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Analyse the claim that 'the process for electing the president is flawed and in need of reform'.

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Introduction

Analyse the claim that 'the process for electing the president is flawed and in need of reform'. The president is seen by most as the American leader, someone who is American through and through, from this position, and the constitution, the president has few powers. Presidential candidates are chosen in the Primaries, used for both congressional and presidential elections. Primaries themselves actually begin in January of the election year, with the aim of helping the two major parties choose their presidential candidate by competing like candidates against others e.g. Democrat candidate against another Democrat candidate. The primary season then ends with the parties each holding a national convention with aim set out of choosing a presidential candidate For the selection of presidential candidates, the choice is left entirely to the public and, unlike the British System, not to the party itself. The candidates chosen also arrange their own funding and run their own campaigns. The presidential primaries have four sub-divisions; Open, Closed, Advisory and Binding. Closed primaries are applicable to party members and affiliated voters only e.g. in the states of New Hampshire and California. In Open primaries all registered voters can vote in either the Democrat or Republican primary. ...read more.

Middle

The eventual president must win an absolute majority in the college, considered to be a minimum of 270 ECV. In theory, at least, the campaign can be won from seven (7) states. There are, however, problems with the Electoral College ; the first reason is that as the winner takes all the ECV, regardless of the result, showing that the result can become distorted. Another reason is that unless third and independent parties concentrate their vote into a particular area they will have no representation in the electoral college, this, for example, can be shown by Ross Perot, who in 1992 gained nineteen (19) % of the popular vote but received no ECV in return as his vote was geographically dispersed. The third problem is that the Electoral College can allow a candidate with less ECV than another to win amongst the electors. An example of this is when G Cleveland (Dem) had over 90,000 more votes than B Harrison (Rep) who somehow took the electoral college 233 ECV to 168. The fourth flaw that has been noticed of the Electoral College is that it allows a possible breach of the separation of powers, this came about due to the House of Representatives having to decide the election if there is no absolute majority. ...read more.

Conclusion

The primary intention of using PACs, in 1971, was to curb the inflation of expenditure on elections, however, in this era they have become one of the biggest sources of money in American politics to date. PACs can have a ruinous effect on opposing candidates, for example, the National Security PAC spent over $8.5 million on certain adverts in 1988 that had a substantial effect on Michael Dukakis's presidential campaign. Possibly, a new law could be passed limiting the amount candidates may accept from private donations, this would have curbed such events as in 1994 when more than 100 congressmen donated more than $100,000 each. Another possibility could be to match the money raised by presidential candidates through public funding, this would only apply to an extent. Another reform could be the introduction of free air time, as in the United Kingdom, this again would limit the influence of PACs and at the same time save money whether it being spent or raised. Ultimately, as one lobbyist stated, 'Trying to cleanse the political system from the evils of money is like writing a law ordering teenagers not to think about sex... You don't need a law, you need a lobotomy'. Any reform regarding money would be difficult, to say the least, to implement and may not actually be possible due to the cost of technology. GSB 1 ...read more.

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