The Complex System by Which the Democrats Choose Their Party's Nominees

Published: 2021-06-17 09:50:59
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In regards, to the selection process I would like to examine the nomination process. Currently, the Democratic Party has a proportional system in which delegates are allocated as well as super delegates that hold the potential to swing a nomination. Meanwhile, the Republicans have a mixed system in which each state can adopt different methods. Both systems have a similar issue in that they allow for a smaller group to have a disproportionate say on who the nominee will be. In the case of the Democratic Party it is the super delegates that have the potential to do away with what a majority of Democratic voters supported. The Republican system, which is decentralized allows states to adopt systems in which a candidate, which received a plurality of the votes, can take all or most of the delegates in a state. As we have seen from the Republican race it has allowed Trump to secure around half of the delegates while receiving about 40% of the vote. This is why I would propose that both parties adopt an exclusively proportional system, in which all delegates are awarded on a proportional basis. The original intention was for the primary system to encourage participation and had the effect of reducing the power of party insiders. This proportional system would help deal with the issue of a plurality deciding the nomination of the Republican side and reduce the influence of party power brokers on the Democratic side. The system would also make a primary voters votes translate into delegates for more candidates in states that were previously winner take all. For the candidates it would encourage them to campaign in as many states as possible considering now there are more states where they can now pick up delegates. This could have the added benefit for the nominee by establishing ties and infrastructure in competitive states for the general. However, the system would also have a greater chance of a brokered convention in cases where there are many candidates winning delegates on a proportional basis. This could have the potential to actually increase party officials’ power to decide nomination contests. This could actually be a net positive, if the delegate leader at the convention is toxic to the party’s general election chances. Generally, though it also reduces the chance that a delegate leader at the end of a nomination contest will be the nominee.
One major change I would make in how a President carries out their duties is that I would change the extent to which congressional approval is needed for appointments. Currently, there are over a thousand positions, which require Senate approval. It is not uncommon towards the end of an administration for hundreds of these positions to be vacated in part because the Senate will often put holds on the nominations or for there simply is a backlog of appointments. This process ensures that many vital positions in an administration will be unfilled towards the end of a term. As we have seen during Obama’s time in office often political considerations will halt the confirmation process for many nominees. This has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of the executive, by having a lack of qualified personal and simply making those that remain in positions to spread themselves too thin. A change that I would make would be cutting the number of positions, which require Senate approval. Of course top cabinet and department level officials will still need approval, however lower level bureaucrats although they must be qualified are already vetted by the administration, which typically suffices. Furthermore, I would have the President’s authority to make temporary appointment in lower level positions to be expanded so that these positions would remain vacant for less time. I will admit that there is some potential for abuse by the executive, if he or she is able to continually bypass Congress on appointments to appoint their cronies and unqualified people to the position. However, when a person is refused to be confirmed, it is rarely for those two justifiable reasons, rather ideological or political concerns that might prevent appointment. Furthermore, it is in the President’s best interest to appoint qualified candidates and they would no doubt be vetted whether they had to stand confirmation or not. Although the reduced number of officials needing confirmation would continue the trend of the expansion of Presidential power, I believe the benefits are a better equipped and staffed federal government far outweighs these potential issues.As the current relationship between the President and Congress stands there is an expectation that the President must lay out his agenda and that the Congress will then decide whether or not to take it up. Until the 20th century, the primary levers of policy making were concentrated in the legislative branch. Now there is little doubt that the primary policy makers have become the Whitehouse staff, when it comes to national agenda setting. This has increasingly led to power being concentrated within the executive and although this has led to larger legislative initiatives, it has had the effect of reducing Congressional power. One of the President’s primary responsibilities has become to lead the nation all sorts of national programs, which has led to the growth of the Whitehouse staff and the executive branch in general. The executive branch has become increasingly more involved in all matters of government affairs, which to a certain extent over exerts the Whitehouse staff and the President. With this in mind, one of the major reforms I would like to adopt is for an increase in Congressional agenda setting and the reduction in Presidential management of pieces of legislation. The abdication of the President as the national agenda setter will allow the executive branch to place greater emphasis on execution of the law and the handing of foreign relations, two duties that are more historically within an executive’s purview. However, this change is not without its risks the reduction of Presidential power, could potentially lead to a more unproductive Congress without capable Congressional leaders. However, this is still an issue in the current system even with a strong President. One major potential drawback is that it may become more difficult to gather the public’s support without a President taking an active lead in the process. However, even if a President is no longer the agenda setter, this does not prevent the President advocating on agenda items, which have the President’s support. I believe that despite these potential drawbacks, this reform would allow the President to better perform his duties to execute the law and handle foreign relations.

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