ASHFORD POL 201 Week 3 DQ 2Presidential Leadership and the Electoral College                      PLEASE DOWNLOAD HEREPres...
the recount, thereby in effect awarding Floridas electoral votes to Bush. Whilearguments continue to this day about the le...
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Ashford pol 201 week 3 dq 2 presidential leadership and the electoral college

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Ashford pol 201 week 3 dq 2 presidential leadership and the electoral college

  1. 1. ASHFORD POL 201 Week 3 DQ 2Presidential Leadership and the Electoral College PLEASE DOWNLOAD HEREPresidential Leadership and the Electoral College. Americans expect theirpresidents to get things done, to solve problems, to govern effectively, and to bestrong leaders. The framers of the Constitution did not envision such presidentialleadership. A scholar of the presidency points out that Article II of the Constitutiongives the president scant formal power to influence congressional policy-making(Simon, n.d.). He also notes that the framers intentionally designed a process forselecting presidents that would minimize their political power – the ElectoralCollege. They hoped this institution would insulate the chief executive from thepublic because they feared the power of presidents who might be elected by thepeople. Therefore, the Constitution provides that "Each State shall appoint, insuch Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equalto the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may beentitled in the Congress..." Having state legislatures "appoint" the Electors whoselect the chief executive would minimize the presidents capacity to lead on thebasis of his popular support. In a very real sense, the president would not beaccountable to the people but rather to the state legislatures who appointElectors. This procedure was also seen as a way to encourage the selection ofstatesmen with "characters preeminent for ability and virtue” rather than merepoliticians with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” (Hamilton,1788).The practice of state legislatures appointing Electors continued for many years.Most American history texts do not report national presidential vote totals before1824 because 25% of the states were still not holding presidential elections bythat year. Even as late as 1876 the state of Colorados legislature appointedElectors. As states moved away from legislative appointment to the currentsystem of allowing a states Electors to be chosen by a winner-take-all popularvote, the primary rationale for the Electoral College was forgotten in history. Atthe same time, public expectations of strong presidential leadership were rising.This creates a problem well illustrated by the disputed election of 2000. GeorgeW. Bush was elected president with 271 electoral votes to Al Gores 266 electoralvotes. However, Gore amassed 543,895 popular votes more than Bush. Also,because some disputed votes in Florida made unclear which candidate shouldreceive the states electoral votes, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a fullrecount of the Florida vote. But the U.S. Supreme Court intervened and stopped
  2. 2. the recount, thereby in effect awarding Floridas electoral votes to Bush. Whilearguments continue to this day about the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Courtsintervention, the 2000 election illustrates a glaring weakness of the ElectoralCollege system – selecting a president whose authority may be diminished by thedubious circumstances of his or her election. The election of 2000 also has fueleda long ongoing debate about whether the Electoral College should be abandonedin favor of method which insures that the candidate elected has the most popularvotes. Would this outcome be more consistent with contemporary publicexpectations about the presidents role as a national leader who can get thingsdone?In your initial post of at least 200-250 words, briefly summarize how the ElectoralCollege works. Explain some of the main pros and cons in the debate aboutwhether to keep or abolish the current Electoral College process. Also explainone proposal to change how the system works without formally abolishing it.Evaluate the various arguments and the proposal. Include at least twoperspectives in your assessment:a. Your judgment about the relevance of the Electoral Colleges underlyingrationale to contemporary America.b. Your judgment about its impact on presidential leadership capacity.Fully respond to all parts of the question. Write in your own words. Support yourposition with APA citations totwo or more different resources required for thisdiscussion.By Day 7 respond to at least two of your classmates initial posts. Your peerresponses each must be at least 75 words. They must demonstrate criticalthinking (e.g., ask a relevant question about your peers post while explaining whyyour question is significant, or state a perspective that contrasts with your peerswhile explaining or justifying your position).References:Hamilton, A. (1788). The Federalist Papers, Number 68.Simon, D. (n.d.). Public expectations of the president. Retrieved fromfaculty.smu.edu/dsimon/AMPres07Up/SimonExpectations.doc

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