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Political system in the United States - Dissertation Example

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The United States hold a “dominant position in the global economy and world affairs” (Schmidt et al, 2009, p. 268). It is only natural for foreign groups to attempt to influence this nation’s policies and decisions that can affect their interests…
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Political system in the United States
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Political System in the United s First Middle Initial, al Affiliation Political System in the United s ForeignInterest Groups The United States hold a “dominant position in the global economy and world affairs” (Schmidt et al, 2009, p. 268). It is only natural for foreign groups to attempt to influence this nation’s policies and decisions that can affect their interests. This does not necessarily mean though, that foreign groups lobby in conflict to the welfare of local companies and citizens. Of course, these groups strategize in ways that puts their own benefit on top priority, yet there is no deliberate act to cause any form of detriment to others. Should foreign interest groups be banned from manipulating the course of the American government, globalization might not be optimized. Being the primary advocate of democracy, the United States strive to open the world for all opportunities available, and limiting their voice would be obstructive to such a goal. Moreover, the legislative body, in collaboration with domestic groups, will not permit any instance of exploitation by foreign groups. Personal Elections While the election system in the United States is typically a competition between two major parties—the Republicans and Democrats, more and more citizens tend to negate the idea of straight voting, and elect candidates from both instead. Two theories explain the increase in the number of independent voters and ticket splitters in the United States election: first, is that “citizens strategically split their votes to create divided party control of the government” (Davies, 1999, p.17), and second, is that “the structural features of American elections make it relatively easy for citizens to split their votes between major political parties” (p. 18). Democracy in the United States is generally regarded as synonymous to political pluralism. Although the citizens are bestowed the right to elect freely, it cannot be assumed that the country is returning to the era of personal politics. Minor political parties are still outpowered by the “big two”, and the fact that options are limited to merely two contending parties is not an absolute indication of election by freewill. Money in Elections “Money to finance federal campaigns comes from individuals, interest groups, and the candidates themselves” (Corrado & Magleby, 2011, p. 27). Combined expenditures of presidential candidates during the 2008 US Presidential Elections amounted to $1.8 billion, while political party committees raised a total of $1.2 billion to support their bet (Corrado & Magleby, 2011). For a country as large as the United States, running for public office entails massive funds; else potential voters cannot be possibly reached. Political candidates are no different from commercial products and services. They need to be endorsed in manners that best appeal to prospective consumers, or as pertains to an election—to voters; and, that get through to as many of them as possible. Media advertisements have the broadest extent, and thus the most expensive. Printed materials such as streamers, billboards, and posters are displayed where they can readily be noticed. In addition, websites are created in order that citizens can have painless access to information relating to elections and proposed agendas by aspirants. At-Large versus Single-Member Districts System According to Maxwell, et al (2008), at large election is a citywide election whereas single-member districts system is the election of individual council members from districts by” the voters who live in each of those districts” (p. 409). The former typically takes two forms: the pure at large system in which candidates have to earn majority of the votes for a place in the available council seats; and, the large place system in which “a candidate runs for a specific seat on the council and is elected by either a plurality or a majority of votes cast citywide for that particular seat” (Maxwell, et al 2008, p. 409). The minority groups have gone to the Supreme Court to outlaw the at-large system for an accusation that it only allows a simple majority of voters to elect all council members. This majority, most of whom come from people of financial influence, does not serve the interest of the entire city, and that “racial, ethnic, and ideological minorities” (Maxwell, et al 2008, p. 409), are underrepresented. References Corrado, A. and Magleby, D. (2011). Financing the 2008 election: Assessing reform. Washington, D.C.: The Brooking Institution Davies, P. (1999). US elections today . New York: Manchester University Press. Maxwell, W. E., Crain, E., Davis, E.S., Flores, E.N., Ignagni, J. (2008). Texas politics today, 13th edition. Massachussetts: Clark Baxter. Schmidt, S.W., Shelley, M.C., Bardes, B.A. (2009). The American government and politics today,14th edition. Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. Read More
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