The American political system - Federal Level

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Legaslative Branch(Makes and passes the laws)
The Congress- The federal parliament, consists of two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Members of both houses are elected by general suffrage. The congress main job is to make laws. All new laws have to be accepted by a small majority in both houses.
The congresws can make laws about taxation,currency, postage, foreign trade, and the army and navy. The congress also has the power to declare war. The House of Representatives contains of 435 members, which are elected for two years. If a state has more inhabitants,
they get more members in the House of Representaives and vice versa. The people in the senate(senators), are elected for six years. There are 100 senators, two from each state.

Excutive Branch(Enforces the Constitution, the laws made by Congress, and treaties)
The President- The leader of the United States of America.Often represents the United States abroad in other countries and in meetings with other country leaders. The president is Commandor-in-Chief of the armed forces, runs foreign affairs, and appoint judges, ambassadors and the members of the cabinet. Because of the United States superpower,
the American President is often called “themost powerful man on earth”, and he is one of the world’s best-known figures. There is some demands if you want to become president of the United States; the president has to be a natural-born citizen of the United States, and be at least 35 years of age.

Judicial Branch
The Supreme Court- The Supreme Court consists of nine judges appointed by the President, with the approval of the Sentate. Once a member of the Supreme Court is appointed,
he remains at his post for the rest of his life. The Supreme Courts main task is to explain the laws and to interpret the constitution.

United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America and is the oldest written national constitution that is still used. It was completed on September 17, 1787. It took effect in 1788, and has served as a model for a number of other nations´ constitutions. It created a more unique government in place of what was then a group of independent states operating under the Articles of Confederation.

Bill of Rights
It consists of 10 very short paragraphs which guarantee freedom and individual rights and forbid interference with the lives of individuals by their government. The Americans are also guaranteed freedon of religion, they have the right to asemble in public places and to protest against governmental decisions. They have the right to own weapons. A police or soldier can not search a person´s home without legal permission to do that. Each paragraph is an Amendment to the original Constitution.

Checks and Balances
When you talk about the United States three-part national government, you often refer to a system that often is called “checks and balances”. This system protects the three-part government from making serious misstakes. One of the branches can not do major things without the acceptance of one of the other branches.

Political Parties
The United States has a two-party system, with the two largest political parties dividing a great majority of the vote between themselves in most elections. There are many political parties other than the two dominant ones, but most are generally considered to be a minority and short-lived.

Democrats(Donkey)- The Democratic Party is one of the two major United States political parties. The Party is currently the minority in both the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, as well as in governorships and state legislative seats.
In these days, its primary political principles are commitment to tempering capitalism with programs of social welfare. Some other issues have included support for labor unions, civil rights, governmental and private sector actions to create new jobs, public education, gun control and gay rights. One member of the party is the ex-president candidate John Kerry. John Kerry is more against weapons then Bush, and also totally against deathpunish, except for terrorists. He is also against abortion. His opinion about the Iraq war is that Bush made a terrible misstake in attacking Iraq when, according to Kerry. Afghanistan is the centre of terrorism.

Republicans(Elephant)- The Republican Party (often called GOP=Grand Old Party) is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The current President of the United States, George W. Bush, is a member of the party – and by rules common to both major U.S. parties, its head – and it has majorities in the Senate and the House. The GOP is a conservative
(or right-wing) party. Today, its primary political principles includes free-market capitalism, along with nationalism, religiosity, social conservatism, abortion, gay rights, and militarism. Bush has introduced a new defensedoctrine; USA has the right to attack possible enemies to prevent future terrorist attacks. The Iraq war is an example on this. Bush is against abortion, but not when it is about rape and incest(sexual relations with a family member). He totally for deathpunish. Bush is against gay-marriage.

What the two candidates represented is written earlier in this essey, so I´m not going to dig into that so much more. So I have focused on some other things instead. As we all know,
the person who walked out of this as a winner, was in the end, George W Bush.
After the election, the country is still split up in one red and one blue USA. The Republicans red field covers the south and most parts of the land in the middle. The Democrats controls the big city regions in the northeast and the westcoast.
Once again it is the moralconservative electors on the country-side that goes in churh versus the latte-drinking liberals in the big cities. Even if this statement does not show the whole truth, the election showed that the political geography is remarkable stabile. Kerry did only succeed with winning one state from Bush compared to the election 2000. And the victory in New Hampshire only strengthens the democratic domination in the north east USA with the big cities New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

But on the other hand, there was no doubt that the whole traditional south had turned into a safe republican fortress. The Democrats chances in those states are equal to nothing. There was no doubt that Bush was going to win big in those states (e.g. Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Texas and so on…).It is really difficult for the democrats to win, because they are totally “forgotten” in the south and in big parts of the west USA. If the party loses more land there, then they will never win.

If you dig deeper in to the election result you can see that there is a rift between men and women. According to preliminary calculations, 58% of the women, but only 42% of the men voted for Kerry. Bush did relatively well among the Latin Americans when an overwhelming majority of the black voters voted for Kerry. Family status had a big part. Bush got 70 % of the married voters and only 30% of the single ones. Kerry got, as written previously, the majority of the women. He maybe got those because of his opinion against abortion. The majority of the persons who voted for Bush was men, I think that the reason why is that he is supports the right to own a weapon. Kerry also supports it, but not as strong as Bush.

Bush got many of his voters because of his strong faith. He is a believing Christian, and I think that infected a lot of people’s decision when they were going to vote. And, he got all the south states votes because his origin, he is from those parts, and that is one of the reasons that they voted for him down there. I believe that the reason Kerry and the democrats got a majority of the votes from the black voters was because of their liberal politics, laissez-faire.
I think that is something they want. One reason to the republicans/Bush’s win in this election is the present Iraq war. Maybe, the Americans did not want a new...

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Inactive member [2005-02-03]   The American political system - Federal Level
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