• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Consider the view that the arguments for having an electoral college to elect the ...

    5 star(s)

    party candidates need to focus their campaigns on particular states, however (as seen in 1992) this effectively wastes the votes of millions. Because of the small number of electors and ECVs up for grabs, the smaller states are often overrepresented.

  2. Invisible Primaries, USA.

    extended the start of the presidential election to instantly after the mid-terms. B. The advantages of primary elections vastly outweigh their disadvantages in the selection of each party's presidential nominee. Discuss. The main function of the primary elections is to empower the party members, in the process of selecting a presidential candidate to serve office.

  1. Explain the significance of the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus in the ...

    The majority of the delegates today attend the convention as "committed delegates" , and because the number of delegates from each state is already know, it can be argued that the result of the roll call election is known beforehand.

  2. Discuss the claim that the president is merely 'bargainer-in-chief'

    president in terms of his legislation, often using his large mandate to boost his authority with Congress. A working example of Congress and the president working closely together, is the events which have taken place in 'foreign and domestic policy' since September 11th 2001.For example, President Bush has issued many

  1. Describe the process of impeachment and explain why it is difficult to remove the ...

    Firstly, impeachment of the executive isn't very well defined in the US constitution. The President will be impeached "for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes." This is very vague and a possible reason for 50% of the Senate voting against Clinton's impeachment.

  2. Consider whether the growth of primary elections in the Presidential nomination process has reduced ...

    year, McCain was the only candidate left in the running, implying that if a candidate fails to gain a substantial amount of delegates they will drop out. The NNC was a mere formality to have a ballot and announce him as the Republican's 2008 Presidential candidate.

  1. Why Has It proved So Difficult To Reform Campaign Finance

    Soft money is unregulated contributions to National Political parties. However, it also doubled the limit of 'hard money' from $1000 to $2000It also banned the use of Union or Corporate money to broadcast advertisements that mention a federal candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary.

  2. Critically analyse the appointment and confirmation process for nominees in the US Supreme Court

    at all."[9] Thus Presidents cannot subordinate the justices, for that would contravene the rule of law (a fundamental requirement for the judiciary to be independent from executive control). In its methods politicisation is rife in the appointments and confirmation process, but in its results this trait is not definite, as

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work