Our political system originally began with the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1776. Following that document were the Articles of Confederation, which were adopted in 1777. This was the first attempt to set up a government. Then came our Constitution in 1787, which was made into three plans. These were the Virginia Plan, New Jersey Plan, and then the Connecticut compromise. The four things our Constitution accomplished were indirect democracy, limited government, checks and majority rule, and an outline of what the different branches of government do.
Our nation’s two main parties are Republican and Democrat. The Democratic Party was founded in 1828, and our Republican party was founded in 1854. Since 1856, these have been the only major parties.
Our political system has succeeded in many ways. One way would be our checks and balances within the federal government and on a local level. Provisions have been made and improved over the years to regulate proper placement of funds and equal rights with citizens. The root of our political system begins with congress. The main responsibilities of congress are making laws, overseeing the FBI and CIA, casework, representing their districts, setting an agenda, and conflict resolution.
Our society has relied upon a bicameral system, where there have been a House of Representatives and a Senate for well over 100 years. Some of the responsibilities of the House of Representatives include reviewing bills and beginning the impeachment process. The Senate’s duties include giving advice and consenting on treaties, conducting impeachment trials, and appointing upper-level judicial officers.
Where I feel our political system has not done so well is with bureaucrats. Bureaucracy has some positive aspects like specialization, making sure rules
and regulations are carried out, and neutrality. There are two types of bureaucrats. The first one is a civil servant who is hired based on merit, and the second one is a political appointee who is selected based on whom they know. It is a common issue that bureaucrats are given too much power and that they abuse those powers, which causes flaws in our political system. It does, however, seem that bureaucrats are vital for the functioning of any political system; they are generally not well liked, though.
Several attempts to reform bureaucracy have been made, such as the Sunshine laws, which are laws that dictated that agencies have to be conducted in the public eye. Sunset laws are congressional reviews that are conducted over existing programs to determine laws and their effectiveness. Privatization is another reform where the government turns over more jobs to private sectors.
A good change for our society was when the Government Performacy and Results Act of 1997 was introduced. This sought to improve governmental efficiency by making agencies describe their goals and create mechanisms for evaluating their goals. Another is called the Whistle Blowers Act. This was an attempt to encourage federal bureaucrats to report any mishandling of funds, fraud, and waste going on in their own and other agencies. Out of that act, the office of special council was created.
Overall, our political system has proven to be stable and has succeeded. Of course, there are going to be positive and negative aspects, but, in the end, for what our nation has had to deal with in the past 228 years, we have done far better than any other country.