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American politics - Voting and elections politics april 17th

American politics - Voting and elections politics april...

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Voting and elections Partisan versus non-partisan – political voting machine a trade between a political party in favor for a job. People voted for their democratic politician because their son would get a job on the bay bridge People fought against this – it was called the “progressive movement” where they wanted to develop relationship between people and government – California voted against it - California voted for non-partisan elections, - Local elections and state judges are often “non-partisan” The voice of the people or special interest? -every person asking for your vote is getting money for signatures. The more money you have the more signatures you could get, it’s like buying a democracy. Cases of out and out deception – some people got on the ballot getting a private golf course Ballot initiatives Primaries and General elections Primary: choosing the candidates to compete in the general elections – ie who’s representing democrats and republicans in the general elections Genereal elections: you’re choosing among the candidates to hold office Presidential Primaries (including caucuses) - Each state and the parties choose hoe to elect delegates to the national convention – each state determine out voting is going to be run in their state - Primary( you would vote for someone, and then it would send delegates to a convention who will then argue for Kerry) vs caucus ( people would argue for why they should be voted for, then everyone lines up against a wall for the delegate they want, if only 2 are chosen you could change your vote. - Primaries can be “open” or “closed” or “semi-closed” – 4 months before the election they get to choose who’s allowed in to vote, and they only allow people who are independent The Party convention- in most cases now delegates are “committed” according to result of state’s primary - so outcome of convention is pre-determined – just a pep- rally with a platform General Elections for President: Electoral College – they actually choose who’s going to be the president - Each state gets as many electors as it has members of US House and Senate – minimum of 3 per state. We have 53 representatives in the house, so there are 55 in the Electoral College.
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- Almost every state awards its votes “winner take all,” so again electoral vote need not equal popular vote - Abolish or Reform? Get rid of the Electoral college - But it’s not happening because it would take constitutional amendments, ¾ths of states would have to approve it, and it’s not happening because some states like it to be this way. Congressional elections - Incumbents re-elected over 90%, receive most of money - 435 House Districts, reapportioned every10 years by census, reflecting pop change. -
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