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American Politics

1.) Assess the following claim: “The fiasco of the 2000 Presidential Election exposes all the democracy-undermining flaws of the U.S. political system: an anti-democratic Electoral College, an outdated and fragmented voting system, and a Supreme Court that simply reflects partisan interests. Even if you support the outcome of the 2000 election, you cannot support the process.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? What reforms does Robert Dahl recommend to help make elections more democratic? Do you agree or disagree with his proposed reforms?
Be sure to define your standards for democratic elections, evaluate each of the underlined claims, and give specific examples from the 2000 election. You should reference at least the following: lecture slides, “Unprecedented” (documentary), Dahl, Fiorina, and Hamilton’s Fed. 78. Answer should be approximately 1.5 pages, double-spaced.

2.) Assess the following statement: “Under the U.S. Constitution Congress is the chief legislative body and the President has no real authority in the creation of public policy.” Does this statement accurately reflect the intent of the Framers when structuring our system? And does it describe the political realities of policy making in present day? Are there other major sources of influence in the policy making process?

Be sure to consider how presidents might insert themselves in the policy making process, and also recent expansions of executive power. It may be useful to describe the process using one of the case studies we’ve discussed in class. You should reference at least the following: lecture slides, Obama’s Deal, Neustadt, Jones, Pfiffner, Lowi, and Serafini. Answer should be approximately 1.5 pages, double-spaced.

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