Democratic and Undemocratic Aspects of Government

Topics: Democracy, Elections, President of the United States Pages: 3 (1093 words) Published: September 23, 2012
American Politics

Question 1
The foundations of the government of the United States revolve around the ideals of democracy, that is, a government by the people through direct rule or through elected officials. Dahl states that in comparison to other democracies throughout the world, the United States has become one of the most successfully democratic countries, regardless of how far away from true democracy Americans really are. While undemocratic elements within our system and even our constitution do exist, there are some great examples of democracy within American government that have allowed this particular democracy to thrive compared to the rest of the world. The conception of political parties as well as the House of Representatives demonstrate two of the most democratic parts of American government and are elements that Americans should be quite proud of.

Because of the need for competition between majorities within a democracy, the party system can be seen as a strong component of American democracy, complimenting the necessity of having adequate representation. This is why it seems ironic how the founders of The Constitution were so against parties and factions. The importance that representation has in American politics cannot be stated enough because of the importance in the rule by the people. The formation of two parties created more involvement by the people in the process of politics by allowing them to organize and effectively express their views in a domain that was large enough to be influential. Jefferson and Madison realized that without parties they would not be able to muster up enough supporters and spur interests enough to defeat the Federalist Party (Dahl 30). Political parties also allow for people to be more represented, since they can align with a party that fits with their interest and vote accordingly. Thus, political parties breed competition between ideologies within the U.S., and this competition is extremely healthy for...
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