Is the cure for the ills of democracy more democracy? Is it possible to have too much democracy in a well-functioning government? What should an electoral democracy ideally look like? In this critical examination of the state of electoral democracy in the United States, Matthew Streb provides an analysis of the major debates that rage among scholars and reformers on subjects as diverse as the number of elections we hold, the use of nonpartisan elections, and the presidential primary process. Ultimately, Streb makes an argument for a less burdensome democracy, a democracy in which citizens can participate more easily. Written in a clear and engaging style, this book is designed to get students to think critically about what it means to be democratic and how democratic the United States really is.
Table of Contents
1. Creating a Model Electoral Democracy Part 1: Rethinking the Costs of Voting 2. Factors that Influence Voter Turnout 3. The Offices We Elect 4. Direct Democracy Part 2: Rethinking the Mechanics of Voting 5. Ballot Laws 6. Voting Machines Part 3: Rethinking National Elections 7. The Redistricting Process 8. Presidential Primaries 9.The Electoral College 10. Campaign Finance 11. Moving Toward a Model Electoral Democracy
Matthew J. Streb is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. His books include: The New Electoral Politics of Race (University of Alabama); Academic Freedom at the Dawn of a New Century (Stanford University); Running for Judge (NYU); Law and Election Politics: The Rules of the Game (Lynne Rienner); and Polls and Politics: The Dilemmas of Democracy (SUNY).