How Democratic Is The American Constitution

1563 words - 7 pages

Christopher Hutchinson11206607PolySci 300April, 2013.How Democratic is the American Constitution?Many readers who find themselves reading this book will have to understand that Dahl is nor trying to change the constitution just how we perceive and think about the constitution. Dahl speaks of how when the constitution was written some states did not want to even have a part in it and how that now today the American people hold true to this document, some word for word. Throughout the book Dahl continues on to discuss many different parts of the American Constitution that he feels needs to be brought to light. This spans from the creation of the constitution to the Electoral College, even ...view middle of the document...

Chapter three, titled "How Well Does the Constitutional System Perform", starts off with an immediate attack against common misconceptions that the American people have in regards to the constitution. The American people believe that our constitution is the cloud 9 of governments and that the rest of the world should follow suit. According to Dahl, it is not and should not be the model for the rest of the world. No other democratic country that has a long established democratic nature uses the American constitution. He continues through the chapter to explain constitutional arrangements and how they help maintain the democratic system. He continues to explain about the Electoral College and how it consists of two parts and how our election process is unique in regards to electing a president because of the Electoral College. He goes on to end with the fact that the constitution that Americans hold in such high regard today only exists the way that it is because the framers had nothing else to base it off of.Chapter four continues off of chapter three in regards to electing the president and the relationship between the Electoral College and the executive branch. According to Dahl the development of the Electoral College was an act of desperation. It was supposed to take the choice of appointing the next president from the hands of the public and the responsibility would be placed with a wise select group. His feelings toward the Electoral College are evident, he sees the Electoral College as a broken system with unequal representation of voters and an ability to win the election with a minority of popular vote. As much as the author and the majority of Americans would like to see a change in the Electoral College, it would be highly unlikely that an amendment would pass. Dahl says that the only way to fix the problems of the Electoral College would be to get rid of it all together and directly elect the president with popular votes.Chapter five is utilized by Dahl to debate the merit of having a system of constitutional arrangements that aid the democratic system by maintaining conditions favorable for democracy. To protect our basic fundamental democratic rights we need to maintain an elevated level or protection. Dahl continues on to debate the merit of keeping our current system at all versus a proportional or consensual system instead. Dahl seems to have a preference towards the consensual system do to the fact that largest benefits of a consensual system are the strong likelihood of equal representation. Democratic fairness among citizens is always going to be an issue of concern for citizens and encouraging the formation of a democratic consensus helps maintain government policies. Providing a democratic government that is effective in solving problems requires the combination of different elements of the constitution.In chapter six, "Why not a More Democratic Constitution," Dahl asks the reader if true political equality is realistica...


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