Reforming the Electoral Process in America

Author: Brian L. Fife
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313372276
Format: PDF, Docs
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Calling for increased civic engagement, this book makes a compelling case for reforms that will democratize American elections and provide more power to the people.

Faces on the Ballot

Author: Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit Department of Political Science Alan Renwick
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199685045
Format: PDF, Docs
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One of the key shifts in contemporary politics is the trend towards greater personalization. Collective actors such as political parties are losing relevance. Citizens are slowly dealigning from these actors, and individual politicians are therefore growing in importance in elections, in government, within parties, and in media reporting of politics. A crucial question concerns how this new pattern could be restructuring politics over the long run - notably, whether the personalization of politics is changing the institutional architecture of contemporary democracies. The authors show that the trend towards personalization is indeed changing core democratic institutions. Studying the evolution of electoral systems in thirty-one European democracies since 1945, they demonstrate that, since the 1990s, there has been a shift towards more personalized electoral systems. Electoral systems in most European countries now allow voters to express preferences for candidates, not just for political parties. And the weight of these voters' preferences in the allocation of seats has been increased in numerous countries. They examine the factors that appear to be driving this evolution, finding that the personalization of electoral systems is associated with the growing gap between citizens and politics. Politicians and legislators appear to perceive the personalization of electoral systems as a way to address the democratic malaise and to restore trust in politics by reducing the role of political parties in elections. The book also shows, however, that whether these reforms have had any success in achieving their aims is far less clear. Comparative Politics is a series for students, teachers, and researchers of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. Global in scope, books in the series are characterised by a stress on comparative analysis and strong methodological rigour. The series is published in association with the European Consortium for Political Research. For more information visit: www.ecprnet.eu. The Comparative Politics series is edited by Emilie van Haute, Professor of Political Science, Universite libre de Bruxelles; Ferdinand Muller-Rommel, Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University; and Susan Scarrow, Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of Houston.

Old School Still Matters Lessons from History to Reform Public Education in America

Author: Brian L.. Fife
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313398100
Format: PDF, Docs
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Can public schools in America be saved? This book considers theory, current practice, and the common school ideal through a historical lens to arrive at practical suggestions for reforming contemporary public education. • Presents information on a topic of paramount importance, as almost 90 percent of American children in grades K–12 attend public schools • Provides a thorough analysis of the writings of Horace Mann, the education reformer largely credited with helping to create the common school in the 19th century • Merges theory and practice, analyzing the common school ideal in a historical sense while also presenting ways to reform contemporary public education

Voting in America

Author: Morgan E. Felchner
Publisher: Greenwood
ISBN: 9780275998066
Format: PDF
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The three volumes of Voting in America offer the most comprehensive and authoritative account of all aspects of voting in the United States ever assembled.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History

Author: Donald T. Critchlow
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199754616
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History brings together an unparalleled wealth of information about the laws, institutions, and actors that have governed America throughout its history. Entries key political figures, important legislation and governmental institutions, broad political trends relating to elections, voting behavior, and party development, as well as key court cases, legal theories, constitutional interpretations, Supreme Court justices, and other major legal figures. Emphasizing the interconnectedness of politics and law, the more than 430 expertly written entries in the Encyclopedia provide an invaluable and in-depth overview of the development of America's political and legal frameworks.

Working Congress

Author: Robert Mann
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807157384
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In 1964, as the polarizing Civil Rights Act made its way through the House and Senate, and Congress navigated one of the most tumultuous eras in American history, a Harris Poll put the institution's approval rating at 60 percent. Why then, fifty years later, has the public's approval of Congress eroded to an all-time low of 10 percent? Working Congress: A Guide for Senators, Representatives, and Citizens seeks to isolate the reasons for Congress's staggering decline in public opinion, and to propose remedies to reverse the grave dysfunction in America's most important political institution. Aided by the input of retired members of Congress from both major parties, editor Robert Mann and his fellow contributors identify paralyzing partisan rancor as perhaps the most significant reason for the American public's declining support of its main representative body. The lack of mutual trust within Congress reflects (and creates) the suspicion and animosity of the great majority of Americans. Working Congress argues that members of Congress must find a path to cooperation if they are to function as the representative institution the Founders intended. Trenchant chapters by Mickey Edwards, Ross K. Baker, Frances E. Lee, Brian L. Fife, Susan Herbst, and Mark Kennedy analyze the problems and challenges facing Congress and suggest solutions to counteract partisan gridlock. Though these scholars and former members share a conviction that men and women of good will can and should work together, they do not assume that their solutions will herald a bipartisan utopia. Instead, they recognize that Congress is, and will always be, a work in progress.

Democracy s Moment

Author: Ronald Hayduk
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742517509
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The two-month long Election Day in Florida made one thing clear: We need to find ways to make the American political system more responsive to the demands of all citizens. This book provides a critical assessement of a broad range of electoral reforms proposed to enhance responsive government. The book aims not only to analyze the obstacles to full political participation, but to capitalize on the window of opportunity that election 2000 has provided to make our political system more truly democratic to realize 'democracy's moment.'"

10 Steps to Repair American Democracy

Author: Steven Hill
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317264355
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy Steven Hill addresses the problems plaguing the US political system, outlining his ten-step program to improve American democracy. He proposes specific reforms to give voters more choices at the ballot box, boost voter turnout, reduce Senate 'filibustering' and end excessive corporate dominance. In the face of mounting cynicism about the US political system, 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy is a refreshing blueprint for how to resurrect the Founders' democratic vision. It will change the way you think about US politics.

It s Time to Fight Dirty

Author: David Faris
Publisher: Melville House
ISBN: 1612196950
Format: PDF, ePub
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The American electoral system is clearly failing more horrifically in the 2016 presidential election than ever before. In It's Time to Fight Dirty, David Faris expands on his popular series for 'The Week' to offer party leaders and supporters concrete strategies for lasting political reform - and in doing so lays the groundwork for a more progressive future. With equal parts playful irreverence and persuasive reasoning, It's Time to Fight Dirty is essential reading as we head toward the 2018 midterms... and beyond.

The Politics of Electoral Reform

Author: Alan Renwick
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139486772
Format: PDF, ePub
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Elections lie at the heart of democracy, and this book seeks to understand how the rules governing those elections are chosen. Drawing on both broad comparisons and detailed case studies, it focuses upon the electoral rules that govern what sorts of preferences voters can express and how votes translate into seats in a legislature. Through detailed examination of electoral reform politics in four countries (France, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand), Alan Renwick shows how major electoral system changes in established democracies occur through two contrasting types of reform process. Renwick rejects the simple view that electoral systems always straightforwardly reflect the interests of the politicians in power. Politicians' motivations are complex; politicians are sometimes unable to pursue reforms they want; occasionally, they are forced to accept reforms they oppose. The Politics of Electoral Reform shows how voters and reform activists can have real power over electoral reform.