The American System Of Government Essay Research

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The American System Of Government Essay, Research Paper In struggling to determine whether or not the American political system is pluralistic, elitist, or a representative democracy one must first understand what these systems are. A pluralistic system of government focuses upon interest groups to convey the interests and views of public opinion. An elitist system focuses upon a small ?elite? class to rule. Representative government relies upon the voting majority of citizens to reflect who?s best to rule. The representative system of democracy was the intentional method of government initiated by the Founding Fathers (Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin). They saw this as the antithesis of the English Parliamentary and

Monarchical systems. Representation for the people by the people was the objective. Some two-hundred years later this system still exists after minor modification and adjustments. With the twentieth century coming to a close one might make amends to say that our system of government has reverted to a more pluralistic system. Interest groups have gained so much power that it is unfair to say that they play no role in the validity of government. Our system has adopted pluralism instead of transforming into it. Today interest groups are a vehicle in which people can join and become a part of. They have the power to sway votes and change political action but do not dominate everyday life. They have merely become a part or extension of people?s everyday lives. A truly democratic

political system has certain characteristics (laws) which are guaranteed and enforced. These characteristics are defined in the Constitution. This contractual agreement between the people and government ensures that neither one can overpower or limit the other. The only way to change the characteristics within the constitution is through the use of representative government. Elected officials have the right to challenge and change the Constitution as time passes. One essential characteristic of a valid and legitimate democracy is that it allows people to freely make choices without government intervention. Another necessary characteristic of representative government is that every vote must count equally: one vote for every person. For this equality to occur, all people must be

subject to the same laws, have equal civil rights, and be allowed to freely express their ideas. Failure to do so results in violation of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The U.S. government may be considered representative in some aspects, and unrepresentative in others. Because voting is class-biased, it may not be classified as a completely representative process. Although in theory the American system calls for one vote per person, the low rate of turnout results in the upper and middle classes ultimately choosing candidates for the entire nation. Class is determined by income and education, and differing levels of these two factors can help explain why class bias occurs. For example, because educated people tend to understand politics more, they are more likely to

vote. People with high income and education also have more resources, and poor people tend to have low political efficacy (feelings of low self-worth). Minority rights are crucial in a representative democracy. No matter how unpopular their views, all people should enjoy the freedoms of speech, press and assembly. Public policy should be made publicly, not secretly, and regularly scheduled elections should be held. Since representative government may be defined as a constitutional system of government with defined laws and institutions, then there must necessarily be a connection between what the people want and what the government is doing if justice is to occur. One way of ensuring that justice occurs and people become involved is by having the ability to vote. Since the early