As David McKay (2013) claimed, the center of American political world, the capitol, has been continuously characterized by an increasing ideological popularization on a wide scope of non-economic issues ranging from foreign policy and the environment to moral issues such as abortion or homosexual sights, and Republicans are consistently on the right of these issues whereas the Democrats are correspondingly on the left. We all undoubtedly believe that the two-party and bicameral system was initially designed by founding fathers to ensure that diverse constituencies could achieve unanimity before any Acts passed.
But recently the criticism that many political scholars have contended that divided government have damaged government’s efficiency in terms of producing important public policies has been explosively popular. However, on the other hand, other political scientists oppose the criticism, such as David Mayhem (2005) announced that divided government has not neither lowered the number of enactments of vital legislations nor decreased legislative productivity, and divided government does not contribute to gridlock.
Based on the mutually opposing propositions, this essay is designed to briefly examine the divided government in America and which is split into three parts. First comes to arguments against divided government and focuses on issues of deadlock, argue that which system potentially intensifying rivalries among political parties and intriguing politicians chasing after activities ended public policies. Afterwards comes to standpoints for divided government, which advocates that the constitutional design fundamentally facilitates quality of D.
C. Decisiveness. The final part of the essay will briefly introduce the external elements apart from the regime itself that may hamper political processes and shortly compare divided government with unified government in terms of efficiency. As mentioned above, the founding fathers of America was undoubtedly desperate to create an impartial and mutually checked and balanced government. However, is divided government qualitatively beneficial for the United States? Christian John (2011) has mentioned three reasons against it.
First, divided government corrodes politicians’ sense of accountability that is originally somewhat fragile; second, it blocks passing Of legislations; and third, it diminishes the publics reflection of their demand and wills. Moreover, division is not necessarily the only way to accomplish Lincoln “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, similar impact of preventing decision-makings from “going too fast and too far” could also be exercised in unified countries.
Without another party “dragging’ political outcomes, governments behavior may be checked and balanced by the public, the Constitution or, under rapid globalization process, even exterior players, such as international organizations. On the other hand, another widely accepted argument highlights that political division distracts politicians from the specific “promises” they gave during elections to political campaigns.
Such as Christian (2011) again contended, “divided government has brought about a distraction in the body politic that diverts the attention of politicians from addressing issues of concern effectively in order to score points against political opponents. ” This has arisen publics increasing dissatisfaction toward federal government who is being widely condemned and mistrusted as weak and bureaucratic. Therefore, it seems now that politicians’ performance is not welcome domestically in America, the intrinsic drawbacks of its electoral system may be a reason.
Let us take the election participation as a start point. Given Daniel Franklin (201 1) claimed, “the general rule of the thumb is the lower the turnout, the more class biased the results. And one fact observed seems could prove the argument – the turnout proportion of midterm election (normally about 65% in general ones and 40% in midterm ones) reached its lowest level since WI in 2014, 36. 4%, corresponding with America’s soaring political popularization in Beam’s second presidency term.
Then the paradox arises, why do citizens follow the general path of voting one party for executive branch and voting for another party to control legislative branch, which hence potentially facilitates division? The answer could be attributed to he limitation Of choice, the voters’ votes are cast for the candidates who are just better, normally not ideal, “media created”, easily manipulated, good at elections but not well at meeting publics real demands and at concerning practical issues, such as bilateral relationships with China or military deterrence in Middle East, and last, the most relevant, ideologically extreme.
All these factors derive an undeniable conclusion that the fact of electoral system and therefore the elected extremists is associated with the undermined efficiency of White House and Congress and strengthened Lorraine process. Many political scholars agree that deadlock per SE is an undesirable apparatus inside the body of America’s Constitution. Indeed, under Madison model of governance, especially when one party controls both houses of the legislative branch and another party controls executive branch, consensus seems unreachable or Usurious and conflicts are prone to be more severe.
In which context, the Congress will normally tend to restrict the bills that the president supports and, consequently, the president is likely to exert veto power to adamantly oppose the demands initiated by Congress. Thus, again, due to the mutually checking and balancing strengths, most scholars conclude that the separation-of-power system increases the amount of legislations failed to pass, which in another sense, advances gridlock. And normally, the effects of government deadlock are immediate, obvious and widespread, one famous and recent example is the government partial shutdown in the October of 2013.
After the Republicans’ failure in 201 0 of the passage of the original act, 2012 Supreme Court Case and the 201 2 Presidential election, the Republican-led House of Representatives insisted on laying rejecting and even not taking the spending bills and budgets of President Beam’s healthcare reform (known as Beamer) into consideration. For the sake of acquiring publics supports and pressures, President Obama closed a number of federal departments. Thousands of employees were forced to take the risk of unpaid leave, their livings and millions of dollars involuntarily sacrificed for political combats.
On the letter that President Obama wrote to the employees, he said,” and the House of Representatives can end it as soon as it follows the Senate’s leads, ND funds your work in the Ignited States government without trying to attach highly controversial and partisan measures in the process. ” From now on, we may conclude that the show of US political actors is gridlocked root and branch and on that stage, deadlock seems play an “indispensable” role. However, whether or not it is rational to institutionally attribute the consequence to the division of power, political scientists are yet not on the same page.
For example, many scholars’ arguments regarding the efficiency of official legislations are stuck to the quantification measurements, not lubrication methods. They merely focus on the ratio of bills and legislations that eventually transferred into laws out of the proposals but override the relevant varied importance of those, for example, one ignored notable fact is that when two important bills, e. G. Medical treatment and budget minimization, are incorporated into one legislation, then obviously the superficial government efficiency is halved.
However, as long as the overall statistical ratio is low, the masses anyway believe that government is struggling inefficiency or even shutdown. In contrast, on a broader and more rational qualitative perspective, Sakes alternatively had focused on the meaning of deadlock, and has claimed (2009) that “the scholarly definition of gridlock has encompassed two schools of thought: gridlock as a legislative inability to respond to public agendas and gridlock as an inability to change policy. Notably, neither definition of gridlock implies an amount Of legislation enacted into law. The former emphasizes the politicians’ inability of overcoming internal difficulties and external pressures to respond to public demands and to solve domestic down-top robbers. The latter refers to, as Kerchief (1998) defined,” the absence of policy change in equilibrium in spite of the existence of legislative majority that favors change”, which stresses the “tyranny of minority’, manipulated politicians are unable to alter established distribution of interests among various complicated overlapping interest groups, such as the connection between politicians and large corporations.
Therefore, based on the arguments above, in terms of gridlock, we have to admit that although the regime obstructs power-sharing harmony between the lefts and the rights as ell as creates a “bipolar” political situation to certain extent, and on the fact that deadlock is not extinct in the unified government countries either, we can say that the lowering volume of legislative outputs is not fundamentally associated with whether or not the government is divided.
On the other hand, is deadlocking necessarily a tragedy that we should avoid? Given Daniel Franklin claimed (2011), divided government has been more popular in recent decades and it is probably the norm in foreseeable future, and albeit the reason is controversial, or at least not clear, this phenomenon just be more or less correlated with the partisan political popularization in America, which is a developing scenario in recent decades.
Most commentators may condemn popularization process in a negative direction, for example, it allows circular and stronger political instability that leads to severe debt crisis and thus pushes the economy to the cliff of recession, or attempts to distort the independence of judicial branch. However, the popularization process, I. E. Growingly bipolar government, may bring citizens beneficial outcomes as well. First, some critics reveal thousands of malpractices of Lorraine, but certain crucial legislations such as reforms of welfare system or formation of new cabinet department, etc. Maintained highly outstanding achievements in a context of polarize power distribution. Moreover, as mentioned before, the essence of Congress that has received rigorous complaints of undermined efficacy is designed to be so in bicameralism, long- term gridlock of policy makings are designed to ensure the directions, feasibility, justice, durability and values of policies, etc. , are running on the designed way. We may all have achieved consensus that divided government indeed, to whatever extent, has influences on the decision-making processes in D.
C. However, meanwhile it may not be the decisive one, I. E. It is commonly acknowledged that some other reasons are hiding behind the current so- called popularization. Since human civilization history, there have been seriously persistent agreements over the statement that the efficiency of administrative outcomes depends on the political skills Of the chief executives as well as the power of their coalitions, regardless of the forms of the system, which is also applied to the paradox of division or unity of government.
According to Edwards Ills, et al. Statement, (1 997), “unified government may not substantially increase the presidents likelihood of success, as usually the president must develop broad bipartisan support to pass major legislation, whether or not his party is in the majority in Congress. ” Examples are Clean Air Act of 1 970 and Tax Reform Act of 1986 which strong presidential coalition in government was required in both cases.
Therefore, what other elements are directly or indirectly disturbing administrators from establishing a more progressive and successful lawmaking processes? In American political research, the various unelected organizations also wield political power, such as FBI or CIA despite the function in theory is just to serve the governance operation. To understand the role of the unelected rulers, Kent Courtney (1962) emphasis of the idea of Establishment in America’s presidency and downward is developmental and important.
In Ken’s word,” the Establishment is a general term for those people in finance, business and the professionals, largely from the Northeast, who hold the principal measure of power and the influence in this country irrespective of what administration Occupies the White House. ” Indeed, the leading figures of the elite unelected organizations in the high position are carrying out America’s political affairs on various aspects, sometimes may not be in the best interests of the country, such as Spar’s influence on foreign policy.
Therefore, in a simple way, it could be briefly depicted that because the role of the president and his team is to combine and reconcile the interests all those mutually conflicting characters throughout the political hierarchy, and because it is impossible to sweeten a widespread interests, thus, we may “condemn” that almost in any entry, apart from the regimes themselves, the bureaucracy is another tough obstacle on the way of the executives and legislative to achieve better efficiency and harmony.
In conclusion, this essay is illustrating the idea that, under the increasingly complicated globalizes global interactions of politics and economy, under the increasingly rampant Terrorism and under the increasingly powerful domestic pressure groups like lobbyists, compared to other regimes (despite almost all countries claim to be democratic), the three-branch system seems already more effective and secure on the issues of public concerns.
On the other hand, albeit there is a chance that parties in other democratic countries are approaching a more and more cooperative situation and smoothing out the passage of most regulations, political deadlock is not unusual in the world, or say which is in a sense inevitable, and it undoubtedly contains its independent intrinsic positive values. Moreover, the persistence America’s conflicting lawmaking processes are still trusted and it is encouraged to be so in order to achieve the genuine “government Of the people, by the people, for he people” and the egalitarianism that was the key value of America’s constitution.
However, sometimes we have to admit that unified parliamentary system seeks more efficiency, and government succeeded to maintain status quo, which balances the benefits across all aspects, but leadership is all about making progress. Anyway, in one word, despite the US political system has suffered various rigorous criticisms, such as the limitations and bugs of its elections system, the public still believes that on the problems of urgent and crucial grassroots-benefited legislations, the bipolar government will make best efforts to enhance the quality of those bills instead of political combats.