POS 498 midterm

POS 498 midterm - Wharton, Matt POS 498 - Keating Mid-Term...

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Wharton, Matt POS 498 - Keating Mid-Term 1. “Democracy” means different things to different people. What does democracy mean from the perspective of political accountability? If you were to structure a democracy to maximize accountability, what would it look like? How might others criticize this approach to democracy? The definition of democracy is somewhat flawed, as stated in Schattschneider’s “The Semisovereign People”, and is predemocratic in its origins (1, pg 130). The original theory; of democracy was that the people would have a major role in the day to day operations of their government. This theory of democracy would make everyone, and therefore, no one, accountable for the decisions made. This is the problem with bi- partisanship in America- when more than one party has a role in making decisions and enacting policy, the ability for voters to hold elected officials accountable becomes increasingly difficult. If I were charged with designing a system of democracy to maximize accountability, the outcome would resemble British Parliament. Class discussions have given me a much better understanding of the way the parliamentary system is set up. Based on my understanding, parliamentary government is designed to hold elected officials much more accountable. One of the most important features of a parliamentary system is the party structure and existence of a “shadow government”. The party structure in the UK nearly eliminates the likelihood that members of parliament will go against their party because they will be ostracized and stripped of their powers within the party if they do so. Shadow governments are created by the minority party or parties to outline policy differences and describe the way they would run the government if they were in the majority. This holds the majority party accountable because if their policies fail, they
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Wharton, Matt POS 498 - Keating Mid-Term are exclusively accountable come election time, and the voters will most likely remove them from power. Those who would criticize these changes would say that because American politics are dominated by two parties, there are simply not enough choices for Americans. The stark differences in the two major parties make switching parties unpalatable to some
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POS 498 midterm - Wharton, Matt POS 498 - Keating Mid-Term...

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