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American Government and Politics
Democracy is a conception that has undergone dynamic changes since historical times. Currently, it is defined by a fair and active representation of the public in governance. Political governance is a sensitive issue and needs to be accorded utmost attention in order to enhance sustainable living. Notably, there are various factors that are used to define a democratic mode of government. Besides equity, the constitution and mode of governance play an integral role in shaping democracy. Equally important is the role of the media that shapes the public and political opinions and perceptions. All these aspects interplay to form an intricate and augmenting relationship that defines the type of governance that a country adopt as well as the inherent level of democracy. It is against this background that this paper provides an explicit analysis of American government and politics in light of equity, human diversity, the constitution, model of democratic government and the role of the media in democratic governance.
Equality is in most instances is considered an important aspect of democracy and populations hold it in high regard. It can not be disputed that it is a multifaceted conception that is used in different circumstances to support a wide range of causes. From a political point of view, Janda, Berry, Goldman and Hula (2008) indicate that equality is defined by every citizen having a single vote and having all votes counted equally after the election process. However, this definition is compounded by economic concerns. In most instances, the public generally perceives the rich to have an upper hand with regards to politics than their poor counterparts. This is because of the fact that wealth gives the rich more influence and more often than not, their activities tend to be more pronounced than those of the poor. With respect to the social perspective, equality entails having the same potential with respect to wealth, status and education. Janda et al (2008) indicates that this is essential for attaining political equity. This can be attributed to the recognition that these factors are vital in empowering individual and according them the ability to influence a host of activities.
Social equality is also viewed in terms of providing each individual with equal opportunities as well as ensuring equal outcomes. Equality of opportunity implies that all segments of the population are given a similar chance to lead a successful life. Janda et al (2008) ascertains that this conception is a mainstream factor in American culture. In particular, the American constitution shuns nobility titles and wealth is not considered fundamental for holding any public office. In addition, important public institutions such as schools and libraries are often free to the entire public. A significant percentage of the population believes that social equality constitutes giving all people an equal opportunity to advance in life. Yet others liken true social equality to the concept of equality of outcome. This requires that all people are equal. The government in this regard is charged with the responsibility of designing policies that need to be employed in redistributing wealth as well as status. Ultimately, this contributes significantly to achieving social and economic equity. Equality of outcome is also connected to rights that are supported by the government and which the entire public is entitled. Notably, government participation in the later is much more than in the preceding conceptions. At this point, it can not be disputed that equality as a vital component of democracy is indeed a complex conception.
Currently, it cannot be disputed that the US population is increasingly becoming diverse in nature. The inherent diversity is apparent in light of age, education, gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, lifestyle and so forth. This implies that the personal attitudes, perceptions and value systems are also different because of the recognition that these are in most instanced greatly influenced by the preceding factors. The government is faced with the challenge of ensuring that all these all these factors are addressed accordingly and the rights of certain populations are not infringed upon. In order to attain this, there is dire need to customize the mode of governance in a bit to ensure that all the requirements of the diverse population are addressed by the constitution. Notably, a single mode of governance can not be able to address the multiple concerns in an effective manner. It is therefore imperatively important for the government to use different modes of governance whose respective strengths reconcile the weaknesses of others.
The majoritarian and pluralist forms of governance have been identified by Janda et al (2008) to be ideal. Specific attributes of each need to be integrated and tailored to strike a balance and coherence in governance. In particular, as much as the majoritarian rule needs to be employed in democratic governance by allowing people to participate in elections and governance through defined political parties and programs respectively, the pluralist mode of governance should also be used to ensure that the welfare of minority populations is safeguarded. This would enable the government to attain and be able to exercise utmost democracy.
During the fashioning of the US constitution, the framers advanced the principles of checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers and republicanism in their efforts to establish a distinct political order. Essentially, republicanism denotes a form of governance in which the vital power resides in the general public but is exercised by specific representatives that are elected by these people (Janda et al, 2008). This was desirable as it sought to eliminate aristocracy, direct democracy and monarchy that were disregarded by the framers.
The federalism principle postulated that the division of the given power between two institutions; regional units and central government. This makes the citizens that are governed by the particular law subject to two law bodies. Regardless of this, it is worth appreciating that the national government was given more power than the state governments. Nonetheless, the people are given ultimate sovereignty and have the power to restrain both the national and state governments. This is made possible through amendment of their governing charters and active participation in the process of election.
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