The Governing Process

The Governing Process - The Governing Process Urge to come...

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The Governing Process Urge to come together into a community: Benefits – Living in a society without the governing process would cause a community to descend into anarchy. The governing process provides order and predictability in everyday life. Community satisfied the human need to interact with other people. Humans define themselves by relating to others. Community provides security, safety in numbers. Life in a community frees up time to pursue personal goals and interests in a way that is impossible in isolation. Specialization of tasks : different people in a community perform different functions or services. Problems Actions can have consequences for other people, not just you. Humans can be selfish and self interested, which prevents cooperation and agreement. There are many different kinds of governing process. The democratic process is the most difficult form of government to make work. Historically, it was impossible to govern a large amount of people over a large territory; history was working against the probability of the democratic process being successful in the United States. The Concept of Democracy Autocracy – government by a single person who is not elected in any meaningful way. Oligarchy – government by a small group of people who are not elected in any meaningful way. Democracy – Participatory (Direct) – the citizens are the government; they make the decisions that affect their lives/community. There is no middle man. No country today is a participatory democracy. The closest thing is the New England town meetings. Every year citizens come together and vote for items for the next year; not a full participatory democracy, not pure. The board makes decisions in between annual meetings. Representative – citizens decide who the deciders will be; elective representative. Democracy as a process – not about what gets decided but how it gets decided. Six criteria: no democracy meets all the conditions, just an ideal model. 1. Everyone had the opportunity to vote : we set limits; 18 and older, not able to vote if on prison, and you have to have state/interest in community. Limitations are imposed. 2. All votes must count equally : elections are decided on the basis of electoral votes. We have 50 state elections, not a national election. Whoever gets most of the votes in a state gets all of the electoral votes of that state. Electoral votes are based on senators/congressman representing the state in the government. In the cases of the 1876
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election Tilden/Hayes, the 1888 election Cleveland/Harrison, and the 2000 election Gore/ Bush the winner received less national votes than the loser, but won the electoral votes. 3. Everyone voting must have equal information : about what is being voted on, the procedures for voting, and how to vote. The absence of enough information influenced the 2000 election; Gore should have one, but voters misunderstood the voting process.
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