Presentation on theme: "EQ: What is the electoral process and what is its value to the Republic."— Presentation transcript:
EQ: What is the electoral process and what is its value to the Republic.
In a constitutional republic, representatives are elected by the people to speak for the people and make decisions for the people and rules are made according to the constitution. The representatives are accountable to the people by scheduled elections. These representatives spend a good bit of time debating and discussing issues and they are obligated to vote on issues the way the people they represent want them to. Our government is a republic. In a democracy, the people govern themselves. That sounds like a perfect plan but it can get kind of messy having an election where everyone votes on every single issue because when everyone doesnt agree, they have to take time to discuss and debate the issues. Democracy Republic
How do we elect the President? What do you already know and understand about how we elect our President? Is anybodys vote worth more than someone elses? Does the candidate with the most votes win? Why do we elect the President and Vice President as a team instead of individually? Why do candidates spend more time campaigning in some states than others? Are there problems with the electoral process? Should changes be made to how we elect our President?
Candidates Candidates are people who want the job of president. Qualifications are simple. You must be a natural born citizen You must be at least 35 years old You must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. Simple enough! But, there are thousands of people who might like the job AND have those qualifications. Do you think race, education, family pedigree, profession or wealth should be a qualification? What qualifications should be considered ?
Parties There are two major groups of people who believe similarly on political issues. These groups are called parties. We have a Republican party (conservative) and the Democratic party (liberal). Sometimes a third party or Independents (voters who do not agree with either party) will join the race. As a kid, are your views conservative or liberal on these issues: Animal rights, environmental issues, who should pay for roads, bridges, police, fire, jails, and government services.
How a party chooses a candidate A candidate without the support of a major political party is very unlikely to win an election. It is almost like each party holds an election to decide who will be the partys candidate. The party holds debates, events, and primary elections before deciding on which candidate to support. That sounds like a lot of trouble just to pick the right person. Why would the party spend so much time and money on debates and events before they even have a candidate to run for President? Is there a better way to get the message out to voters?
Primary Elections A primary is a meeting of voters of one political party in an election district for choosing an official candidate or for choosing delegates for a convention.
The Democratic party did not have primary elections because they like Barack Obama as President and since he is the incumbent, he will run for a second term. The Republican party began with many candidates and they spent about a year trying to figure out which candidate had the best chance of defeating the incumbent. Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were all guys who were primary candidates. After primary elections in all the states, the party chose Mitt Romney to be the partys candidate. In the General Election, voters will choose between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama.
Debates A debate is a face to face discussion between candidates on the issues. Being a good debater takes a lot of skill. Candidates try to anticipate questions but they must be able to think on their feet and answer the often difficult questions posed by voters. Many people make their decisions based on the answers candidates give during a debate. Is a debate a good way to get information from candidates? How does a debate differ from a commercial ad or website?
General Elections A General Election is a regularly scheduled local, state or national election where voters elect officeholders. General elections are held on Tuesdays. Registered voters must go to a specified location based on where they live and show their identification in order to cast a vote. Locally, we elect school board members, county commissioners, mayors, and sheriff using a popular vote. In the same general election, we might be electing state representatives or governor. In a general election we also vote for President of the United States and Senators. A general election is a function of an organized community that responds to the people that live in that community.
Popular Vote In a popular vote, the candidate with the most votes wins. It doesnt matter if the candidate has a majority of the voters or not. When the teacher asks students to vote for something in the classroom, the popular vote is an effective way to make a decision. Some people think that when they vote for President that the candidate with the most votes wins. That is not true! The Founding Fathers worked to ensure that more populated regions of the United States did not gain more influence just because they had more voters. Now that we have mass communication and ways to educate everyone in the country, some people believe this would be the best way to choose a President.
Electoral College The Electoral College is a group of electors chosen from each state to cast the votes of the state for President and Vice President. Each state gets a different number of votes based on the states population of. In each state, the winner takes ALL of the electoral votes. Maine and North Dakota are exceptions. They award their votes by percentages. States like New York, California and Texas have a lot of electoral votes while states like Alaska, North Dakota and Delaware have very few. Candidates naturally spend more time campaigning in states with a lot of votes on the line.
Electoral Votes by State: What can you determine about these states based on the information pictured? If you were a candidate, in which states would you invest a lot of time and money campaigning?
Is the Electoral College Effective in 2012? When the Founding Fathers created this way to elect a President, we did not have mass communication and ways to get the candidates messages out to the voters. Now we have television and Internet. Do we still need the Electoral College? In 2000, Democratic candidate Al Gore received more popular votes than Republican candidate George W. Bush but Bush had more electoral votes so he became President. Can you make an argument for abolishing the electoral college in 2012? How would that action change how the candidates invest time and money across the country?
What is the value of the Electoral College to the Republic? Many people argue that the Electoral College is old fashioned and no longer necessary. However, so that our most populated states dont get to decide on issues that impact us all, it remains the most effective way to give representation to the smallest states.