Posted: September 3rd, 2013
The presidential election of American in 2000 was faced by many issues that suggested an unfair win for Bush against Gore. Many view the election as an undermining of democracy in the United States political system, undemocratic Electoral College and an outdated voting system as well as outdated machines. The Supreme Court was also seen as a partisan in the unfairness of the election since it ruled in favor of Bush. I do agree with this statement on a big part, considering there were many irregularities especially in Florida where many were denied their voting rights under many irrelevant claims such as being required to produce multiple identifications. A democratic election does not deny anybody who is qualified as an American citizen of legal age his or her right to vote. The elections of Florida were the most disputed, but could not have changed the winning of Bush countrywide. However, despite the outcome, the whole elections process was not right, and did not allow equal rights for everybody. I do agree with this statement considering the irregularities that were witnessed, including many people protesting against the elections and the court ruling (Schwartz, 625).
Dahl made some recommendations concerning democracy, where he states that, allowing effective participation is a way of exercising democracy. He cites that all citizens should be allowed to have equal opportunities in terms of airing their preferences and question public agendas as well as express their reasons concerning outcomes. In addition, he cites that they should have equal rights to voting, and be assured that their votes do matter and carry equal weight in making judgments. He asserts that they must also have an opportunity to be enlightened and understanding of the choices they make in order to make the right decision on matters that affect them. He also suggests that one has all people should be included in the political process. With these recommendations, all the citizens have a right to participate in the elections equally as anybody else irrespective of class and status (Dahl, 2002).
I do agree with his recommendations to reform elections in American elections. The election in America, for instance the 200 elections excluded a few people with some states denying people with felons a chance of voting, while some states deny them this right permanently even after leaving jail. The recommendations allow all people to express their concerns and participate in the political process meaning that no one is supposed to be denied a right to vote. In the 2000 presidential elections, there were many people denied a right to vote when it was said their names were not in the register. In addition, with these recommendations in place, everybody has a right to register as a voter as long as they are citizens of legal age.
In the United States constitution, the congress is the main composition of the legislature, where the president is not included. The work of the legislature is to make laws and policies, while the president only signs the bill into power. The president is not allowed in making of policies of the country. However, the real intent of the framers of the legislature, which was meant to limit any person from having excessive powers, which he can use to make decisions alone, is met (Gleiber and Shull 48). The intent of separating of powers was to ensure that there is a law making body, a law enforcing body and a law interpreting body. This was also a way of ensuring there is a body to check each other, while the body would also be checked by the others. This sway, no one person could have all powers including the president (Gleiber and Shull 48). The three bodies have different duties where the legislature makes the laws, the executive enforces, while the judiciary interprets and can revoke some of the laws that may not be fit in their interpretation processes, and come up with others. The statement does describe the intent of the framers considering this is practices where the three bodies check each other.
In the current political systems, this might is a reality since the president holds some influence over the congress. The president has little or limited authority in public policy making, the president cannot make any public policy without the congress. The president can only participate in policy making through influencing the congress to vote on his favor concerning a policy he wants passed into law. Looking at the three bodies of the government, the congress makes laws that concern the people. On the other hand, the judiciary interprets the law passed, to assess whether it violates the constitution where they agree to it or refuse. Finally, the president implements the law by signing it into power. If the law violates the constitution, the judiciary will declare this, and congress could push to make an amendment to the constitution to allow the law, while the executive implements and enforces the law. This is the current reality in politics today where the policy making follows these processes to ensure the laws implemented are in favor of the majority or are for the interests of the public. The statement also describes the political reality of making policies in the government. This way, the people are represented by the three bodies as well as protected since all the three bodies check each other.
There are other sources of influence in policy making apart from the three bodies of the government (Barker 2). One of them is the media. It is through the media that people or citizens learn about the government policies and ways in which they affect them. Therefore, the images depicted on the media concerning government policies are very crucial in shaping the thoughts of the people. The media plays the crucial role of transmitting information between the people and the policymakers (Barker 2). Through the media, the people can air their views concerning the policies made, influencing the policymakers. The citizens’ views are also another source of influence in making policies. Considering the policies are made for the people, their views have to be considered. Their views can be aired though non-governmental organizations and private institutions.
Barker Michal. Manufacturing Policies: The media’s Role in the Policy Making Process. Griffith University, 2005. Print.
Dahl A. Robert. How Democratic Is the American Constitution? thirdworldtraveler.com, 2002. Web. March 15, 2012.
Gleiber W. Dennis and Shull A. Steven. Presidential Influence in the Policymaking Process. Orleans: University of New Orleans. Print.
Schwartz M. Paul. “Voting technology and democracy.” New York University Law Review, 77 (2002): 625- 698. Print.
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