Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Curious Reality of Presidential Elections

In presidential systems, there’s this widely held, though ultimately incorrect belief that the presidential contest is more important than the legislative contests.

 Now it is true that the President has a higher profile than most local or national legislators and has the ultimate say over most matters of national policy as Congressional vetoes are rare. But it is the leaders of Congress who ultimately introduce legislation  Though the federal level is important, the local level is basically forgotten in the voting calculus.

Many key local and statewide contests take place during non-presidential years. If we use the “greatest impact on everyday life” as a variable than its’ local elections that matter most because these elect our mayors, alderman, and county board members who have the power to enact ordinances or raise taxes that effect our everyday lives.

 Presidential and Congressional decisions, though important, could take years to filter down to the local level, if they ever do. Given this context, why are presidential elections considered so important?

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