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Constitutional Democracy

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Chapter 2 Discussion

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

 

Democracy is defined as the rule of people and by the people themselves which in modern realities is realized through the election process. As a result, in democratic countries, the voters are mandated by the constitution to elect their representative both to the national government and the federal government. However, the constitution of America has undergone changes in order to accommodate the evolving needs of the Americans and facilitate their ability to get directly involved in the election process. The ordinary voters were locked out on determining who would get on the ballot for an opportunity of being elected as the senator. However, in the 1900s the majority of the states adopted primary election as the methodology of choosing their preferred nominees for some of the federal and state officers. For instance, when the party leaders were entrusted to pick the party nominees for the election, it created numerous restrictions for the democratic election, since the party members were guided by their personal interests rather than the interests of people. In addition, when the voters choose their nominees to occupy various public offices, it creates a platform through which they can affect the effectiveness of their leaders.

The other point of contrast between the original system and the current system of electing the federal officials is the manner in which the senators were elected. In the original system, the senators were chosen by state legislatures. However, in the current system changes were ratified and by 1913 the senators were directly elected by the voters. Prior to the changes, the public did not have any control over deciding who their leaders would be. In the old system, the selection of the senators in the Senate was widely influenced by the wealthy citizens and business entities which had special interests in state resources. However, achieving the above change did not come easily since some of the senators who feared to lose their seats opposed this decision. After the revelations of the gross misconduct by some of the senators in getting their seats, such as bribery and blackmail, the Senate was persuaded to support the amendment. In the new system, the public gained voice and control over who would become their senators.

References

Beeman, R. R., Botein, S., & Carter, E. C. (Eds.). (1987). Beyond confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American national identity. UNC Press Books.

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