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Transcript of US Election
Barack Obama (D) Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney (R) Democrats http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform Republicans Let's put this to a vote... Other issues http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html The Issues Becoming a 2012 Democratic Convention (Oversimplified) The Candidates: 2012 The Economy - "bottom-up" - progressive taxation (higher taxes for wealthier citizens); more investment in education and infrastructure.
Foreign Policy - traditionally for less military involvement; soft power.
Energy Policy - an "all above" policy; particularly "Renewable" or "Green" Energy.
Health Care - mandatory Health Care for everyone; public (government supported) insurance options.
Social Issues - Based on community and social responsibility - traditionally less religious or at least more promotes clearer separation between religious and political issues; Pro-Gay Marriage; often anti-death penalty; often pro-abortion. The Issues (Oversimplified) The Economy - 'Top-down' approach; lower taxes for everyone (even wealthier citizens); "grow" the economy to increase wealth.
Foreign Policy - traditionally for more military involvement; look and be strong.
Energy Policy - an "all above" policy; particularly more domestic oil exploration.
Health Care - private Health Care only; "leave government out of health care".
Social Issues - Based on individual rights and justice; traditionally more religious or more in support of traditionally "family values"; against Gay Marriage; typically pro-death penalty; typically anti-abortion. Polling ... http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html How do Swedes view this process?
How is Sweden's System Different? Is it better?
How do Americans view Sweden? University of Gothenburg
Dept. of Languages & Literatures
Oct. 17, 2012 http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-april-21-2009/the-stockholm-syndrome-pt--1 Presidents usually have a past career in politics (usually former State Senators or State Governors). But really... who runs for President? Presidents are usually wealthy or have significant financial support. 2012 Republican Who can Vote? To be allowed to vote, one must: Have a clean criminal record
(only in a few states) Be at least 18 years of age Be a US citizen (No green card holders) Inauguration Day 2008 The US Political System &
The General Election 2012 U.S. President Joe Trotta Primary The importance of Swing States Elite Theory What are Interest Groups?
Three Definitions “Proportional representation” What happens in other Democracies? When you vote for president, you are simply choosing electors who have promised to vote for your party’s candidate.
Whichever candidate gets 270 electoral votes wins!
Most in most states, it is a winner-takes-all situation. How does it work? Why would we do this, instead of a national election?
Comes from state sovereignty
Individual states are important! Electoral College Key Assumption:
No group becomes too dominant, i.e., no group wins or loses all the time. Many centers of power exist with many diverse groups competing for power. Power is in the hands of elites
Money; Access; Officeholders in their pockets
They control what policies we get
Average people have no chance at influencing policy Power is strengthened by a system of interlocking agreements between corporations and other institutions. The presence of many groups means nothing, the power is not equally divided among them
some groups have more. Do interest groups, on balance, help or hurt the fashioning of coherent and effective public policies? Questions: Assessing the
Role of Interest Groups Interest groups DO NOT run their own candidates for office (they don’t own a sports team).
What is the difference? Some pros/cons: Winner-take-all system:
Legislative seats awarded only to first place finishers.
Losers get nothing
People do not want to “waste” vote on third place finisher Why Only 'real' Parties in the US? Most nations have either one-party systems or multiparty systems. The Two-Party Parties’ mobilize and educate people about politics. Parties and Majority Rule Many political scientists believe that parties are essential to democracy. The Role of Political Parties
in a Democracy Basically each state gets to choose their preferred candidate
Each state gets a # of “votes” for President
2 for each Senator (100 total)
# of House members (435 total)
DC gets 3 votes
100 + 435 + 3 = 538 total electors (These are the elites who choose our President!) How does it work? Are Political Parties kind of like sports teams?
If so, are interest groups like Nike, Reebok, & Adidas? Notes on
Special Interest Groups A political party is a group of voters, activists, candidates, and office holders who identify with a party label.
They recruit and run candidates for public office under the party label.
They try to organize and coordinate the activities of government officials under the party name.
They want to win elections! What are Political Parties? Who has an incentive to change it? Why is it so hard to change? pros:
ensure a broad-base of support for candidates
parties help voters decide
parties make it easier to run for office
less bargaining with fewer people cons:
parties can promote division and deadlock (polarization)
limit voter choice
can dampen voter turnout
small parties get no voice Parties provide a way for the people to keep elected officials responsive and responsible through competitive elections. The political party is seen by some as the main instrument of popular sovereignty and majority rule. Parties try to broaden their appeal by running candidates from many ethnic, racial, and religious groups. Elections create an incentive to include as many voters as possible, with a majority being the goal of each party. But two parties have dominated the political scene in the United States since 1836. Most Western democracies have multiparty systems. How about Sweden? So the Senate and House would be made up of the percentage of votes each party received. Each party gets a share of the votes they receive in the election Helps keep issues fairly simple for voters Self-perpetuating system (in whose interest is it to change this?) Keeps small (particularly wacko) parties out of government Pluralist Theory Groups provide the key link between the people and the government. Politics is mainly a competition among groups, not individuals, Societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule,
regardless of the formal niceties of government organization. Lobbying is a problem because it benefits the few at the expense of the many. The Media & Popuar Culture Thank you for your attention! Celebrity Endorsements Talk show appearances polling fatigue http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/10/11/survey-says-too-many-polls/ Click here Click here Can 'anyone' really become president? The Stockholm Syndrome System They typically do NOT seek mass membership like Political Parties do Neutral: Private organizations or associations that seek to influence government policies as a way to protect or advance some interest or concern. Positive: Another way by which Americans can influence their government. Negative: Special interests that seek advantage over other groups and against the public interest.
The Daily Show Effect: http://bigthink.com/age-of-engagement/is-america-a-joke-researcher-examines-the-daily-shows-impact-on-political-culture The impact of popular culture on political culture click here! The Candidates Overview of the Presentation Polling, Swing States and Popular Culture Other Issues: Three branches of government
How to become the POTUS
Is Sweden evil? (Collectivist vs Individualist mentality)
The Political Parties and the Two Party system
Do interest groups, on balance, help or hurt the practice of democracy in the United States?
Gene Simmons (R) Clint