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American Government and Organization PS1301 Friday, 23 January Announcements I would like you to take the quiz (on the web) for chapter one in Squire by next Monday. New Hampshire primary is Tuesday.

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american government and organization

American Government and Organization

PS1301

Friday, 23 January

announcements
Announcements
  • I would like you to take the quiz (on the web) for chapter one in Squire by next Monday.
  • New Hampshire primary is Tuesday.
  • A CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll of likely primary voters found 34 percent of the respondents preferred Kerry, with Dean following at 22 percent. Next came retired Gen. Wesley Clark at 17 percent and Sen. John Edwards at 12 percent.
  • The tracking poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday after Kerry's come-from-behind win in the Iowa caucuses. Dean previously led Kerry 32 percent to 17 percent in New Hampshire in a tracking poll done Saturday through Monday.
the u s constitution
The U.S. Constitution
  • The U.S. Constitution lays out the principals and rules that define our political system
  • At the time the Constitution designed in 1787 it was extremely innovative. The American political system is unique in the world; most modern democracies are not designed this way.
  • The U.S. Constitution was designed as an alternative to the Articles of Confederation which were written in 1777 and ratified in 1781 and contained the rules that governed our nation until 1789.
emphasis on individual rights
Emphasis on Individual Rights
  • The constitution is designed to favor protecting the rights of the individual over respecting the wishes of the majority.
  • Tyranny of the majority refers to a situation win which the majority uses its advantage in umbers to suppress the rights of the minority.
protections against tyranny of majority
Protections Against Tyranny of Majority
  • Divides authority through separate institutions with shared powers and checks and balances.
  • Organized elections
  • Requires supra-majorities
  • Reserves some power for states
  • Set boundaries on the powers of government; ie. Bill of Rights
  • The Constitution is designed to preserve the status quo so it is very difficult to change.
divided authority
Divided Authority
  • Separate institutions
  • Bicameralism
    • Concurrent majorities
  • Checks and balances
  • Shared powers
  • Federalism
separate institutions
Separate Institutions
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • U.S. Senate
  • Executive Branch
  • Judiciary
parliamentary systems
Parliamentary Systems
  • Prime Minister is a Member of Parliament (MP)
  • MPs are also ministers (cabinet members) and perform executive functions.
  • Divided government (where one party controls the executive branch and another controls the legislature is not possible).
  • Greater efficiency; accountability
  • Minority rights are not necessarily protected.
method of elections
Method of Elections
  • Geographically defined representation
  • Fixed terms
    • U.S. Representatives elected every 2 years
    • U.S. President elected every 4 years
    • U.S. Senators elected every 6 years (1/3rd of Senate elected every 2 years).
  • Staggered elections
  • Indirect elections
separate institutions with shared power
Separate Institutions with Shared Power
  • Congress passes legislation but President can use a veto
  • President appoints executive officers and negotiates treaties.
  • Senate confirms top executive appointments and ratifies treaties
  • Judicial review (established in Marbury vs. Madison, 1803)
examples of supra majorities
Examples of Supra Majorities
  • Concurrent majorities (House and Senate)
  • Treaty requires 2/3rds of approval by Senate
  • Congress requires 2/3rds in both houses to over ride a presidential veto
  • Constitutional amendments require 2/3rds approval by both House and Senate and 3/4ths of states or
  • 2/3rds in both houses of Congress and ratified by conventions in 3/4ths of the states (used once 21st Amendment--repealed prohibition)
  • National constitutional convention call by 2/3rds of the state legislatures