Democracy in the USA. What is it based on?. Congressional or Presidential Democracy (Key Term: Checks and balances ) – everything that occurs in the US must be ratified by another institution of the government – examples?
Democracy in the USA
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(Key Term: Checks and balances) – everything that occurs in the US must be ratified by another institution of the government – examples?
USA -a republic (all representatives are elected; no hereditary leaders) – WHY?
power clearly divided/separated among the three branches so that no one can be too powerful and have too much control over the entire government (Canada's branches are not so separate )
Democrats - principles
Social (Modern liberalism
universal health care
Strong support from youth, working class, African Americans
Forward thinking in science (stem cell research)
Republicans - principles
Free market economics
Increase personal responsibility over welfare
Advocate greater powers at the state level
Pro life (generally)
Greater support from business, educated middle class, white families, older citizens
Criticized fro limited individual freedoms-Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay Prison
Right to bear arms
Legislative Branch - Congress
representatives from each state -ensures the regions [States] have a strong voice in the legislature of the Federal government
2 houses: Senate and House of Representatives - where bills are passed into law (if signed by President)
both houses can initiate money matter bills
weak party discipline -voting in Congress does not follow partylines, because there is no responsible government and no votes of confidence (this frees reps to vote for the best interests of their state)
President is responsible for operations of government, but must rely on Congress for funding ($$) needed to operate government
different from Canada; powerful and effective(can be stronger than H.O.R.)
two Senators per state (=100), thus each state is equal here – WHO BENEFITS?
term of office one third elected every year (thus more stable than House of Representatives) WHY?
House of Representatives
Representation by population ( 435 members )
Representatives/Congressmen elected for 2 years
Laws-must be approved by both houses – deadlock
Large states rule
not a part of the legislative branch; unlike Canada)
Chief Executive Officer of USA; Head of State, Head of Government
not a member of Congress (therefore, not responsible to it)
term: 4 years
re-election – once
What is the President’s job?
appointed by President
not members of Congress (thus not responsible to it); are not elected
proposes legislation to President
similar function to Canada's Cabinet
Who can be a member of the cabinet?
Experts versus decision makers – BETTER?
interprets government law and determines its constitutionality (its “fit" with the Constitution)
Supreme Court - 9 members appointed for life – very similar to Canada