Political Science Research Paper
Political Science Research Paper
Write an essay explaining this state of affairs, focusing on why it is usually so difficult to accomplish anything in American government. Discuss how the branches must usually work with each other in order to make effective public policy, and then explain why this is so often difficult — with the result being frequent gridlock. Finally, explain how parliamentary democracy in most other established democracies is quite different from American democracy. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the American system as compared to well-established parliamentary systems, such as those in the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Many countries across the world have their own styles of running their government. The constitution of these countries does vary and provides the guidelines on how the government should operate. Therefore, because of these, some government experience different challenges in providing governance and leadership. This paper therefore deliberates on various aspects that manifest in governments.
Accomplishing anything in American government has been cited to be so difficult. Various reasons explain this situation. One of these problems originates from the political structures in the US. Political class has contributed to these challenges. In most of the time, there are political divisions entrenched in the society and this has contributed to change of focus on the most salient aspects of the society. Abraham Lincoln is one of the most remembered presidents and his argument that a house that is divided against itself is not able to stand hold on truth (Janda 24). These divisions affect the unity and cooperation that would have helped the people to achieve their dreams. Partisan politics is therefore one of the causes to blame for this stalemates. The other reason that has made it hard to achieve anything in the government is the increased focus on democracy. The people have a right to do whatever they want and go back to the defense of democracy. The level of unemployment has increased as people sit and wait for the government to carry out everything for them. This has therefore made it difficult for the government to expedite all the issues and therefore leaving gaps.
For the government to work effectively and achieve its goals, all the branches of the government are expected to work closely to be in a position to make effective public policy. The branches include the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. There is separation of powers and it is important that each branch respect the functions and the mandate of each other. The executive should respect the court summons and ruling as well as the decisions reached by the legislation (Janda 45). This will help to avoid stalemates in governance and when formulating policies. During a crisis or a problem, the right branches should take the matter and provide tangible solutions. In case the matter need consultation, all the branches should be consulted to provide the way forward. Such operations and arrangements will go extra miles to ensure good working relations in the government. For example, if a policy is proposed it should be taken to the parliament as a bill and discussed. The members of the house should make amendments and to the bill and if they deem it appropriate should pass and take it to the president for assent. However, in case the bill is not worthy and attracts public outcry, any party that feels offended or is against the bill should take the matter to the courts for a ruling.
Even though people expect these branches to work together, it is not always the case as these results to gridlock. The problem is because of frequent conflicts between the various arms of the government and conflicts between the government and the opposition. Impasse between branches of government such as between the president and the senate or between the courts and the parliament causes conflicts that jeopardize the operations of the government (Janda 50). Self-interest is also another problem that has contributed to increased level of disagreement and conflicts between these branches. People in power forget about their obligation in representing the masses and instead fight and agitate for their own rights. These actions brew conflicts and this affects governance.
Parliamentary democracy in most established democracies appears quite different from that of America. This situation is explained by various reasons. One of the reasons that explains these differences is that American form of government is presidential and therefore as opposed to other democracies that are lead by prime ministers. Prime ministers form governments while US president does not form government but an executive branch as he appoints the ambassadors, cabinet officials and military leaders and head of regulatory agencies. Parliaments in other democracies usually have the majority of the members and therefore are able to make decisions that the government is spearheading. Furthermore, the president comes from the same parties of the majority party members in the parliament. On the other hand, the US parliamentary democracy, the president has no powers of appointing congressional leader and the president parties may not automatically control either the house of congress or parliament. This therefore, makes it hard for the president to provide leadership, as the majority members of the party may not support him.
American systems has a number of advantages as wells as disadvantages when compared to a well established parliamentary systems in countries such as Australia, Canada and UK. America runs on a presidential system as opposed to these other countries such as Australia and UK that have a prime minister as the head of state. Some of the advantages of US system is that, the president is that there is high level of democracy. Before approving of any policy, various branches scrutinize it and this ensures that decisions reached are essential for the people. Another advantage of US system is that it is easier for the branches of government to check on the behaviors or malpractices of other branches such as congress and this ensures accountability and transparency in the government.
The disadvantages of this system are numerous. One of the drawbacks is lack of responsiveness and efficiency. In a presidential system, there is no close unity between the legislative and thee executive and this is likely to cause challenges in leadership (Hankla 200). The people have no direct influence on the person that becomes president in these parliamentary systems in countries such as Australia. The people vote the president in US system but the election collegiate has the final mandate of determining who becomes president through their voting. Therefore, this makes it difficult for a president to govern because, the number of the congress or members of the house of parliament may not be enough to provide support. This therefore, makes such a system more prone to military takeovers that occur in most cases when the civilian governments have reached impasses (Jensen and McGrath 66). For instance, in US, it is easy for a crisis to merge, if the people fail to embrace their ideological values and spirit of democracy compared to other countries such as UK where the prime minister has the full mandate to provide leadership. Ousting a prime minister is therefore difficult compared to a president in US.
In US system the president and the congress has separate powers but equal claims to legitimacy and power. Therefore, if the president of one party is divided with a congress of another party, this can lead to a conflict. There is no democratic principle currently on which such an impasse can be resolved and this therefore may affect the governance and leadership of the country.
Janda, Kennethe. The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in Global Politics, The Essentials (with Aplia Printed Access Card) / Edition 9 , US: Cengage learning, (2013). Print.
Jensen, Christian, and McGrath, Robert. “Making Rules about Rulemaking: A Comparison of Presidential and Parliamentary Systems”, In: Political Research Quarterly, 64. 3 (2011): 656-667. Print.
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