The political System of the US:>
Americas political system consists of three branches:
Firstly the Legislative Branch, which itself is also divided into two different sections, namely the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives consists of 435 Representatives, who are elected for a 2-year term. The Senate consists of 100 senators; one third of the Senate is elected every two years for a 6-year term. Together, these two parties can override the president's veto with a majority of two thirds and they can also impeach the president.
The members of the Congress are elected by the Electorate, basically all men and women over 18 years, who are registered to vote.
Secondly, there is the Executive Branch. On top of this branch resides the President and the Vice President. Both of them are elected for a four-year term. Unlike the Congress the President is not directly elected. Between him, and the Electorate stands the Electoral Collage.
The Electoral Collage was created for two reasons. The first purpose was that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. The founders believed, that with the Electoral Collage no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. The Electoral Collage could check on an electorate that might be duped. The founders also believed that that the Electoral Collage had the advantage of being a group that met only once and thus could not be manipulated over time by foreign governments or others.
The second reason was as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to smaller states.
Thirdly there is the Judicative Branch. The Supreme Court is based on a chief Justice and eight other Justices, which are all appointed for life. One of the main functions of this branch, which interprets laws, is the determination, whether laws are constitutional or not.
The American President is not just a figurehead, he is the head of state, the chief of his party, the chief executive, the chief legislator the chief diplomat, the commander in-chief-of the armed forces and the chief crisis decision maker.
Everyone, who likes to run for President must be either resident of the US for at least 14 years, or a natural born American. Secondly he/she must be at least 35 years old. Thirdly he/she must live by moral standards, must believe in god and must have "normal" opinions. Finally he/she must not have previous convictions.
The top candidates for this years elections were George W. Bush from the Republican Party and Al Gore from the Democrats. Other candidates were Ralph Nader from the Green Party and Ralph Buchanan from the Reform Party.
However, the first two candidates are the only ones who had any chances.
In present the standard arrangement for elections is the single member system, which means that whoever receives the plurality of the votes is elected. This system gives minor or third parties very little chance.
The various stages of the Presidential Elections are firstly the Nominating Process, which starts more than a year before the general elections. Primaries and Caucuses, in which the candidates are elected, take place.
Secondly, there is the Party National Convention, which takes place either in July or August. The official nomination of the nominates takes place there.
Thirdly there is the Election Day, which is always the first Monday in November in an electoral year. Next the Electoral Collage meets and officially votes for president and vice president on the first Monday following the second Wednesday in December in a presidential election year. Finally President and Vice President take their oath and assume office on the next January 20th following the election.
The candidate who wins the popular vote within the States usually receives all the states electoral votes. Which is meant by winner -takes -all arrangement.
A states number of electors is equal to the number of senators and representatives from the state.
For example California has 54 electoral votes, New York 34, Florida 25 and for example Alaska only 3.
As I already mentioned the top candidates for this year presidential elections were George W. Bush, who is now the 43rd President of the United States. His running mate was Richard B. Cheney now Vice President. His rival was Al Gore, whose running mate was Joe Lieberman.
George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. Formerly the 46th Governor of the state of Texas, Bush has earned a reputation as a compassionate conservative who shapes policy based on the principles of limited government, personally responsibility, strong families and local control.
George Bush was born on July 6th, 1946 and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a Master's of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard before beginning his career in the oil and gas business in Midland in 1975, he working in the energy industry until 1986. After working on his father's successful 1988 presidential campaign, he assembled the group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989.
He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected Governor on November 8th, 1994, with 53.3 percent of the vote. In an historical re-election victory, he became the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms on November 3rd, 1998, winning 68.6 percent of the vote.
As President, Bush will pursue the same common-sense approach and bipartisan spirit as he has in Texas. He has proposed bold initiatives to ensure that American's prosperity has a purpose. He has also addressed improving Americas nation's public schools by strengthening local control and insisting on accountability; reducing taxes on all taxpayers, especially for those Americans on the fringes of poverty; strengthening the military with better pay, better planning and better equipment; saving and strengthening Social Security and Medicare by providing seniors with more opinions; and ushering in the responsibility era in America.
President Bush is married to Laura Welch Bush, a former teacher and librarian, and they have 18-year-old twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna. The Bush family also includes their dog, Spot, and two cats, India and Ernie.
Vice President Richard D. Cheney has had a distinguish career as a businessman and public servant, serving three Presidents as an elected official. Throughout his service, Cheney served with duty, honour, and unwavering leadership, gaining him the respect of the American people during hard military times.
Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on January 30th, 1941 and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He earned his bachelor's and master's of arts degrees from The University of Wyoming. His career in public began in 1969 when he joint the Nixon Administration, serving in a number of positions to the Cost of Living Council, at the Office of Economic Opportunity, and within the Whit House.
When Gerald Foster assumed the Presidency in August 1977, Cheney served on the transition team and later as Deputy Assistant on the President. In November 1975, he was named Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff, a position he held through the remainder of Ford Administration.
After he returned to his home state of Wyoming in 1977, Cheney was elected to serve as the state's sole Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected five times and elected by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee from 1981 to 1987. He was elected Chairman of the House Republican Conference in 1987 and elected House Minority Whip in 1988. During his tenure in the House, Vice President Cheney earned a reputation as a man of knowledge, character, and accessibility.
Cheney also served a crucial role when America needed him most. As Secretary of defence from March 1989 to January 1993, Cheney directed two of the largest military campaigns in recent history-Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. He was responsible for shaping the future of the U.S. military in an age of profound and rapid change as the Cold War ended. For his leadership in the Gulf War, Vice President Cheney was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush on July 3rd, 1991.
Cheney married his high school sweetheart, Lynne Ann Vincent, in 1964, and they have grown daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, and three granddaughters.
Election 2000-The Recount
The closest election in U.S. history began with a night of errors for the major networks. The first error occurred when they declared that Al Gore won the state of Florida. This seemed to make an electoral victory for George W. Bush very unlikely. As the night went on the networks retracted their call and replaced Florida in the undecided camp. Later that night it became clear that the Florida decision would determine the elections. A little after 2AM Eastern Time the networks made their next mistake, declaring the State of Florida for George Bush. That declaration set in motion a concession phone call by Gore to Bush. As Gore was about to make his concession speech, word reached him that the State of Florida was indeed to close to call. Gore called Bush back and recanted his concession and the recount stage of the Florida elections was on. Most Americans went to sleep believing that Bush had won; they woke up to learn that the election had not been decided, and that it would not be for another month.
The next 25 days were dominated by recounts and Court decisions. Finally on December 12th, 2000 at 10 pm the Supreme Court ruled that no further recounts could take place. On December 13th Al Gore finally conceded, Americas 43rd president is George W. Bush
On January 20th George Bush took his oath and assumed office, due to this fact is not very much to say about his legislature so far, sure is that he mad an encouraging first impact. As CNN wrote: "If everyone gets only one chance to make a first impression, Bush appears to have an encouraging start with his all-out of charm offensive."