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The United States Of America

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The United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 states. Each state has its own state government and in some ways the United States is like 50 small countries. The government of the USA acts according to the Constitution which was signed in 1787 and since that time twenty six amendments have been added. The first ten amendments were the Bill of rights stating every citizen has rights which cannot be violated. According to the Constitution the USA is a republic meaning the officials are elected by US citizens. The Constitution proclaims a federal system of government which keeps both the states and the federal power from getting too much power. The federal power is located in Washington, D.C. and is based on legislative, executive and juridical branches of power. The legislative power is vested in Congress, which consists of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state elects two members for the Senate. The executive branch is headed by the President who is assisted by the Vice President. The President enforces federal laws, serves as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The President can veto a bill unless Congress by a two-thirds vote shall overrule him. The Vice President, elected from the same political party as the President, acts as chairman of the Senate, and in the event of the death of the President, assumes the Presidency. The President cannot be elected for more than two terms or 8 years. The Cabinet is made up of Department Secretaries. The most important of them is the Secretary of State, who deals with foreign affairs. The judicial branch is made up of Federal District Courts, Federal Courts and the Supreme Court. Federal judges are appointed by the President for life.

So how are "We the People" heard in the political system? America embraces a representative democracy which is a system which the public take an indirect role in the decision making process by electing officials to represent their interests. When a person is voted into office the public trusts this individual to adequate represent the diverse needs of "We the People." This country has become a melting pot of diversity but I think that is one reason why it is so hard to represent every American. I believe that political system tries to reach all needs of the citizens of the county but it is hard for every voice to be heard. I also believe and trust in the political system to make decisions for the greater good.

Being a member of a group like a political party or interest group is another way the government is informed about the needs of the people. A political party is a political organization that seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and assisting in obtaining political office. Political parties espouse their vision by a written platform with specific goals. It does not matter if a person is a Democrat or Republican votes choose a party based on their needs and opinions on political issues. Being a member of these parties help a single voter have a voice in government because the political party has the funding to influence the current government issues. However, with these parties it is difficult for every opinion to be recognized and the party usually supports the majority of the group's ideas. Interest groups engage in political action to advance their own particular interests. Different groups often overcome the obstacles to collective action and work together to achieve common interests as they seek to influence the policy-making institutions of American national government.

I believe that the President may represent a majority of people because the official is elected directly by the people. However, the President of the United States is constitutionally elected by the "states", with each state by majority vote of its people expressing its preference. That preference is expressed through the Electoral College. When a voter votes for a presidential candidate they vote and with that vote they trust that person to provide for the greater good of this country.

The last branch is the Judiciary and unlike the Executive and Legislative branches are elected by the people, members of the Judicial Branch are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Federal courts have power to interpret the law, determine the constitutionality of the law, and apply it to individual cases. The inferior courts are constrained by the decisions of the Supreme Court and once the Supreme Court interprets a law, other courts must apply the Supreme Court's interpretation to the facts of a particular case. The Judiciary branch establishes the law which grants us the freedoms and rights established in the Bill of Rights. This branch may not directly represent "We the People," but what they do is make sure everyone has the rights outlined in the Constitution.

Without elected officials it would be very difficult for "We the People" to be heard. Democratic elections are the backbone of this country which is why our political system can represent the people. Elections assist popular influence, promote the accountability of leaders, and offer social groups some measure of protection from government's abuse of power. Manipulation of the composition of the electorate is perhaps the oldest device used to regulate voting. In America, suffrage restrictions as well as poll taxes, literacy tests, poll placement, personal registration requirements, and scheduling all have been used to limit electoral participation. The Electoral College is a controversial mechanism for presidential selection, which occasionally results in the winner of the popular vote losing the presidency (examples of such scenarios include the elections of John Quincy Adams in 1824 and George W. Bush in 2000).

Congressmen and women are indirectly the voice of the American people in the political system. Members of Congress are elected to represent the interests of their constituencies and who also are subject to removal in subsequent elections should the constituency feel that he



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