discussion and question set about congress and the presidency

1. Week 6 Discussion: The Presidency (Just response to the following posts)

Please response to these two posts.

Duong:

Q: The use of the electoral college in selecting a president has historically been quite controversial. Do you agree with Hamilton in that this “process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”? Why or why not? Why might a different system be better/worse?

A: While the electoral college system does have its ups and downs I do believe that this is one of the better systems. The electoral college generally agrees with the popular vote. There have only been a few times in which it did not. The bigger states such as California do have much more power when it comes tot he electoral vote due to the large number of votes that they hold. This is especially true when concerning the winner takes all system. I do not agree with Hamilton in that the process of this election can prevent people who are not very qualified to step into the seat of the president. No system is perfect and thus every form of government is susceptible to weak leaders. I believe that it does help hinder those who are unqualified for the most part. I think that a different system would not be as beneficial. For instance, take that popular vote. If the popular vote was used then most likely the voices of the smaller states would not be heard if they went against the majority. Despite the flaws of the electoral college system, I think that it works better than a handful of other systems.

Xu:

Q: Presidential power has expanded significantly since the founding. Is this expansion good or bad for governance in America? Why or why not?

A: I think the expansion of presidential power is bad for governance in America. Throughout history, most of our presidents belong to different parties, and they all want their parties to grow stronger. Therefore, in the process of making laws, the president is likely to pass the laws which are favorable to his own party. It can help his party’s development. However, this is extremely unfavorable and unfair to another party. The power gap between the parties will become large, which is not conducive to the supervision and balance between the parties. Moreover, since the president’s power becomes larger, the Congress is less able to restrict the power of the president. In this way, the president’s opinions will account for a great influence while introducing the bill. He tends to choose laws that are beneficial to him, and this may lead to his abuse of power. The laws may be incomplete and have some problems, which is not good for governance in America.

Before You begin:

  • Posts and responses should be thorough and thoughtful. Just posting an “I agree” or “Good ideas” will not be considered adequate. Support statements with examples, experiences, or references. Be brief — keep each post and response to one or two short paragraphs. Keep in mind that fellow learners will be reading and responding to you, too.
  • Posts should be within a range of 75-150 words.
  • Make certain that all posts and responses address one of the the questions, problems, or situations as presented for discussion. This does not mean you should not extend the topic, but do not stray from the topic.
  • Discussions occur when there is dialogue; therefore, you need to build upon the posts and responses of other learners to create discussion threads. Make sure to revisit the discussion forum and respond (if necessary) to what other learners have posted to your initial responses.
  • When relevant, add to the discussion by including prior knowledge, work experiences, references, web sites, resources, etc. (giving credit when appropriate).
  • Contributions to the discussions (posts and responses) should be complete and free of grammatical or structural errors.

2. Question set: Congress and the Presidency

Please respond to each of the four short response questions posted below. Your answers should be short, focused, and complete, ranging from one to three paragraphs. Please make sure to answer each specific part of every question. Successful answers will provide details and context that support your arguments and explain your position to the readers. You may also want to provide real world examples taken from the readings, lectures, group discussions, or your own independent thinking. These illustrations can be from the course materials or your own ideas. Providing this context and being able to apply the material to YOUR OWN understanding of politics really shows us that you have mastered the material.

  1. What are the varying goals that shape the behavior of members of Congress? How does the incentive for reelection shape their behavior? How can it lead them to be both individually responsive but collectively irresponsible?
  2. What are the benefits of the Congressional committee system? What are the possible downsides? How do the parties use this structure to their advantage?
  3. In your view, what are the most important factors that contributed to the rise of presidential power in modern American Government?
  4. Neustadt & Kernell both describe ways in which a President can deal with Congress & others outside of the executive branch. What are their central arguments? How does Kernell’s theory update Neustadt’s idea? Are they compatible?

You should read the following course reading materials before you begin:

Please be sure to read the entire chapter. The link takes you to the introduction.

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