State and Local

  1. America is termed as a nation of immigrants. Most immigrants come to the United States to look for better economic opportunities, escape political oppression and discrimination. Based on the current immigration policies, a million people per year are admitted to the United States as lawful residents. The immigrants need to have the required job skills and have a relative in the U.S. Temporary visas are awarded to about 36 million people for business, study and pleasure purposes. The proposed immigration policies are focused on the right of undocumented children brought by undocumented parents in the United States (Dye, MacManus, & Zooberg 9). The politics underlying legal and illegal immigration is the unwillingness of the United States, as a sovereign state to secure its borders. The estimate of illegal migration varies widely between agencies. Furthermore, the Immigration Reforms proposed by Congress has failed as immigrants have been able to forge their documents.
  2. The key features that state constitutions share include limited government, popular sovereignty and civil right and liberties (Dye et al. 10). The limits that they place on state governments is by settling the highest number of political conflicts, making a majority of policy decisions and directing public programs.
  3. The difference between the unitary, federalism and confederation types of systems is the amount of power each directs to the central government. In the unitary system, the central government holds all power and makes all the decisions. Countries such as France used the unitary systems which usually have a local and regional government, but the central government supervises them. Federalism is a system in which the central government and the local and regional government share power. The Constitution gives certain powers to the central government and specific powers to the state government. America uses the federal system of governance in which states have the power to govern themselves. A confederation system of governance is where state governments have more power than the central government (Dye 15). Each state has powers over military, money printing, taxation, and diplomatic relations. The USSR was a confederation before it split to form the Commonwealth.
  4. Some states have developed historical traditions of Democratic and Republican party affiliations in addition to the cultural patterns of liberal and conservative politics. For instance, Minnesota has established a Democratic and liberal tradition while Indiana has a Republican and conservative tradition (Dye et al. 19). The political culture across different states can be attributed to the value and ways of life of early settlers and immigrant groups. Race and ethnic origins, social structures, religious affiliations a public policy difference determined how states have drawn political districts to increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities elected to public office.
  5. Laws that limit campaign funding are there to reduce spending and corruption. The laws have not been effective in preventing these two issues since there are loopholes that allow for donors to contribute to campaigns of individuals, therefore, influencing the decision they make while in office (Dye et al. 25). Moreover, campaign funding has become a necessity; therefore limiting spending is increasingly becoming a hard task.
  6. The high incumbency reelection rates are attributed to the following factors. First, incumbent leaders get to campaign all year round as compared to other candidates who only campaign at election time. As a result, they can stay relevant to the voters. Second, their current positions help build stronger relationships with the community; for instance, funding social and economic projects voters will factor this into their decision while voting (Dye et al. 30). Third, incumbent leaders have the best opportunity to raise money; this is afforded to them through links they establish in office. Additionally, redistricting gives incumbents an added advantage over their opponents because it gives them an opportunity to pick out their constituencies. Therefore they can secure their dominance by creating districts that are favorable to them.
  7. The role of the governors in the legislative process is that the governors have the final say on the vote on the issues debated on the Senate (Dye et al. 33). They have also had the right to debate on the Senate and sit on committees. Likewise, the governors have final say on issues because they have the opportunity to cast the final vote in the case there is a tie in the Senate
  8. Privatization and entrepreneurship will increase the effectiveness in the delivery of government services like improved service delivery, reduced cost of operations and citizen satisfaction. Notably, privatization has helped reinvent the government because the government has provided incentives for private sector companies to act in the best interest of the government (Dye et al. 23).
  9. The death penalty started in America out of the influence of the British settlers. At that time, the penal code was modeled out of the British constitution. During the American Revolution, the death penalty was used for crimes such as treason and murder. Later on, when the American constitution was being published the death penalty was included in the constitution as a capital offense punishment. In 1793 the Constitution created provisions for varying murder; therefore softening the death penalty. This saw that in later years the death penalty was used as a punishment for some crimes including espionage and treason (Dye et al. 21). The death penalty has been abolished in many states. Accordingly, 30 states have the death penalty in their penal code while 20 states have abolished the death penalty. Increasingly other states are having discussions on repealing the death penalty.