American Politic

The United States of America had over the years restricted voting from women, black American and prisons of particular offences. The American legibility to vote over the years has been mainly determined by the federal and the state laws. Today, only the citizens of the US can be allowed to vote. However the states have their own laws that govern the right to votes at any elections. As if to deprive the states of their independence, the national constitutions has also gone ahead to restrict the voting laws at the state level.

However over the years there have been extensions of voting rights. At the very onset of the American democracy, women and the poor were not legible to take part in the voting. This disfranchisement has been criticized over the years. Nevertheless it is appreciable the attainment of the voting rights have been as progressive as the progression of the American democracy. Until 1870 Americans were denied voting rights based on the three principles, race color and their previous servitude conditions.

In 1920 the provision was reviewed and only sex was used as a restricting factor against one taking part in the voting process. In 1964 a provision was passed contrary to inter alia allowing American citizens who had failed to pay taxes to take part in voting. Hitherto, American who were not paying taxes were not allowed vote. In 1971, passed an amendment bill that sought to lift any restrictions on account of the age. The right to vote has been extended to a wide spectrum of voters. However some states barred people who had committed felonies from voting.
Several movements pushed for the expansion of the suffrage extend. In the 1960 for example, young men who had taken art in the war in Vietnam were in dire need for voting to taking part in the election of their leaders. While they were taking an active part in the government policy implementation they appeared locked out in key government decisions such as elections. Subsequent to this movement the minimum voting age was moved from 21 years of age to 18 years. In a dramatic shift, some states even allowed those who were nearing that age to take part in election at the primaries and caucuses.
The voting space was further opened through the extension of voting rights to prisoners. Though this was done spaciously, some states allowed only prisoners on probation to take part in voting. As of 2007 fourteen states in the United State were allowing prisoners with minor crimes and ex-felons to vote. It is however regrettable that an estimated 5. 3 American are denied the voting rights because convictions of felony. This is in sharp contrast with the practice in the European Union where ex-felons and in some cases prisoners are allowed to vote.
In Canada for example, prisoners have been allowed to vote since 2002. It has taken relatively long for the extension of the suffrage in the United States. Presumably, this is because over the years there was no push for this course. However the few past decades have seen movements fronting for the rights of the franchised. While these movements go way back to the times of Martin Luther king Junior, after his death there was reduced political activism that would have led to reduction of the voter franchise. The extension of suffrage has been largely precipitated by the increased American political space.
In addition, the increased economic development was coupled with political reform. Given that economic development is always coupled with political and social development, these transformations made the upsurge of political and social movements inevitable. Subsequently, the United States was being used as a parameter for ideal democracy; hence it was utterly inevitable of the powers that be to embrace human rights, inclusive of the voting rights. 2. Describe the factors that have contributed to the overall weakening of political parties in America. How are parties weaker?
How do they remain important? What are the advantages of a political system with weak political parties? What are the disadvantages? Political parties are elected into power based on their manifestos and their policies. However it so happens that after election the parties tend to deviate utterly from their manifesto. They tend, in the opinion of the electorates, to engage in other businesses other than the mandate for which they were elected into power. Besides, the parties have revered their political party’s hegemony to an extent that they are not the electorates that count but the party.
Apparently the United States has international forces that are dictating its direction. Worse still, the purported purchase of votes in the quest to pass certain bills are also making the voters loss their trust in the system. Given that parties are about numbers, this ends up weakening the parties even further. In particular the voters cite the passing of the healthcare plan bill. This exhibition of concealed corruption is making the general public to lose trust overall in the leadership of the country; who happen to be emanating from political parties.
The decentralization of the party powers has also believably contributed to the weakening of the political parties. The implication is that the grassroots leader have equal mandate on the affairs of the party just as much as the leaders at the national levels. In addition the party system tends to have very many cleavages at all the three levels; national, state and the local levels. This fragments the system further hence making it to lose its powers. It is also worth noting that the parties sporadically supported; in one state, one party is supported altogether while in another, another party is supported.
The United States has very many issues that need to be addressed. This diversified issues lead to lower internal unity among party members. This has been particularly prevalent in the Democratic Party. Vividly, even the Republican Party seems to be tending on this very trend. This notable is the fragmenting of the party into Conservative Republican and Libertarian Republicans. In addition, the emergence of interest groups has also critiqued the political parties to the extent of igniting distrust from the voters. Further, partisan bickering has also seen turn off to the American voter.
There are a number of indicators of weakening of parties. In particular the realignment in elections has been dramatic encounter in the US. This has been an ultimate indication of the weakening of political parties. Areas that were initially perceived to be in support of the Republican Party are now supporting the Democratic Party. There has also been a decline in the straight ticket voting to increased split ticket voting. The subsequent inclusion of the office bloc ballot that allows for the split ticket voting is an indicator of this trend.
There appears o be no clear cut merits for weaker political parties; however, weaker political parties tend to strengthen democratic ideals. Clearly, when the incumbent is duly mandated they tend to deliver service with a clear conscience of low civil mandate. On the contrary, when political are weaker the lack of mandate expose them to sabotage even when their strategic and political intention or good willed. In general this tends to impede the success of both political social and economic agenda. In the overall analysis it does affect the functioning of political economic and social systems.
Ultimate, the delivery of services to the general public is tampered with. 3. Should race be taken into account when congressional districts are redrawn after each census? If 20 percent of a state is African American, should 20 percent of the districts have an African American majority? First, it need to be acknowledged that any process that takes race as a central parameter for course will always end up disfranchising the nation. Therefore such attempts should be resisted at all costs. It is equally appreciable that over years racism has impacted white people.
Usually that discussion comes in the context of an assumption that, if whites can see that racism has negative effects on them as a group, that realization will motivate action to eliminate racism. While the forces of racism would not be demonized as such, its emphasized use promotes its ideals. Hence if the criteria is used it divides the nation into such lines. Racism is by far too powerful and recalcitrant force that if it is allowed to permeate, it clings and stubbornly gets lodged into the system this assumption acknowledges, clinging stubbornly wherever it is lodged.
In addition there is much price to be paid in acceptance of this draconian approach to national development. Most of the white will not accept this aspect and would rather not accept this dynamics. However, the role they do play is so immense that the least consideration should be given to such criteria in making such decision as rescheduling of the district boundaries. In measuring the benefits, powers and privileges, in some concealed process of thought and sensation outweigh the negatives.
Nevertheless, there is the least possibility of balancing the effects of the racial criteria with their inherent negative effect. Racism would not only hurt the marginalized, but also those who purport to be privileged. While the argument in the article should not play sanguine, the basic principle and guiding criteria should be that in earnest, racism has the least positives to offer, rather it simply creates divisions that jeopardize the peace and tranquility of the nation or the state.
Fronting of divisions based on these criteria will defeat the national object of ensuring that the state is dully glued together and utterly cohesive. Majorly, it has always been perceived that racism affect the blacks more than the white; however, I feel the effect is felt across the board. Racism has distorted reality for many whites. Teachings about history, the world, the pursuits of thought, expressions of culture, and personal relationships have for most whites been both limited and false.
Racism has taught whites that we are members of a race which is superior, and that assumption creates false expectations and warped illusions. Racism, particularly during the period when Africans were enslaved, taught white men that it is all right to rape black women, and also exacerbated the devaluation of white women. Racism has taught whites that we are entitled to privilege as a right of birth, undercutting the assumption of achieved merit which is one of the cornerstones of democracy.
Racism, present at the foundation of our nation, left a country built on a fundamental and terrible contradiction between a belief in equality and a belief in white superiority. That contradiction remains unresolved. Racism has produced in white society a mental health problem: characteristic responses among many whites are dominated by unfounded fear of blacks, hatred, suspicion, guilt, shame, and jealousy. These words are the language of disease. The cost for whites who want to move beyond racism has been a high one, measured in time, emotion, psychic energy, and sometimes money.
Racism, as one of the root causes of poverty, costs our nation huge amounts of money, measured in crime, unemployment and related social ills. Racism has set whites who are made poor in our society in competition with people of color, and has also increased the separation between classes among whites. Ultimately, no, race should not be taken into considerations. Ideally taking into account the race is simply trying to fragment the nation into the races. 4. A dilemma is presented by the values of liberty and equality in regard to interest-group activity.
On the one hand, individuals should have the liberty to organize themselves politically in order to express their views. On the other hand, there is a strong class bias in the politics of organized interests. How has the U. S. government sought to regulate group activity in order to balance these competing values? What else might government do to make group politics less biased? What are the potential consequences—both good and bad—of the actions you suggest? The United States has sought to regulate group activities through passing legislations that require all lobbyists to register.
Until the 1970, the United States monitored rather than regulated the activities of lobby groups. Today the activities of the various groups have been regulated through four constitutional legislations. Within the constitutional provisions, the lobby groups are expected to report on their expenditure and the activities of involvement by the registered lobby groups. The government has also regulated the activities of the groups by restricting the association of the civil servants and government organizations with the lobby groups.
The association regulated is in terms of finances and logistics. Ideally this is meant to reduce the muzzle of the lobby groups in terms of their financial capability and their subsequent technical ability to address certain group issues. In addition, this assists the government to ensure that there is no leakage of any government classified information to this lobby groups. The groups are also expected to disclose their financial statements. Ideally, the lobby groups are meant to publish their income sources and their expenditure items.
Besides, the government restricts and limits the amount of money that can be attained from the various funding organizations. Further, the government sets timeline within which the group can access funds from various fundraisers. The political action committee is mandated with the regulation of funds for the purpose of campaigns. Presumably, the PAC is supposed to ensure that the groups do not get beyond the target set for group expenditures on campaigns. It need be noted that different states have also come up with supporting laws that regulate the activities of the groups.
Like in the case of campaign financing regulations, some of the laws compel limitations and prohibits the contributions from Political Actions Committees. The US constitution does require that the political parties should get majority votes from half the states. To reduce bias further, I feel strongly that there should be a provision to the effect that the winner should gunner at least 40 percent of the votes cast from the remaining states other than the present requisite majority of the 75% from the electorates college. 5. Two of Congress’s chief responsibilities are representation and lawmaking.
Describe the ways in which these two responsibilities might conflict with one another. How do these responsibilities support and reinforce one another? What would Congress be like if its sole function were representative? What would it be like if it were solely legislative? The congressmen and women are expected to represent their electorates in the all spheres, and on the other extreme they are expected to make laws that are to serve the interests of the larger America. There are issues that would be in conflict with the representative’s aspiration of the people whom they do represent.
Some of the legislations are in the interests of the country at large; however, the representative may have to sacrifice the desires of the electorates to have the legislations passed. In some cases, the laws presented would, though good, may be turned down because the representatives are trying to have their electorates protected. Ultimately, this represents conflicts in interests. In financial related bills, as a representative the legislator would be compelled to turn down the bill if the bill does not give considerations to the states of representation.
In earnests this would be in the interests of the state but not the national interests. This conflict would impede on the overall delivery of services to the nation. In additions, one may push for legislations that only take care of the states for which there represents not taking the interests of the nation into account. As a legislator, the representative function curtails the members of the congress to pass legislations that would not hurt their electorates, but remain consistent with the needs and desires of the nation. Subsequently the legislations passed remain consistent with the interests of the country.
If the congress was only comprised of legislators, it could be more likely that the laws would not take into consideration the needs of the citizens. This would just lead to complacence in the entire legislation process. The fact that legislators are also representatives makes the whole process issue and needs oriented unlike if the legislators are only playing that role in seclusion without understanding the needs of the citizenry. If the congress was purely of the representation functions, there could be a high chance that the legislations passed would have total seclusion from the ideal state on the ground.
Ideal reforms would be practical to the needs of the citizenry need to bridge between the linked to the ideal state on the ground; the central role of representation. Partisan politics largely take the interests of the state at heart rather the national interests. In view of this aspect, legislation may be hampered by the interests. In their quest to defend the party positions, which are representative of their election mandate, the representative end up dwelling a blow on the functions of the congress. 6. Presidents have constitutional, institutional, and political sources of power.
Which of the three do you think most accounts for the powers of the presidency? Is it, in fact, possible to discern among these the true source of presidential power? Select a president and discuss the ways in which that particular president used each source of power to succeed in the presidency. Because of the democratic ideal embraced by the United States of America, constitutional source of power tend to take much prominence in the presidents mode of administration. Though the other powers may come into foreplay, they can only have impact where they are supported by constitutional powers.
When the president gets into office appointment, he undertakes appointments informed by the constitutional powers, though behind the scenes there could be some fore play in the determination of the person, the whole act is prompted by the constitution. The constitution does mandate the president to make appointment subject to certain conditions. Nevertheless, he has the powers that are constitution of undertaking the appointments. Taking the decision such as the engagement into war in Iraq Bush simply used his constitutional powers to declare the war on Iraq.
Ideally political powers could have the list effect as the decision was not supported by all the Republicans. In essence the party was much divided over the declaration of the war in Iraq. On the strength of this argument it is evident that constitutional powers fore played other sources of power. It is utterly possible to discern that the political powers only assist the presidency to take over the office. But once the president has taken over the office institutional powers take the central stage the decision making process with the other sources of powers only being supportive to the entire excise of the presidential mandate.
Essentially, one can strongly content that the major source of powers for the presidency in the United States of America is mainly the constitution. The institution of the presidency has sufficient powers that allow the American president make decisions on behalf of the state. Pursuant to this provision the presidency (under Bush) refused to sign the Kyoto protocol which according to bush was going to hurt the American economy. Bush argued that if the Kyoto protocol was signed, it implied most of the vehicle (75 millions) were to be removed from the road which meant the Americans were to resort to some other form of transport.
When President Bush (former) was seeking election to the white house he did make a promise to the conservatives that he would nominate one of the conservative judges to the high court bar. For him this was going to change the direction in the court. Alito’s appointment was purely, within this context, political. The credentials of Alito, purely conservative, were to provide a swing vote in O’Connor. 7. Often the efficiency of public bureaucracies is judged in terms of the efficiency of private business and other organizations.
In many instances, government has been expected to do things that businesses in the marketplace have chosen not to do or have found unprofitable. Might the tasks that government is asked to perform be more prone to inefficiency? Think about the ways in which business might be able to perform some tasks that government currently performs. Would business necessarily perform these tasks more efficiently? Should efficiency be the only priority in the public enterprise? There are certain services and goods that would otherwise not be left in the hands of the public for delivery to the consumers.
These goods will ascribe to these aspects for a number of reasons. First, the fact that certain service such as the constructions of roads has such a large capital outlay that the private sector would not single handedly offer implies that it is only the government that can offer such services. Some goods and services are so sensitive that leaving their supply to the private sector would not only jeopardize national security but will also put at risk the security of the civilians at risk.
Services such as the military, police services and the prison services are so sensitive that leaving them to the private sector does not give the general public assurance of the efficacy and the reliability of the services. The provision of the legal tender for any government, America and any other would not be left in the hands of the general public. The currency would readily be supplied to the economy without the least consideration of effect particularly where partisan interests come into foreplay. In the long run the currency of any state may never be stabilized.
This risks the economic performance of any state. The other reason for the provision of these services by the government is if the services or the goods are very unprofitable. Given that the central goal of the central objective of any business is to make profits. Any service that proves unprofitable would definitely and at all costs be avoided by the private sector. Given that the government has to ensure the provision of these services is inevitable, the government has no option but seek to offer the services.
The lightings of the street for example have the least returns, if any. However, the provision of lights on the streets is an inevitable venture. For the streets to be safe, the government has to erect street lights for the safety of the street users. Such venture has the least prospects of any profits. The provision of road networks services would still be left to the private sector for business if the private is allowed to collect some toll from the roads. It is appreciable that the private sector world over offers the best services compared to the government.
If such avenues are opened up, it is possible that the private sector would offer relatively superb services compared to the government. However, such step can only be approved off with due caution. This is because the private sector, due to the monopolistic nature of the road system network, would end up exploiting the citizens and making exorbitant profits at the expense of the common citizenry. Therefore should be generally appreciated that the private sector has the likelihood of offering better services but the challenge would only be how best they can be contained to reduce consumer exploitation.
Nonetheless, services such as banking would only be regulated by the central bank but utterly left to the private sector to undertake such services. Ultimately efficiency and effectiveness would be attained. I strongly feel indeed efficiency should be the central indicator of good performance; however, other factors such as the reliability of the service delivery and effectiveness of the entire process should be equally taken into consideration. Clearly, being efficient may not necessarily imply that the entire citizenry is able to access the services.
Ultimate, the efficiency aspect should be coupled with aspects of reliability and the effectiveness of the services being delivered. 8. In many ways, courts are expected to be apolitical institutions of government. In what ways are courts, judges, and justices shielded from politics and political pressure? In what ways are they vulnerable to political pressure? Are the courts an appropriate place for politics? What is the danger of having too much or too little political accountability in judicial decision-making?
The American judicial system has been made independent through a dependent judiciary and independent judges. Ideally the accountability of the judiciary and the independence of the judicial system are irreconcilable. Presumably, the both the two are means to an end and are never ends in themselves. The United States has a well-functioning adjudication system that has ultimately tries to reconcile democratic and legal legitimacy. In earnest, the achievement of a balance between the democratic and the legal legitimacy is utterly in the hands of the judges.
The judicial has the mandate to restrict the government on certain issues. The muzzle that the judicial system has is marshaled from the fact that the judges have a security of tenure in office. This makes it possible for them to dispense their responsibilities with the least form of fear or favor. Given that their decision can not be overruled so easily, the judicial system therefore become impartial and therefore end making decisions that end up giving judgments that are beyond political reproach. The courts are capable of questioning the government over certain actions.
Courts hold governments answerable through their power to evaluate the actions of the executive and the legislature. These powers are at the zenith particularly when courts can declare certain laws passed by the parliament as unconstitutional. Courts can also declare any decision by the parliament as unconstitutional and the executive has the least say on the same. This decision would be reached in respect to or subject to both the national and the international law. Though the judicial system is termed as an independent institution, its appointment mode subjects the process to political likelihood of manipulation.
Given that the appointment of the judges is normally done by the political class, this subjects the system to political reprisal. The fear of imminent lack of reappointment after the change of government thus subjects the judicial system to some boot-leaking condition. Definitely, the courts are not the best place for politics. Allowing politics to permeate the judicial system denies the civilians their right. Clearly, when politics dog the judicial system, the officers in the judicial system live in fear of political reprisal and hence tend to serve the interest of the political class than to fully follow the constitutional order.
While the political class will feel contented, the civilians will be denied their constitutional rights. The extremes of involvement or lack of political involvement is equally disastrous. Too much involvement, as has already been mentioned curtails the rights of the civilians. The lack of political involvement makes the court lack responsibility. Hence the best balance that would be at the interest of the civilian should be political involvement that is moderated. Moderation implies that the political class should only make the judicial system accountable.
Lack of accountability should be pointed out by the political class and therefore allow the system to valuate the entire accountability prospects. Ultimately, the interaction between the judicial system and the other branches of government should be geared to quality and legal service delivery to the civilians. Extraverted exercise of these powers simply jeopardizes the service delivery process to the citizenry. The three arms of any government should simply act as checks and balances of each other. this subsequently translates to the efficacy and efficiency if the entire service delivery process to the populace.

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