method used to determine the Presidency.
As an alternative to the Electoral College,…… [Read More]
Electoral College: Should the U.S. Push for Reform or Elimination?
When citizens of the United States vote in a presidential election, many believe that they are taking part in a direct election of the president (Sutin 2003). However, because of the existence of the electoral college, established in the U.S. Constitution, this is not really true.
The electoral college is a set group of "electors" who are nominated by political activists and party members in America, 2003). When it is time for the presidential election, these electors, dedicated to one or another candidate, are popularly elected. A few months after the presidential vote, the electors meet in their state capitals and vote for president and vice president. To be elected, a president must obtain 270 electoral votes.
In recent years, the electors have developed a habit of never casting their ballots against the winner of the popular vote (Sutin, 2003).…… [Read More]
Supporters of the current system claim it allows small states and small town America to have a say in the election. The candidates go to every corner of the battleground states and many people get the opportunity to meet and question them. Many feel that is a major benefit of the Electoral College. Another benefit many see is that it gives the winning candidate the majority of the vote. In the 1992 election Bill Clinton only received around 42% of the vote. However, due to the influence of oss Perot he still won a convincing majority in the Electoral College. There is some benefit to winning a majority: the perception of 2/3 of the country not electing the president might be detrimental. Furthermore, it avoids the possibility of a nationwide recount. One can only imagine the result if the debacle in Florida in 2000 was repeated on a national level.…… [Read More]
This is just as important as having a president who is equally representative of the interests of each state. The Founding Fathers succeeded admirably in the area of state-based election of the president, but did they succeed in also ensuring we have a democratically elected president? Are public presidential elections really shams, leaving us with a president who is essentially appointed by political party favorites, or does he represent the American people as well as the states? If he does not represent the American people, should the Electoral College be changed, or abolished entirely, or should it be kept as it is, with the assumption that a president that is representative of the interests of the states is more beneficial to this nation and appropriate to the office than one who is truly democratically elected?
To answer these questions, it is first necessary to examine the results of the presidential…… [Read More]
Electoal College System
A Necessay Pat of Elections
The eason fo the Electoal College is so that lage states (in tems of population) ae not given an unfai advantage ove smalle states. Fo example if a lage state with a lage population votes fo one pesident, that state still is only able to contibute a set numbe of electoal votes to that pesident; this is meant as a potection of othe states, who may not have as many votes but still have a ight to a voice in the election pocess. The thinking is that a state with a lage population cannot sway the vote inodinately in the diection that it chooses. This is contovesial among those who view the county as a whole and not as a union of individual states.
The Electoal College is moe of a states' ights issue. Some people, howeve, view the pocess as outmoded…… [Read More]
Electoral College System
The Presidential Elections of 2000 have once again raised doubts regarding the effectiveness of the electoral college system. A straight accounting of the popular vote showed that Democratic candidate Al Gore had a lead of over 500,000 votes over his opponent, George . Bush. The Supreme Court was thus forced to assume the role of electoral arbiter for Florida's vote count, which resulted in the latter's victory via Electoral College votes.
This paper argues that the scenario described above is just one of the reasons why the Electoral College should be abolished. The United States should instead adopt a popular vote system, where each citizen gets one vote.
The first part of this paper looks at the composition of the Electoral College, and studies what conditions led to this body's creation in the first place. The subsequent discussions then detail why the current political and social climate…… [Read More]
ELECTORAL COLLEGE BE ABOLISHED?
The Electoral College system for electing the President was widely examined and often criticized following the November, 2000 election. Two times in recent history we faced the possibility that a Presidential candidate would get most of the popular vote and yet lose in the Electoral College. The Electoral College interferes with the individual voter's opportunity to express a preference for one candidate over another because only the Electoral College votes really count.
e often say we have a democratic government, but in reality, we have a largely federalist government. hile we use direct votes to elect members of congress, we use the Electoral College to choose our highest elected official -- the President. Each state has a certain number of members in the Electoral College, and with rare exceptions, all Electoral College votes for one state go to the candidate who received the majority of votes…… [Read More]
Political Science & Electoral College
This is a paper that describes the Electoral College. There are four references used for this paper.
There are a number of components required to elect a President of the United States. It is important to understand the electoral college and the role it plays in the election process.
The electoral college is "the body that elects the presidents and vice-presidents of the United States. Article II, Section1, of the Constitution of the United States provides that each state 'shall appoint' as many presidential electors as the state has members of Congress. Three is the smallest number of electors a state many have, since every states has two senators and at least one member of the House of Representatives (gi.grolier.com/presidents/ea/side/elecollg.html)."
The electoral college is an "alloy of popular will. This means popular election of the president through the electoral college makes popular election…… [Read More]
members of the Electoral College are selected by voters; earlier, however, over 50% of states picked electors from within their governments, thereby eliminating the American public's direct participation in presidential elections. The onset of the 19th century witnessed a rapid transformation of this practice, with voting rights granted to an increasingly broader population segment. With continued expansion of the electorate, a number of individuals entitled to vote in the election for Electoral College members also increased, up to its current limit of every eligible adult American citizen (a legal adult means anyone who is 18 years of age or older). Therefore, the tradition voters choosing presidential electors became a preliminary, lasting facet of America's Electoral College structure. Also, though states (theoretically) still enjoy constitutional choosing rights via an alternative mode, this is highly unlikely (Electoral College - Facts & Summary). The Electoral College's existence and duties are, in modern American…… [Read More]
election of George W. ush over Al Gore in 2000, who won the electoral vote in spite of losing the popular vote, rekindled a controversy that has been going on for some time now: has the Electoral College mechanism lived its time?
According to the United States constitution, each state is entitled to choose its electors for president and vice-president as a number equal to the total number of representatives and senators the respective state has. The choosing itself is left to the states, by direct popular vote in each state. If the voting for President is a tie, the Constitution specified that this would be decided upon in the House of Representatives. In the initial way the Electoral College was designed by the founding fathers, the winner of the majority of electoral votes would win the election and become president, while the runner-up would become Vice-President. Of course, it…… [Read More]
The reason for the Electoral College is so that larger states (in terms of population) are not given an unfair advantage over smaller states. For example if a large state with a large population votes for one president, that state still is only able to contribute a set number of electoral votes to that president; this is meant as a protection of other states, who may not have as many voters but still have a right to a voice in the election process. The thinking is that a state with a large population cannot sway the vote inordinately in the direction that it chooses. This is controversial among those who view the country as a whole and not as a union of individual states. The electoral college is more of a states' rights issue. Some people, however, view the process as outmoded and feel that elections should be…… [Read More]
The Electoral College as it currently functions is a way of getting around the "popular vote" -- as Underhill (2012) notes in "Changing Up the Electoral College?" However, Gregg (2011) puts an entirely different spin on the Electoral College by viewing it as "a compromise" between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist agendas that went into forming the Constitution (p. 34). Gregg asserts that the Electoral College allows special representatives to select after a republican process (direct voting) the executive. In other words, it combines popular vote with representative vote. Essentially, the popular vote is limited to states and does not count for the nation as a whole. The individual winner of a state's popular vote is assigned electoral votes -- and while one state may have many more people/voters than another -- these numbers are only represented by the electoral votes when it comes time to choosing the national…… [Read More]
Perhaps more significantly, adopting this system would eliminate the U.S. Electoral College, and reduce the priority of national presidential candidates having to woo certain states with many electoral votes, such as California or Texas, as every citizen's vote would be worth the same amount. In Russia the impact of the system has been minimal and not necessarily promoted democracy. "In 1996 Boris Yeltsin won barely a third of the vote in the first round; in 2000 and 2004 Vladimir Putin won an absolute majority in the first round" (Munro 2008). In short, a viable opposition party, or preferably parties must challenge the chief executive to truly create a contentious election. But under the regime of Putin, oppositional elements have been suppressed, although the president seems popular, according to Russian public opinion polls.
Munro, Neil. (30 Jan 2008). "Russia Votes." Centre for the Study of Public Policy:
University of…… [Read More]
Different forms of government have been tried in just about every country on Earth since the beginning of modern history, with varying successes. Out of all these processes, the "lesser" of all evils has been democracy, according to Winston Churchill. However, democracy is not perfect at all, though it seems to be a better-suited government for humankind, especially because it provides us with many freedoms. Minimal democracy is defined as the 20th century democratic political system which means that its most powerful decision-makers are selected through "fair, honest and periodic elections in which candidates clearly compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote," according to Samuel Huntington. This definition is an adequate definition for electoral democracy because it provides one with all the elements that should make up an electoral democratic process. This essay will thus provide the reader with the…… [Read More]
As detailed quite eloquently in Chapter 15 of Haywood's text, having political power is not simply getting one's way in a crude and overt manner, like passing or pushing a bill through congress. Rather, power also involves the task of agenda-setting itself, putting an idea upon the national platform of discourse. The author additionally cites Bacharatz and Baratz as critical in defining not simply making yes or no the key player in politics -- for instance, for many years, the discrimination against Black Americans was not even part of the national discussion, until the civil rights movement. (126) Black Americans were an invisible political voice, though a sizable minority in America.
Application of agenda-setting to today's political life
Today, the role of military service and how it affects one's fitness as commander in chief is part of the national debate. The right to rule (129) is equated with…… [Read More]
The Constitution is based on several key principals the most notable would include: separation of powers as well as checks and balances. Separation of powers is when there are clearly defined powers that are given to the various branches of: the government, the federal government and the states. Checks and balances is when one branch of the government will have the power to the check the authority of another branch. (Wood) for example, the Constitution would specifically spell out various powers of the executive branch. During the course of exercising these different powers, a citizen brings a lawsuit against the government in the judicial branch. Where, they claim that the actions that the executive branch is taking are unconstitutional. In this particular case, the executive branch would work off of the powers given to them in the Constitution. When they begin to overstep these boundaries, another branch of the government…… [Read More]
However, the system is much more representative. Thus, in the ritish Parliament there are representatives from the Scottish parliament as well as from the Northern Ireland Assembly. Even so, the proposals for the reform of the electoral law and program have tried to ease the access of the population to the voting system, to increase the public awareness in relation to the political representation. This would determine a better ethnical and religious representation on the one hand, an element that would help the issues with Northern Ireland. At the same time, it would influence the way in which people express their opinions, views, and preferences, which would in time determine a change in the economic and political decisions taken at the level of the Parliament.
Changes such as the ones from Russia and ritain can affect to a certain point the American political framework. The Russian democracy cannot be considered…… [Read More]
In terms of outcomes and successes, it can be said that the small voter turnout, especially in the recent elections of 2004 when only 54% of the population with the right to vote actually exercised it (Pimbo, 2004) it is of little importance the actual result. The rule of Thabo Mbeki has been certified twice in the Presidential office in 1999 and 2004. Nonetheless, in both occasions, the fact that the ruling party, the African National Congress, has held an undisputed majority was obvious in the electoral results. u comparison, "the opposition share of the vote has declined since 1994" (Pimbo, 2004). Therefore, there is little evidence of an important opposition force, an aspect which limits the democratic process.
There are other issues which are relevant for the electoral system in South Africa. Given the historical background, representation of the minorities is a crucial matter. According to statistics, it may…… [Read More]
California's Electoral System of Today -- No return to the New York Tammany!
It would be tempting to view the defeat of the Tammany Hall Political Machine by the opponents of political corruption as the clear triumph of good over evil. But the victory of the greatness of the 'morning glories' sniffed at by the politicians over Boss Tweed and his ilk was not so simply realized. The fall of the party bosses had as much to do with negative as well as positive political, historical and social influences upon the urban landscape of America. The first foremost and most sweeping example of this is the Great Depression that precipitated the subsequent nationally-based New Deal policies of the Roosevelt administration. This economic catastrophe created a program of federal social welfare surmounted the informal 'good corruption' policies on a local level that had allowed the Tammany politicians of the George Washington…… [Read More]
Electoral ules and Socio-Economic Changes on Elections and Winners Thereof
One should never be deceived to think or imagine that electoral rules are mere formalities. These rules have a major influence on the choices that voters make during an election in a democratic set up. Electoral rules can be defined as a set of rules that determine who votes, who vies and how votes are cast for representation at the various levels and how such votes are translated to electoral seats in such assemblies. Therefore, it is clear from the definition that electoral rules and systems are only part of a wider structure commonly referred to as electoral regulations. Electoral systems discussions tend to exclude other aspects such as the right to vote, transparency and fairness elements (Vampa).
Voting behavior and attitudes are influenced by socio-economic factors. Therefore, social groups exhibit differences in voting patterns. Some patterns are age-old but…… [Read More]
justification for this focus?
The festival will, via thirty gender sensitivity- and female empowerment- focused movies, attempt at fostering social reform and altering gender stereotypes. It will be able to provide a platform for training women, advocating for women-specific problems, fostering an entrepreneurial drive in them, and urging them to assume non-traditional functions. Furthermore, the university's efforts towards the above goals will be furthered via the festival (DNA, 2016).
One study discovered that female actors had a mere 30.2% of named or speaking roles within Hollywood's 700 greatest films between 2007 and 2014; of these only 28 movies had female directors (DNA, 2016). Through this film festival, it is hoped moviemakers will be influenced to portray women more often and in more prominent, non-traditional, and varied roles. For instance, film scripts can easily incorporate businesswomen, female security officers, taxi drivers, or scientists, who are interwoven into the story without any…… [Read More]
Anbinder, Tyler. Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood. New York,
NY: Simon & Schuster.
This book is a general history of New York but provides an overview of the rampant electoral fraud characteristic of the nineteenth century in the city. The Five Points area was particularly notorious. It was an ethnic enclave of recent immigrants who proved to be particularly vulnerable to politicians who wished to use their influence to garner votes and exercise their political patronage. The book chronicles a number of attempts to rein in the voting fraud, as well as the riots associated with election during the Civil War period. Charges of so-called “importing” voters from outside the district were rampant (Anbinder 322). The fact that judgeships were also up for election made New York a ripe source of fraud, given the multiplicity of offices that could be contested, and it was said that no…… [Read More]
First Amendment Cases
There are several provisions in the First Amendment to the United States' constitution, all of which have been implemented in various court cases. In Engels v. Vitale, which centered around the legality of a mandated school prayer in New York state, many would perceive the issue as one of a "freedom of religion." More specifically, however, this case involved the First Amendment's clause that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," which was applied to state governments by the Fourteenth Amendment. This is known as the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and is quite distinct from the provision allowing the free exercise of religion.
In Oregon v Smith, it was determined that a state employee could indeed be terminated and denied unemployment benefits for the use of an illegal substance (in this case peyote) even when its use was part of a religious…… [Read More]
acial and Ethnic Differences National Contexts
A sociologist analyze racial ethnic differences national contexts. For, U.S., tend race a . In order develop skill, select analyze a society demonstrating ethnic stratification conflict, including evidence prejudice discrimination.
In sociology, the predominant line of thought has favored new prejudice interpretations, arguing for the continuing relevance of prejudice and discrimination in forming political opinions and in generating discrimination. New prejudice theories have argued that modern prejudice is multidimensional, combining racial and ostensibly nonracial beliefs. Little known to most sociologists, recent psychological research provides a new approach to understanding the sources of racial discrimination that compliments ideas from the new prejudice literature (Livingston, 2002).
esearch has demonstrated that implicit racial attitudes exist even for individuals who score low on measures of explicit racial prejudice and that these implicit beliefs influence judgments and perceptions. This literature provides one way to reconcile differences between continuing high…… [Read More]
Function of the American Government
The American government has had a long-standing checks-and-balances efficiency within its three-branch system. Because of the separate governable powers within the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the United States, American law has been approved after many constant revisions and discussions. It is extremely commendable that the legislative branch takes into account the representation of both "state" and "people." This is not to say, of course, that the government system of the United States is utterly perfect; the executive branch certainly holds a bit more power within the government than one would like.
One major positive effect of the passing of laws is the representation included within those laws. Long before the House-and-Senate solution of Congress, there was always the problem of representation amongst the population of the respective states. State borders vary in land mass and population; how does one reconcile a largely-populated state…… [Read More]
United States operates as an indirect or representative democracy meaning that a select group is elected by the whole to serve as representatives while attending to public matters. This is in contrast to a direct democracy which holds that all eligible members of a society can personally direct public affairs. This distinction is often overlooked by most Americans who believe that the term democracy has no qualifications.
In order to fully grasp American government, it is essential to understand the Framers of the Constitution referred to it as republic in form. Their intention was to have representatives direct government operations. In other words, voters select representatives who in turn carry out government business. The reasons for this procedure are manifold. Most notably, the Framers foresaw the electorate making poor decisions based on transitory emotions thereby leading the country in an unwise direction. Given such predispositions, the Framers felt that minority…… [Read More]
Civic Values in the U.S.
estoring democracy and civic virtue in the United States will require major reforms that reduce the power of corporations, elites and special interests in the whole political process. ight now, there is a radical disconnect between the political and economic elites and the needs and interests of the ordinary voters. Most people today realize that the country is in its worse crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, but government and the political system seem dysfunctional and incapable of dealing with it. emoving the power and control of big money from the political process forever would be the most important step in revitalizing American democracy and making the system more representative and accountable. So would eliminating the Electoral College and electing the president and vice president by a majority of the popular vote. Despite the protests of small states, only this type of reform…… [Read More]
Presidential Election Poll Data 2012
National Poll Data: 2012 Presidential Election
We are waist deep into election season. Now is the time for frantic fundraising, polling, and campaigning. ecent polls show a lot about the political beliefs and behavior of upcoming American voters. Analyzing poll results can help forecast the next president of the United States. After examining three polls in particular, a strong prediction can be made showing now President Barack Obama as the next likely president of the United States.
One ongoing poll helps paint a very detailed picture of how the two candidates are fairing within the American presidential race of 2012. This was a detailed poll that is continuously producing numbers base don interviewing registered voters. It is being conducted by Gallup Politics. Beginning in April 2012, representatives from Gallup Politics have asked registered voters "Suppose the presidential election were held today, if Barack Obama were…… [Read More]
thirteen colonies that drafted and announced the Declaration of Independence stating their intention to separate from England shortly thereafter wrote the first governing document, the Articles of Confederation. The Articles set forth and defined the relationship between the various colonies and how the relationship between such colonies would serve to form one entity. The Articles served to provide the colonies with a form of unification while the Revolution was being fought but as the nation attempted to recover from the War and build a new nation the Articles proved too weak to be effective. The Articles failed to grant Congress the power to raise funds, regulate trade, or conduct foreign policy without the voluntary agreement of the states. There were attempts to alter the Articles in order to increase the powers of the Congress but these efforts failed and a Constitutional Convention was convened to attempt to revise the Articles…… [Read More]
Parties that may have been overlooked due to lack of advertising, can now demonstrate to millions of people at a time what their party beliefs are, which at times can be radically different from the two main parties.
The third party proposal has been around for a very long time, but like with everything, change is met with resistance. The idea that a "debate" is in a sense a two person, or in this case, a two party ordeal is something that many people are still in agreement with. The idea that there is a right and a wrong, a yes or a no, makes it impossible for parties who offer compromises or ideas that incorporate a little bit of everything, to become a "main" party (Abramson et al. 365). Under the current electoral system in the United States, what matters is having more votes than any other candidates. A…… [Read More]
In 2004, approximately 120.3 million people cast a ballot for president, which, in absolute numbers, are the most to have participated in any American election.
In the popular vote, President ush received 51% of the popular vote to Kerry's 48% and in the Electoral College the final outcome was 286 electoral votes for the President and 252 electoral votes for Kerry. Republicans not only won the White House, but they also expanded their Senate lead to 55 from 51.
In the House, Republicans added three seats and emerged with a 29-seat majority. Republican control of the White House, Senate and Congress truly mark the 2004. The 2004 is truly a transforming election marking significant Republican influence over morals, the economy, and Iraq war policies.
According to CNN, an evenly divided electorate split sharply, and in some states decisively, on age, gender, religious, racial and ideological lines.
This division…… [Read More]
political contexts, both Presidents Bush and Clinton entered contentious budget negotiations with a Congress controlled by the opposition party in 1990 and 1995 respectively; however, each president experienced a different outcome. In Bush's case, he had to deal with both the Savings and Loan Crisis and a $2.8b debt -- the largest in the nation's history. Further, Bush entered negations hamstrung by a campaign pledge not to raise taxes on the American people. After a brief government shut-down, President Bush and Congress reached an agreement found in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, an act where not only government spending was cut, but also where Bush had to violate his campaign pledge and raise taxes. In President Clinton's case, he had to deal with the first full Republican Congress in forty years -- a congress which would demand a balanced budget where Clinton's budget projected a nearly $190b deficit…… [Read More]
As was expected, the epublicans took the House and Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections, shifting the balance of power in the United States government. The election was viewed by many as a referendum on President Obama's policies. The President said it (Martosko, 2014), conservative talking heads said it (Krauthammer, 2014), and voters in exit polls said as much, too (aedle, 2014). This argument makes for fine political rhetoric, this ignores the fact that Obama ran for re-election in 2012. The ACA had been passed but nobody had seen its benefits yet, only heard the fearmongering. The economy was going nowhere fast in 2012, versus two strong quarters in 2014, and the unemployment rate has been declining for four straight years. If there was a time when a referendum on Obama's policies was going to cost him, it would have been in 2012, not the 2014 midterms. Unless of…… [Read More]
Jane Kramer is nowadays a distinguished journalist and teacher, as well as an excellent writer, with the eight books she has published, among them the Last Cowboy. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island, graduating Phi eta Kappa from Vassar College. A master's degree in English at Columbia University paved her way towards a career in journalism. She started practicing at The Village Voice, but her consecration came with The New Yorker, which she joined in 1964 and where she still serves as one of the best journalists there.
Her literary career counts, as I have mentioned, eight books, enough to bring her worldwide recognition and an important series of prices and distinctions. Among these, we can mention American ook Award, a National Magazine Award, a Front Page Award, and an Emmy Award
, but also Prix Europeen de l'Essai, considered the most important award for non-fiction in Europe (the…… [Read More]
The author continues his analysis on how American politics will look like when he addresses the different points-of-view and chances of becoming the next American President for Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain.
An illustrative example of the many he offers, is the tax issue: once opposed to the tax cuts that President Bush made, Mr. McCain argues for the importance of lowering taxes whilst Mr. Obama argues for a system in which prosperous citizens pay more and higher taxes. Yet the most striking difference between the two that Birnbaum makes relates to foreign policy. The author basically argues in favor of Mr. Obama as he sees the McCain foreign policy not only imperial but also reckless and dangerous for the role that the United States will play in world politics. He sees McCain's vision as being worse that the Bush administration offering somehow exaggerated examples from the Republican candidate like…… [Read More]
s far as congressional elections, proportional representation (PR) is based on the principle that any group of like-minded voters should win legislative seats in proportion to its share of the popular vote. Proportional representation would allow minor party candidates to overcome the formidable barrier imposed by the plurality system. Consequently, this new type of electoral system would ensure free and fair competition between all political parties irrespective of their size (my: More Choices for Voters). Nonetheless, there are numerous voices opposing such a shift in the electoral system that claim it would not be beneficial to the state of Colorado, as proportional representation makes it "less likely that Colorado will play a pivotal role in a presidential election." (Denver Post: 2004). lso, proportional representation would limit the number of the "safe seats" and would increase competition.
In the merican system, each legislator is the elected representative of a distinct geographical…… [Read More]
American Elections Have ecome Undemocratic
The American electoral process has been criticized on several points. This paper addresses some, though not all, of the ways in which the American political process has been criticized. Starting with campaign finance and whether expensive advertising exerts an influence on the outcome of elections out of proportion to its importance, I discuss the difficulty faced by potential candidates in getting their names on ballots when they are not the candidate being promoted by either the Democrats or Republicans. I then address whether the idea of plurality in national elections is a rational one and conclude with a discussion of the Electoral College and whether its presence and influence in the outcome of the presidential race runs contrary to the expressed democratic spirit of the United States.
First, there is the issue of campaign finance. Essentially, the uncomfortable question is this: is the American system…… [Read More]
The founding fathers of the United States were initially opposed to the formation of political parties considering them as "quarreling factions" that would hinder the public from freely judging issues on merit. The complex structure of the U.S. government with its elaborate system of checks and balances and division of power among the state and federal governments, however, makes the formation of permanent political organizations necessary for effective functioning of the system. Over the years, a two-party system has evolved with two major political parties fielding their respective candidates in most state and federal elections. Third parties take part in the elections occasionally albeit with limited impact. It is a common observation that third parties in the U.S. go only as far as their candidate; if a candidate fades out of the spotlight so does the party. In this paper, we will discuss why third parties have traditionally…… [Read More]
.....political ads changed over the last 60 years? Please use examples from the 1960's, 1980's and 2000's to support your answer.
In the beginning when TV was first used in the United States by the public, political ads were scarce. In the 1940's and even through into the 1960's presidential candidates reached out to meet voters, shaking hands and holding town-hall debates. (Suggett) It was a commitment to vie for presidency. However, as time passed and the mid 1960's brought some changes, political candidates aimed to ramp things up.
There was a need to address the masses in a more convenient form and so Lyndon B. Johnson aired the "Daisy Girl" commercial, effectively becoming the most controversial political ad of the time, and one of the most memorable. (Fowler, et al.) From there, change came to political ads in the form of negative ads such as the 1980 presidential campaign…… [Read More]
Tracy Flick, a preppy overachiever, is running unopposed for student council president. Mr. M, the faculty advisor, distains Tracy and has decided she needs an opponent. Mr. M talks Paul, the injured quarterback, into running - to go for the glory of leadership instead of the momentary glow of sports. Tammy, Paul's sister, decides to run for president after her girlfriend leaves her for Paul. Throughout the movie each character takes actions, fair or unfair, for personal gain. Mr. M throws the election to Paul as revenge against Tracy for having had an affair with his friend and fellow teacher who is fired. Tracy tears down the election posters out of frustration and blames someone else. Tammy falsely claims responsibility for ruining the posters so that she will be expelled and able to transfer to an all girl's school. Paul is the only candidates who wants whatever the outcome will…… [Read More]
The first amendment to the Constitution in the ill of Rights states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This provision has been the justification for entirely removing prayer from schools and the mention of God from public places. This may not have been the intention of the Framers. They were concerned that the government could not establish an official state religion, as had been done in many countries in Europe. They did not intend to eliminate religion from public life.
The problem with judicial activism is that it becomes very hard to stop once it begins. As stated, while most would agree that a right to privacy is desirable, what about other rights or privileges with which the majority would not agree. The Constitution was designed with a process to amend it as conditions change. The Framers anticipated that…… [Read More]
Property owners were thought to have a more long-term stake in the republic, rather than potentially transient, mobile citizens.
Only later was universal suffrage given to all American men, regardless of whether they owned property. The Founding Father's tempering of the direct, democratic will of the populace was further expressed by the fact that in the original constitution, members of the U.S. Senate are elected by the (democratically selected) state legislature, rather than by the direct will of the people. The 'removed' or representative, republican element of the constitution in its original form was even more extreme in the original constitution, in terms of the electoral process and the incomplete enfranchisement of even the male populace.
Another fear, besides the fickleness of the populace expressed by Madison was that of factionalism, that in a pure democracy the populace would have the ability to form self-interested factions and exert an undue…… [Read More]
incumbent is the existing holder of a political office who normally has a structural advantage over challengers during an election," ("The Power of Incumbency" 1). In the House of Representatives, incumbents win over 80% of their elections ("The Power of Incumbency" 1). For the presidential race, the power of incumbency is different and in many ways, weaker due to term limits and the nature of the executive office. Anti-incumbency can haunt presidents who, for whatever exogenous or endogenous factors, had a difficult presidency. Prevailing party fatigue can also be a factor boosting the chances of a non-incumbent from the opposing political party. In the case of presidential elections taking place after a two-term president such as in 2016, there is no incumbent and therefore the process by which the hopefuls win their party's nomination becomes the focal point of their campaign work.
Incumbents enjoy obvious advantages over their non-incumbent counterparts…… [Read More]
United States Constitution concentrates on. It will address how it treated the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and the complaints in the Declaration of Independence.
How the Constitution Deals with Weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation
One key factor that has helped keep the constitution of the United States alive is the processes involved in its amendment. These processes require 2/3 majority votes from the two houses of Congress or by every state legislature. The Articles of Confederation could not be changed easily because a unanimous vote required from each of the states. As the number of the sates in the United States increased from 13 to 50, it would have been almost impossible to change the articles. No judicial system was provided for the United States by the Articles of Confederation.
In the same way, Congress lacked the legal power to enforce any laws (Morelock, n.d). Each of…… [Read More]
A nation wherein the masses elect representatives to the government, thus ensuring the law is shaped by public opinion (so long as this opinion is Constitutional) is considered a republic. This was the aim of America's Founding Fathers. Democracy closely resembles a epublic; however, a key point of distinction between the two is the representatives. The founders were worried about citizens' criticism that they were assuming too much control themselves and hence, there was a need to prove to citizens that it wasn't the President, but the law, that governed the nation. Following the very ineffective attempt at enforcing the Articles of Confederation, the founders ultimately found success with the Constitution -- American history's most famous text -- which ensured federal power was limited to only matters included within the Constitution. Without the Constitution, the U.S. would be an absolute democracy with all citizens doing whatever they felt…… [Read More]
S. House of Representatives from that state. hy set up a presidential election in which voters do not directly elect the president? elch (32) explains that the founders devised this system "…because of their view that the people could not be trusted. The people were seen as an unruly mob threatening stable, orderly government," she continued. Even after Gore successfully petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to have election officials count 9,000 previously uncounted ballots by hand, that may well have given him the victory in Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court trumped the Florida High Court and ultimately gave Florida's 25 electoral votes -- and the presidency -- to Republican candidate Bush (the High Court vote was 5-4: 5 Republican justices to 4 Democrat justices).
Meanwhile, according to professor Mary C. Segers (Rutgers University), the U.S. system of government actually "enhances citizen impact on government" (Segers, 2002, p. 182). The Founders…… [Read More]
The American Experiment
The American experiment: The Articles of Confederation vs. The Constitution
When the Founding Fathers initially designed a governing structure for the emerging American nation, they wished to err on the side of conservatism, in terms of granting power to the federal authority. After all, the American evolution had been founded upon a principle of autonomy from a strong central authority in the form of the British king. However, the Articles of Confederation which emerged to govern was a "weak" and "anemic" structure ill-suited to a modern nation which had to hold its own with European powers such as Great Britain itself (Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl 2012:120)
The Articles of Confederation provided for a loose confederation or "firm league of friendship.' Thirteen independent states were thus linked together for joint action in dealing with common problems, such as foreign affairs" (Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl 2012: 120). In…… [Read More]
The so-called peculiar institution of slavery would come to define America in the 19th century, and set the stage for effects that until the current day. It was a critical, destructive error to leave the issue of slavery unresolved at the time of American independence.
Attempts to econcile the Slavery Issue
What was the 3/5 Compromise?
elevance of the 3/5 Compromise
Significance of the 3/5 Compromise for the issue of slavery
Missouri Compromise of 1820
Define (MO as slave state, ME as free state)
Significance of the 1820 compromise
3.Compromise of 1850
Define the compromise of 1850
Significance of this compromise iii. Fugitive Slave Act and DC
Shift in power dynamic on the issue
Define the Nebraska-Kansas Act
Describe the bleeding of Kansas iii. Show how the violence was a precursor to the Civil War
What was the Dred Scott case?…… [Read More]
The coming presidential elections in the United States will be conducted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and will be America's 57th quadrennial presidential election. As the election approaches, various initiatives and measures have been taken to educate and empower America's voting public and create an increasingly responsible government. These efforts have primarily involved the provision of comprehensive, non-partisan information that relate to presidential candidates, news, issues, and political parties. These initiatives are mainly geared towards providing a platform for voters and non-voters to regularly obtain useful, straightforward, and impartial information linked to politics and issues. However, the major issue revolving around these elections is how the election results will be determined by current and previous decisions of the court. This is mainly because of the increased expectation that the coming presidential election may be a close election.
Presidential Election Laws:
The United States presidential elections are guided by constitutional…… [Read More]
First, math courses are required as part of college work in the pursuit of most degrees in the health care field. The level of required achievement is different, depending on the degree sought. For example, a student pursuing an LPN may take a semester or two of college algebra. A pre-med student is often required to take one or two semesters of calculus. A student pursuing a master's degree in health care administration will take courses in statistics, finance and accounting. The master's candidate can perhaps more easily see the relevance of the required math courses toward the future career. For the nursing student studying algebra or the pre-med student struggling through calculus, the correlation between academic study and actual practice may be unclear. They may wonder why they must undertake these courses, which seem to have little to do with the work in which they will eventually be engaged.…… [Read More]
As the leader of the free world, the United States remains in the limelight as the rest of the world keeps a keen eye on how they conduct their affairs. As it appertains to constitutional interpretation, the U.S. has a sound philosophy dubbed 'living constitutionalism.' In the American constitutional dispensation, as in other countries, the letter of the law is unequivocal. That notwithstanding, many agree that every society is dynamic in nature. As such, as society keeps changing, there is a growing need for the constitution to be equally as dynamic in view of various considerations. Implementing and enforcing the letter of the law as stated in constitutional clauses often has its shortcomings. The concept 'Living Constitutionalism' revolves around humanizing the law. By adding the element of humanity in the law, the constitution gains a dynamic element. This idea relates to the view of the society as contemporaneous,…… [Read More]
In her article, "Aftermath of Aftermath- Unanswered Questions from 9-11 -from an organizer's point-of-view" the military could have done more. In particular the author asserts that General Myers who controlled such military operations, couls have done more to prevent the attacks (Brouillet). Instead the general was awarded one of the highest military honors for his inaction prior to 9/11 (Brouillet). The author also explain that she organized rallies and showecd people a film entitled "The Great Deception" which was the first televised show that contradicted the claims that were being made by the mainstream media in the aftermath of 9/11.
Mark Dunlea is one of the most outspoken voices on the events of September 11 and the lack of cooperation from the Bush administration in reference to a bipartisan review of the terrorist attacks. Dunlea is a member of the Green Party of New York city. In fact, Mark Dunlea…… [Read More]
United States: A Polarized Nation
In recent decades, the United States had become a far more self-interested nation, that is, a nation in which most people are more concerned with their own interests, or their own small group's interest (e.g., the AARP lobby; the pro-life movement) than with the interests of the nation as a whole. As a result, the United States as a country is now more polarized than ever before, around special interests such as these. In this essay I will discuss polarization within the United States, in terms of political parties as well as other matters.
The extent of America's polarization, along political lines, may be most plainly seen through the results of U.S. Presidential elections within in the past two decades. The last two landslide presidential elections were won by Ronald Reagan in 1980, against Jimmy Carter, and then again by Reagan in 1984, against Walter…… [Read More]
Founding Documents-Declaration & Constitution
The Declaration of Independence lays out the fundamental propositions which underlie the Constitution and American political culture, and as Abraham Lincoln once famously stated, the Constitution is the "frame of silver" which surrounds the Declaration's "apple of gold." That is, Lincoln believed the Constitution creates the institutions and processes through which American government realizes the principles natural rights found in the Declaration's preamble. The purpose of the Declaration was not only to create a document proclaiming the colonies' separation from Great Britain, but it was also both a list of grievances and a statement of colonial constitutional theory. Jefferson stated toward the end of his life that the political philosophy espoused in the Declaration was simply a statement of the "American mind."
The Constitution can properly be said to embody these principles in part due to the failure of the Articles of Confederation -- as the…… [Read More]
Slavery, The Civil ar and the Preservation of the Union
In the face of oppression and harsh treatment, slaves formed communities as a coping mechanism and to resist the belief that they were simply property. Members of these slave communities came together often to sing, talk, and even plan covert plots to runaway or sabotage the system in which they were living. Slaves married, had children and worked to keep their families together. Families were often broken up as members were sold off to different masters, but when a family was kept together, nuclear families of two parents and their children working for the same master were common. It was in these communities that countless elements of African-American slave culture were passed on for generations, including skills such as medical care, hunting, and fishing as well as how to act in front of whites, hiding their feelings and escaping punishment.…… [Read More]
Charles de Montesquieu's ideals are the embodiment of the basis for the enlightenment and have many ties to the ideals of the Protestant reform and its substantial impact upon many political climates since its inception as a nucleus of thought. Montesquieu documented ideals about government and it's branches that established a basis for the United States constitutional government. Montesquieu outline several possible forms of government and then proceeded to admonish or bolster the truths as he saw them.
It is clear that the framers of the U.S. constitution were well studied in Montesquieu lore. Montesquieu was elitist enough to suit the needs of a foundling governmental movement, that established the ideals of the cream floating to the top and yet he also refreshingly appointed the masses, in a democracy, the right to pride in judgment and influence. "The suffrage by lot is a method of electing that offends no one,…… [Read More]
Athens vs. United States
The word democracy is built from two Greek words: "demos," meaning "people, and "kratein," or " to rule." So the word means a government ruled by its people. The Athenians of ancient Greece placed the power to rule in the hands of those citizens willing to participate. Citizens were males over the age of 18 who were not slaves.
In many ways, Athens was a direct democracy, because anyone eligible to vote could go to the meetings and vote. However, they also had an Assembly with 500 representatives elected by the citizens of the ten separate districts. The Assembly actually did preliminary work for any issues to be presented to all the citizens and in that way served somewhat like United States House and Senate committees. They were elected by those they represented but only for one year at a time, and could serve only twice…… [Read More]
Because of the extreme conditions of the 1930s depression, the New Deal under Franklin Roosevelt went further in expanding the powers of the federal government than any previous administration in history, certainly far beyond the very limited role permitted to it by the conservative administrations of arren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover in 1921-33. It was the worst depression in U.S. history, and led not only to the complete collapse of all Street and the financial system, but of industrial production as well, which fell 85% in 1929-33, while the Gross National Project fell by half and in some cities like Chicago the unemployment rate rose as high as 50-60%. At the same time, the entire banking system collapsed by 1933, as did agricultural prices, and money stopped circulating. John Maynard Keynes and other economists blamed this severe contraction on low incomes, unequal distribution of wealth,…… [Read More]