Choosing Our Choices

Author: Robert E. DiClerico
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780847694488
Size: 10.24 MB
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Probably no feature of the American political system has been subject to more sustained criticism over the last twenty-five years than the process by which we choose our presidents. In Choosing Our Choices, Robert E. DiClerico and James W. Davis debate the question: should we retain the present, primary centered "direct democracy" method in selecting presidential candidates or should we return to a representative decision-making process to nominate our candidates? This timely and thought-provoking text offers the reader a concise yet comprehensive analysis of the presidential nominating system, arguments for and against the current system, and supplemental documents and essays for further reading. Choosing Our Choices will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars interested in exploring how Americans choose their leaders.

Reforming The Presidential Nomination Process

Author: Steven S. Smith
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815703495
Size: 10.30 MB
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The 2008 U.S. presidential campaign has provided a lifetime's worth of surprises. Once again, however, the nomination process highlighted the importance of organization, political prowess, timing, and money. And once again, it raised many hackles. The Democratic contest in particular generated many complaints—for example, it started too early, it was too long, and Super Tuesday was overloaded. This timely book synthesizes new analysis by premier political scientists into a cohesive look at the presidential nomination process—the ways in which it is broken and how it might be fixed. The contributors to Reforming the Presidential Nomination Process address different facets of the selection process, starting with a brief history of how we got to this point. They analyze the importance—and perceived unfairness—of the earliest primaries and discuss what led to record turnouts in 2008. What roles do media coverage and public endorsements play? William Mayer explains the "superdelegate" phenomenon and the controversy surrounding it; James Gibson and Melanie Springer evaluate public perceptions of the current process as well as possible reforms. Larry Sabato (A More Perfect Constitution) calls for a new nomination system, installed via constitutional amendment, while Tom Mann of Brookings opines on calls for reform that arose in 2008 and Daniel Lowenstein examines the process by which reforms may be adopted—or blocked.

Fair And Effective Representation

Author: Mark E. Rush
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780847692125
Size: 75.67 MB
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Two experts on political representation, voting rights, and the election process debate the most pertinent issues of electoral reform and assess them in the context of the Founders' vision of representation and minority rights. Mark E. Rush and Richard L. Engstrom discuss the promises and pitfalls of electoral reform specifically, the merits of converting from the traditional single-member district to some form of proportional representation. The authors examine the shortcomings of the existing methods of elections (such as gerrymandering, low turnout, voter apathy, and underrepresentation of minorities and women), debate the merits of converting to proportional representation, ask whether it would address the imperfections of the current system, and investigate the extent to which proportional representation adheres to the Founders' (particularly Madison's) plan for representation. With an introduction by esteemed political scientist Bruce E. Cain, this is an essential text for courses in voting rights and behavior, elections, and American political thought."

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Size: 23.47 MB
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Democracy For Realists

Author: Christopher H. Achen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400888743
Size: 37.40 MB
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Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

Introducing Democracy

Author: David Beetham
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 9780745615196
Size: 21.65 MB
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This textbook, specially commissioned by UNESCO, addresses eighty of the most pressing questions about democracy today.

Choice

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Size: 27.28 MB
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A More Perfect Constitution

Author: Larry J. Sabato
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802777560
Size: 67.75 MB
Format: PDF
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A More Perfect Constitution presents creative and dynamic proposals from one of the most visionary and fertile political minds of our time to reinvigorate our Constitution and American governance at a time when such change is urgently needed, given the growing dysfunction and unfairness of our political system . Combining idealism and pragmatism, and with full respect for the original document, Larry Sabato's thought-provoking ideas range from the length of the president's term in office and the number and terms of Supreme Court justices to the vagaries of the antiquated Electoral College, and a compelling call for universal national service-all laced through with the history behind each proposal and the potential impact on the lives of ordinary people. Aware that such changes won't happen easily, but that the original Framers fully expected the Constitution to be regularly revised, Sabato urges us to engage in the debate and discussion his ideas will surely engender. During a presidential election year, no book is more relevant or significant than this.