The Paradox of American Government

The unresponsiveness of the government institutions to the public demands highly affects on the citizen participation and voter participation. The Americans have different ways of expressing their popular over the government institutions and when these institutions fail to respond to such demands there are many reactions from the citizens. The most distressing thing is that these institutions even dismiss the reactions of the citizens according to Ethridge and Handelman (1997).

Citizen participation involves three aspects participating in public hearings, comment procedures and reviews thus failure of the government to respond to public demands affects these three aspects. For instance, the citizens fail to attain legitimate involvement in planning and other decisions. This in turn affects the welfare of the community which cannot be achieved without mutual agreement between the public and the government.

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In such situations, the public also feels unsatisfied and like they are not being paid attention to, as stated by Peltzman (1998). This results in public chaos such as demonstrations and strikes which are believed to be the main way to make the government address their needs. Similarly citizen participation in government duties such as public hearing reduces since the citizens do not feel comfortable with the government’s activities.

Citizen participation is very important in the review process of any government procedures, therefore failure of the federal system to address their demands results to them paying little attention to the reviews and this might slow down development projects. Moreover, such unresponsiveness antagonizes the members of the public as they ditch them against each other. This is because they forced to speak of their problems in unfriendly terms to terms to get their problems known.

This in return makes the decision makers unable to sort out what the citizens want hence unable to make a choice of using public input as stated by Rothstein and Steinmo (2002). Such acts also discourage the busy and thoughtful citizens from wasting their moments doing what appears to be unnecessary to the federalist systems. The unresponsiveness also raises the ambivalence of citizens and other public officers on the hearing from the community at all.

Voter participation is an important duty for every citizen as it allows them to participate in political decisions. However, the federal government’s failure to respond adequately to their demands reduces their interest in the government hence the following voter participation is likely to be low.

When the federal government does not pay attention to the public needs and the elected delegates do not act according to their promise, the voters feel betrayed and the result of this definitely is a less voter turnout or change of interest. As a result it is very important for the federal government to ensure that the interest of the people is valued as suggested by Milakovich and Gordon (2012).

The public interest is very crucial in the planning of development projects thus when the public feels that their interest is looked down upon, they have the right to demand the rights including demanding for re-election especially if their concern has not been addressed.

The American public is and has remained very influential in political matters and especially those affecting the citizens directly and this usually determines how voter participation turns out to be, according to Hill (2006). As a result, if the government fails to listen to their demands, the public is bound to have the same influence on voter participation and this will be most likely in a negative way.

References:

Ethridge, M. E. & Handelman, H. (1997). Politics in a Changing World. Auckland: Cengage.

Hill, D. L. (2006). American voter turnout: an institutional perspective. Michigan: Westview Press.

Milakovich, M. E. & Gordon, G. J. (2012). Public Administration in America. Auckland: Cengage Learning.

Peltzman, S. (1998). Political Participation and Government Regulation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rothstein, B. & Steinmo, S. (2002). Restructuring the Welfare State: Political Institutions and Policy Change. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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