American Politics

The United States of America is the second largest democracy in the world, and among the strongest nations, politically. Surprisingly, its political structure is significantly different than that of other nations of the world. The following discussion takes a look at American Politics in terms of its political structure, political parties, and.

The political structure

America is a federal republic, where powers of the central government are divided among other branches, in this case the president, the US Congress and courts. All the states in America are allowed a certain degree of autonomy, with voters being given the right to vote, choosing their local and central government representatives.

People vote for the Electoral College, as well as legislators and governors. This Electoral College elects the President and Vice President. The president appoints and controls the executive wing, which consists of the cabinet, armed forces and the executive office. The senate has the power to approve or disapprove of the cabinet and the armed forces, and, under the Vice President, the Congress decides on Legislation. Interestingly, the president as well as the Supreme Court has the veto power on any legislation, keeping the process democratic.

The Political Parties

Ever since the American Civil War in the 1860’s, there has been a dominance of two political parties; the Democrats and the Republicans. It is surprising to know that in such a large democratic country, there are just two political parties. Although third parties exist in the political scenario, such as the Libertarian Party, their representation is minor and at lower level of governance.

The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are often compared to the Labour and Conservative Party in Britain. In other words, Democrats can be seen as a modern liberal party, or “left of centre” while the Republicans are referred to as “right of centre” and are considered to take a modern conservative stance.

The Divide of Power

The division of power can be analysed at different levels in America. As explained earlier, the division of power among the Judiciary, the legislature and the executives, is what represent horizontal division of power, i.e. power divided at the same level of a hierarchy. Vertical division of the powers exists where there are different levels of autonomy and decision making given to local, state and federal governments. This allows each state to run efficiently in such a large country.

Although this system has been in effect for almost 150 years, people are now losing their faith in the American Political system. This has led several to question whether the United States of America is still the dominant political power it once was.

The debate now revolves around the effectiveness of the system.

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