Difference between political systems example

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The Differences Between the American and European Political Systems


The paper explores how the American and European political systems differ by types of democracy and electoral systems. Both regions, historically, have formed alike approaches to elections. Americans have less choice between the political parties which is restricting them in some way. However the ‘winner-take-all’ system is simpler and proves to be more effective. The paper examines the researches of Hill, Frankel, Maisel in order to compare their opinions and find out the pros and cons of American and European politics.

The Differences Between the American and European Political Systems

There are several differences concerning the American and European political systems: electoral systems (majoritarian and proportional), party ideologies, forms of state (centralized and federal). The comparison is difficult for several reasons. The first one relates to the emergence of both players since the US is more than two centuries old. The second – territorial boundaries of the US and enlarging the European Union. It is worth mentioning that America is the most powerful nation-state while Europe is multidimensional, governed by supranational governance. Though comparing the two helps understand their role in contemporary politics and the quality of democracy on the mentioned territories (Martinelli, 2006).

Term Paper

The ‘winner-take-all’ electoral system in the US is a simplified voting procedure as it promotes stable elections between two candidates. Defenders of ‘winner-take-all’ policy believe there is no better alternative and that it provides centrist policy and decisive government. However, it has proved to have a few crucial disadvantages. If a number of votes equal to more than 51%, the state wins. That means some voters are underrepresented. Talking about third parties (like other than Republicans and Democrats), they have no chance to win the elections at all. So the policy is distorting representation of racial minorities, independents, women (Hill, 2002).

Democrats and Republicans have substantial differences in their policies. According to Frankel (2003), “The Republicans have become the party of fiscal irresponsibility, trade restriction, big government, and failing-grade microeconomics while Democratic presidents have - relatively speaking - become the agents of fiscal responsibility, free trade, competitive markets, and good textbook microeconomics” (p. 1). Republicans tend to decrease taxes in order to help businesses, and Democrats impose high taxes to support social programs.

Democrats think it is their job to secure employment, economic reforms, and medical care. On the contrary, Republicans believe government only spoils everything and gives freedom to businesses and competition. In terms of immigration, Republicans are its great opponents comparing to Democrats who provide immigrants with unconditional aid.

American democracy is employed for the whole nation while European one consists of different countries with varying political systems on the same continent. The UK e.g. is a constitutional monarchy and the Prime Minister is not directly elected like the President in the USA, rather, indirectly by the elected bodies for every party.

Most citizens in America feel they are a part of one of two …

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