Partisanship in America has always been led by the two major political parties for the most part. The two parties are republicans and democrats. These parties have represented the nation for a long time, since 1853 actually. President Fillmore was the last president in this country to have no affiliation to neither democrat nor republican but instead the Whig party (Whitehouse). The independence party which is considered a third party has been slowly rising as figure 10.1 depicts. There could be many reasons as to why this happened.
For instance, loss of faith in the democrat and republican party. As we learn in this chapter It takes a lot of consideration to “fit” into one of these partisanships. We learn that family, friends, mindset, ethics and moral dilemmas all play a role when declaring a political party. With the younger millennial generation making up a large portion of the independent party they are coming into play and they require something new. Maybe they do not believe what either party stands for, so they declare themselves independent. “Four in ten voters don’t want to be in a political party. Why? Because parties have become special interests — perhaps the biggest special interests of all” (Independent voting).
Another thing with the independent parties is that maybe they just do not want to be labeled. The millennial generation does not want to be represented by two parties typically in power. Especially with everything that is going on in the world. Deportation of illegal immigrants, separating of families, building of the wall, attacks in Syria, Iran, the whole abortion dilemma. The independent party which is considered to be conservative could be tired of the other party’s agendas. They each believe in something else. Democrats, the party that believes in equal opportunity regardless of race or lifestyle and are considered to be liberal. Republicans who tend to focus on the individualistic mindset and being conservative.
My last theory is that along with the rest of my generation, is that we don’t understand politics to the full extent. Yes, we get the parties, the powers and what comes with it. However why does the government do the things it does. If we cannot apprehend it to the fullest why declare myself something I am not. Therefore, I would side as being independent (hypothetically speaking).
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Discussion board 7
The United States has a drastically lower voter turnout as those in other countries around the world. From 1991- 2000, 52 percent of Americans voted in presidential elections and 45 percent in federal elections. Compared to countries such as Italy with 90 percent and Iceland with 89 percent voter participation. Why does the United States have significantly lower numbers? For starters the United States does not have compulsory voting laws requiring citizens to vote, like those of Australia and Belgium with an 80 percent voter turnout. The United States citizens face a number of tribulations when it comes to voting.
American’s are bombarded with elections from national, state and local levels, which overwhelm voters and decreases the amount of participates. As well as many elections are held on Tuesdays, which are quite problematic for many. Another factor that is producing lower voter turnout is voters are less knowledgeable about candidates as well as many feel like that their votes do not matter. Feeling as if they no longer have influence on the process so voters become less reactive themselves. There is hope for our democracy… things can change, less then a hundred years ago only white men could vote. We have come a long ways and improvements need to be made.
In foreign countries voters are automatically registered to vote once they become of age. Unlike voter registration in American, which is an additional and timely trip to the DMV. The United States should adopt the same system and automatically register every legal citizen that is or becomes the legal age. By doing this it would eliminate additional steps and increase the seventy percent of eligible voters our country currently, to one hundred percent eligibility. Toincrease voter participation, lessen the amount of elections. Quality not quantity, by doing so American’s would intern increases their participation. Also by holding the elections on the presidential year. Presidential elections generate the highest voter turn out and for voters having to vote on the “off years” is very tedious. Lastly most voters lack the knowledge of the candidates, which intern discourages voters. By increasing voter knowledge and publishing candidate’s biographical information would then empower voters and increase participation.
Dautrich, Kenneth, et al. The Enduring Democracy. Cengage Learning, 2016.