Why Elections are Fundamental to American Politics
The United States of America is known to be a federal constitutional republic where sharing of power is reserved to the National Government amongst the Head of the State and the Government, Congress and the Judiciary. Furthermore, there is mutual sovereignty between state governments and the federal government. Major political parties in the United States of America include the Democratic Party and the Republican Party amongst other small groups. Research shows that America is one developed democracy where third parties have few political influences worldwide (Bibby 56). In the United States of America, a specific candidate is voted in as opposed to a direct preference to a particular political party. For instance, officials are elected at the National, Local and State levels according the Federal edicts. Residents are given a chance to elect the president, although indirectly, through an Electoral College on the national level. However, in current elections processes, people usually use the common vote representative of a State. The rest of the Congress members and other officials acting at the State and Local levels are elected directly.
The fundamentals of elections in American politics are seen through the chances offered to citizens in the selection of officials that act as representatives in governance structures like parliament. Democratic and dictatorship parties are differentiated by the freedom accorded in the selection of officials in terms of the environment and opportunities provided to political parties in campaign acts towards attracting voters. Therefore, elections are a very fundamental part in American politics because they allow for the choosing of leaders liable to fashioning and the institution of various government policies in the country.
Elections are also fundamental to American politics because they permit free communication between the people and government officials. This is always achieved through voting processes as the citizens get the chance to express their preferences for government policies by electing leaders offering desired edicts and communal requirements. The opportunity to choose the preferred person is important because people elect a reliable person whom they feel should be able to perform, deliver and help solve problems that are prevalent in the nation. Selecting the right person is vital because once a leader or a party is chosen and put to power they are supposed to remain in the accorded position for at least four years. Therefore, each candidate, political party or any group interested always offers its best in order to attract more votes from the people.
Elections are viewed as contests among a good number of people and groups that help in shaping government policies, thus placing elections as a fundamental aspect of American politics (Pomper 45). For instance, a new coalition and realignment of political parties was experienced during the 1932 elections, which helped in shaping future policies and elections as presently reflected in America. The new coalition was developed by the Democratic Party led by Roosevelt, which led to the uniting of different individuals, political groups and other notable factions such as urban workers, Jewish voters, Northern African Americans and the Southern Whites that had very poor relations. The given instance evidenced that elections in the politics of America are very fundamental in creating unity within the country.
According to Bibby, elections act as the means in which people have the chance to hold the government accountable in all its actions (67). For instance, most political parties vying for a particular political position tend to offer promises to citizens in order to acquire substantial votes. Therefore, once elected such individuals are supposed to fulfill the given promises acting from the parliament. Elections are fundamental to American politics because they tend to demonstrate the importance of communal voicing in various issues. For instance, the Republican Party had to establish an anti-slavery platform that resulted into a successful victory for Lincoln who was the greatest president in the history of the United States of America. A good number of people left the Democratic Party and other political parties particularly those who associated themselves with the anti-slavery to join the Republicans because it opposed slavery practices. Therefore, in this case elections were fundamental because they led to the secession of the eleven pro-slavery States.
Another reason why elections are fundamental to America’s politics is that they help in fighting corruption within the country. Through elections, people are able to rise up against back room deals and thus instituting collective-oriented decisions that are open to everyone. For instance, elections carried out in previous years demonstrated the rise of people to fight against corruption in politics. Elections also act as fundamental practices because they demonstrate some divisions present in the society especially between interests evidenced by rural and urban people. For instance, through elections, there was a change in America from an agrarian setting to an urbane one.
Generally, elections act as the foundation of any growing democracy towards instituting efficacy in all national roles. Therefore, it is necessary that people become responsible citizens by participating fully in the election process with due diligence. This is because most people in the current generation especially young individuals are not concerned with politics and they seem not to have a lot of trust in the process of elections and democracy as a whole. Unless elections are carried out, the government that replaces an existing one is not truly representative of the citizens’ preferences. In normal circumstances, at least sixty-eight percent of the populace should participate in elections towards establishing a strong and community-oriented government.
Bibby, John. Politics, Parties, and Elections in America. New York, NY: Cengage Learning, 2007. Print.
Pomper, Gerald. Elections in America: control and influence in democratic politics.Michigan, MA: University of Michigan, 2008. Print.