Friday, November 11, 2005

How democratic is the Constitution?

One of the most well respected Political Scientist's of the United States looks at the question; how democratic is the United States Constitution? Read excerpts from Robert Dahl's critique of the US Constitution and comment.

64 comments:

Mai Vang, Hr. 2-2, 11-11-05 said...

*Undemocratic Elemements in the Framers' Constitution*
-They contained at least seven important shortcomings such as slavery, suffrage, election of the president, choosing senators, equal representation in the Senate, judicial power, and congressional power.
*The Bill of Rights*
-The first ten amendments to the Constitution cannot be attributed to the democratic revolution that followed the convention.
****My comment****
I think that Robert A. Dahl did a pretty good job at giving out all these true informations about the Bill of Rights.

Brittney Trotter, Hr. 9 said...

I completely agree with Dahl and think he did a good job pointing out the shortcomings that are fairly obvious in the Constitution. He pointed out things like slavery and how even though the Constitution didn't forbade it, it didn't give them permission to. Also, it didn't guarentee suffrage even though it was they key for everyone to be equal. People couldn't directly choose the president or senators which was wrong because the people may not have wanted them to represent them. Also, the judicial branch had too much power and was abusing it and the Constitution allowed it. The Constitition also prevented things like adopting policies that were necessary to have a clean democratic government. I also think that Dahl presented a ggod point about the Bill of Rights. Why were freedom of speech and othe rights protecting the people added as amendments? Shouldn't they have been the first things the founders of the Constitution want? And you have to look at the fact that not one other country adopted our Constitution, could you blame them?

Soulstealer said...

I personally think that the article is basically a summary of what is in the constitution. I mean that the article tells me that when the article was made, the framers of the constitution left out some important things that were issues of the day. For instance, the framers left out slavery, suffrage, the election of an executive power, or senators. But I also believe that the writer of this article, Robert A. Dahl, explains that he does not think that the constitution is democratic, since this “new country-America” claimed that this would be a democratic nation. America at this time wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal.” He is saying that when they made the constitution, the framers never once bring about the issue of equality. I, personally, don’t think that it is true. The Bill of Rights guarantees our basic freedoms. Even if at that time the framers didn’t recognize many equality issues at the time, they came about later in history, when blacks were set free, when women were allowed to vote, when the racial barrier came down, (well, for the most part), and even when the masses could vote in people they want.

Kristina Byas hr 2 said...

The short comings were a good point to make in the article. Slavery,which basically wasn't forbidden is one of those!!

Noogsi Xiong Hour 9 said...

Dahl was basically summarizing the amendments and why it was created, which is great and all, but it was boring. Well first of all, Framers constructed the constitution that fell short of requirements that would find it necessary and desirable for later generations. And quite frankly, it just went from there as more democratic perspective came into account in making the constitution. For instance, in the article, it states that slavery wasn't permitted or that the congress was empowered to do so and this led to the Fugitive Slave Laws, where any runaway slaves can be returned to their rightful owners (boo). The sufferage of women, african americans, and native americans, were denided, it took a century and a half until women could vote (boo). Basically the problems of choosing senators, presidents, and legislative bodies; In which the Framers fail to limit the powers of the judiciary to rule over states and make laws, but in the course it was ran down to a vote 6 to 3 states (yay). The Bill of Rights gave us many of our rights today, and it completely abolished slavery and favored a more democratic system. Isn't just ironic that we say our democracy is setted to be a "good" model for the rest of the world, when counties of the democratic insitutions reject our consitutional system? Shouldn't that send us a message that America isn't really what it's fed up to be if comparable democratic societies in countries reject democratic ideologies? The whole Gerrymandering thing I liked and didn't like, because the majority does have its say if most agrees with the representatives, but if they're just doing it for themselves then, well that's not representing to a point; in my opinion. Although there are manys ways to voting, we just stick to one, because the everything costs money for compaigning.

evan o. said...

Dahl is basically stating that the constitution was not very democratic when it was first written. This is true compared to today's standards, but back then it was extremely democratic. Things like free speech weren't seen too often back then. I do admit that if today that same constitution were put into place, it would be seen as a hinderance on one's rights, but we have since grown to know these rights and the rights that have been added over the years. In the time of the constitution's writing, nobody had experienced freedoms like we have now, so it was very democratic for its time.

Dominique Spencer Hr. 2 said...

The Constitution didn't say anything about Slavery, it didn't give women or blacks the right to vote. It didn't give the people the right to vote for the president or even senators. It gave the Judical branch to much power and the Legislative branch not enough power. The founding fathers was to busy trying to bring the country together that they made a sloppy Constitution. The American government is to lazy to rewrite the most imporant document in American history and now many other countries are more democratic then we are.

Kevin Patterson hr 2-2 said...

Dahl is very bold for saying that the constitution was not very democratic when it was written. There were several important shortcomings such as: congressional power, judicial power, equal repersentation in the senate, electing the president, choosing senators, sufferage, and most important to me slaverly. No one should be forced from their homeland and have cruel treatment put on them. I think the constitution should have said something about this earlier. I applaud Mr. Dahl for standing up and saying something about our crappy laws that we call " the Constitution".

maiong moua said...

Dahl is criticizing the Constitution on its shortcomings. The Constitution has many aspects that we, nowadays, find are not necessary. As examples, he brought up slavery. Slavery, according the Constitution, was not forbidden. Universal suffrage was not mentioned. Voting, according the Constitution, excluded women, African Americans, and other non-whites. Although voting for the president was suppose to be based on popular vote, the Electoral College kept the people in check. The power of the judicial branch was not limited, for they had the power of judicial review. Dahl goes on to criticize the Bill of Rights and other amendments. He states that he believes many other countries have rejected our American constitutional system. I believe this may be true too because the amendments can be interpreted in so many different ways and this may very well lead to disagreements. He states that the use of districts to choose representatives encourages gerrymandering, which I believe is true. This will lead to many people dividing the districts to their favor. Dahl is basically trying to say that the so-called “Democratic Constitution” is not so very democratic. He is saying that the Framers that constructed the Constitution had no foresight to see that later generations will not see the Constitution as that democratic. I agree with Dahl that the written laws to protect human rights have indeed limited that of some and that as times changed, the word democracy changed to include more than just white men with property.

Neisa H. said...

In this article Robert Dahl makes some good points. He argues on how "democratic" is the constitution?? He makes points on: slavery, suffrage, presidential elections, senators,representation in the senate, judicial power, and congressional power. With his views on the constitution, he talks about slavery. Now it is considered unconstitutional, but back then the constitution didn't forbide it or even think it was wrong. Dahl presents points to make us think if the writer of the consitution knew what they were doing. This "sacred" peice of history has so many flaws, but yet it is used in our time and day. This use of the constitution today should be unconsitutional. Since the constitution didn't say anything about slavery, it is up to the states to decide on this. So now couldn't the states now a day pick if they wanted slavery??? The constitution also didn't guarantee the right to vote to all. Women and blacks were left out of the loop. My arguement is how can we go on something that was written hundreds of years ago when there was only 13 states and a small population. Back then their views on many things were different. What i don't understand is how can we base what is constitutional now on a constitution that was written in completely different times.
Dahl also commented on the bill of rights. He thinks that the bill of rights isn't being used for what it is supposed to be used for. The bill of rights (part of the constitution) is to be used to give power to the people, but our government uses it to benefit what they want. I think this article is really good. Dahl isn't afraid to tell his views on the constitution and i agree with many things he say in this article. Dahl opens the eyes of readers into seeing how undemocratic the constitution really is. I think that this document shouldn't be our bases for things now a days since now is so much different from then.

Andrew McChain said...

Dahl brings out the truth about how democratic the Constitution really is. I think the most important thing that the Constitution left out was the right to suffrage. If every citizen does not have the write to vote, there is no way that we can call the US a democracy. In the time that the Constitution was written, they would say that it is a democracy if just male property owners could vote and have rights. I think that just because everyone can vote today, it is still not a democracy because of the representation, such as the electoral college. The times have changed and equality and the right to vote have held true for all people.

trou vang said...

In this article, Dahl is stating the missing elements in the Constitution that we today would find necessary. Slavery wasn't included in the Constitution. It was neither forbaden nor empowered Congress to do so. Failing to give the right to suffrage when it was what lead the equality, the decision was left up to the states. The president was elected by the people as the well as the government. Senators were chosen by not the people but the state legislatures for a six-years term. They serve as a check on the Representatives, who were voted by popular elections. In the bill of rights, the laws weren't written after the democratic revolution that followed the Convention but was written by delegates who favored a democratic system as opposed to their colleages. Dahl also says that the Constitution isn't as democratic as it claims to be. If we are that, then why haven't other governements adapted our constitutional system? He goes on to state that the Framers who wrote the Constitution couldn't prognosticate would the future generation's thinking would be the same as theirs. I agree with him. They didn't realize that times would change and so would thinking. The Constitution may have fitted their times but that may not be the case in the future. The Framers designed the Constitution to fit their needs and not to fit the basic needs of EVERYBODY which would last until the end of time.

T Vaughn hr 2-2 said...

Robert Dahl had mentioned some interesting facts in his paper about the seven shortcomings.
Slavery, Suffrage, election of the president, choosing senators,equal
representaion, judicial power and congressional power were the ones he commented upon. Dahl basically gave us an insight on what he thought about each topic. As for slavery he is saying that the constitution really didn't make it
clear for the Congress to have slavery or deny it. Dahl says the Constitution left the qualifications of suffrage up to the states and they didn't handle it themselves. With these comments I believe that Dahl say The
Constitution wasn't fair and it wasn't as Democratic as it suppose to have been. With voting, many people weren't able to vote like
women and African Americans. Now as of today the Constitution adjusts to the way of life. By the ten admendments we are all
guaranteed our rights and our freedom of speech. I thought this paper provided some good information but it was boring.

choua chang said...

I think the article was good. The main points that Dahl made were on slavery, suffrage, election of the president, choosing the senators, judicial power, and congression power. He was talking about how the constitution failed to guarantee certain rights and of the unbalanced power. he thouhgt that the constitution was not democratic. he also made comment on the amendments and on how it violated human's rights.

Cheedeng Xiong hr. 2 said...

Dahl made many good points which I like. The point that I liked the most was the paragraphs on the amendments. The paragraphs states some amendments that were put into action for the majority's need like women suffrage and slavery at that moment in time. Also, the other points Dahl pointed out were the Senate, other democratic nations, and the election of the president.

peng yang said...

This article is basically Dahl's opinion on the Constitution when it was first written. It was pretty much about the errors in the Constitution and how it later affected the government, like the importation of slaves, the people's rights, and how elections were organized and run. It was really hard for me to understand this article. I mean, who are the framers?

ryan mayer hr. 2-2 said...

i think i have to agrre with dahl here. he did a good job with putting forth the obvious in the constitution. he brought out the facts that it said stuff about slavery but it never said that it was forbidden until how many years later. i thought that it was wrong that the people couldn't choose there president or senetor because what if the president that was chosen , the people did nt want him to represent them. Dahl stated a good point about the Bill of Rights also.

Cynthia Arenal Hr. 2-2 said...

I think the Article was very informing. It was just letting us, "the reader", know some of the short comings of the Constitution. Some of which many people may have looked over. In my instance I never really thought about it the way Robert Dahl viewed the issues in the Constitution. He did a good job addressing his concern without being to much and boring me with a lot of critisism.

Chana E. said...

Psst... Peng! They're Hamilton and Jefferson and all those other guys who wrote the constitution.

*clears throat* This essay's thesis is that the Constitution isn't as democratic as we'd all thought. The problems with it are that it doesn't take a stance against slavery, it doesn't guarantee suffrage to anyone, it mostly removes the people from the electoral process, it says that the Senate would be elected by the House of Representatives (instead of the people), it gives people in low-population states (like slaveholders) extra representation, it doesn't prevent the courts from dictating policy, and it doesn't give Congress enough power to regulate the economy. According to the article, some of these problems were fixed with either constitutional amendments or Supreme Court decisions much later. The article also talks about Gerrymandering and how it makes most elections noncompetitive, and then it discusses the alternatives to a two-party system, like run-off voting (where voters rank candidates on a ballot) or proportional representation.

I agree with Dahl on most of what he said; the Constitution was as progressive as it could have been back then, but if you compare it to now, it's pretty backward. I think the leftists would have had trouble getting it ratified if they tried allowing it to be any more liberal, though. I mean, this was the first time anybody had tried having a fully democratic government, as we know, and it's pretty surprising that they ensured as many rights as they did.

Some of the things Dahl mentioned that made the Constitution "undemocratic" were actually put in place to make it more democratic. He complained that Congress didn't originally have the power to regulate the economy, charge high taxes, spend too much money on public projects, etc.--but it sounds to me like the Democrats and Republicans were the ones who didn't want them to have that power, because they basically didn't want Congress to have much power in general. Also, they were probably scared that if Congress did have lots of power to tax citizens and then use that money for the government, they would tax the poor too heavily (like the whiskey tax and many taxes now) and then spend the money to help the rich (also like they're doing now, in some measure). This has happened many times, so obviously the Democrat-Republicans' fears were justified. Besides, the public services that Dahl mentioned aren't actually democratic institutions, but socialist ones--social security, minimum wage, etc., all came about because of socialist movements and that's what they're generally accepted to be. I just thought someone should point that out, if no one did yet.

In all, it was an informative article, even though we've discussed most of its points in class already.

Dana W. Hour 2-2 said...

Dahl uses this article to complain about the "holes" that were left when the Constitution was written. He says that the document falls short of the requirements that the later generations would need, but the writers of the constitution wrote the constitution with the current state of union in mind. They may have been thinking into the future, but their first goal was to build the nation. Dahl was right when he said things were missing from the Constitution, but he forgets that during this time women and african americans were not treated as equals.

Xia Vang said...

Robert Dahl’s article points out seven interesting shortcomings in the Constitution that its writers made. Dahl states that the writers of the Constitution (and the Constitution itself) are not as democratic as we think they are. The writers wrote the Constitution, leaving out important issues such as women suffrage and slavery, while limiting equal representation in the Senate and the people’s power in electing a president. I fully understand Dahl’s opinions and his point of view, but I think that Dahl doesn’t take into consideration that the Constitution was written in the 1800s, more than 200 years ago. No matter how much we believe that slavery is wrong today, during the time the Constitution was created, slavery was accepted. If the framers of the Constitution would’ve written the Constitution to be like how it is today, imagine how the people during that time period would’ve reacted. How the framers wrote the Constitution had to do a lot with how the society was back then. Yes, other democratic countries don’t follow the United State’s Constitution, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Constitution isn’t “good” that’s why other countries don’t follow it. It could be that in other countries, the people just have different values and ideas of what “democracy” is. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those other countries have “rejected” America’s constitutional system either. My point is that when the framers of the Constitution created the Constitution, they created it according to their idea of what “democracy” was back then. As time went on, people’s idea of “democracy” changed, and that’s how the Constitution has been changed to what it is today. Yes, the Constitution did fall short of the requirements that our society today accept as being “democratic,” but that’s why our country is a democracy. Our opinions have been heard: women have gained somewhat of equality with men; slavery has been abolished and is now illegal; every citizen over the age of eighteen can vote. When the Constitution was first written, it is impossible that the framers could have constructed it to meet our idea of how a democratic republic should be like. It is up to us, the people, whether in history, today, or in the future, to make the Constitution democratic.

Fue Vang said...

In this article, Dahl argued that the constituion is not as democratic as it seem. There were seven major aspects that the constituion fell short upon as later view by more democratic perpesctives. Slavery neither forbade or empowered Congress to do so. The constituion failed to guarantee suffrage for women, indians, and african americans. The electoral college kept the people in check. The state legislature not the people would elect the senate. Each state has equal representation.It fail to limit the power of the judiciary. COngress power was limited to regulate the economy. The adoption of later amendments remodel the country. I agree with some of Dahl's arguments. When the constition was written, the setting then compare to now is very different. The constitution is not fully democratic to me.

Greg W. Hr. 2-2 said...

pfft...

slavery- how were the framers supposed to unite a country with a constitution and abolish slavery at once? impossible...

suffrage- That was the culture at the time even though it isn't necessarily right. Women have rights now and that's what matters. Regarding other ethnicities, there would've been no way for the gov't to treat them equally without a backlash.

Presidential election- I don't understand what he's sayin there...
If he's saying that the framers wanted the elite voting for the president and not the people, so what? That isn't what ended up or what we have today.

Choosing senators- I agree that direct election for senators is best. We have that now. The system works...

Equal representation in the senate- Two senators for each state and representatives based on population in another house seems like a perfect compromise to me.

Judicial power- I agree again. Judicial activism is a huge problem today.

Congressional power- yes, the government should have all control possible over the economy because that's always proven to be such a great thing. So what if modern democracies have adopted stuff like that? last time I checked, we were the world's super power and still are. Not them.

Hizzah for the bill of rights.

Dahl is just being awfully persnickety... and really to no point...

LizbethGonzalez9-9 said...

I didnt really understand this article.I think Dhal clarified everything that the Constitution has done. It was very clear on his opinions but, I still didnt understand some of the words. I think he could of summed up everything by saying that the Constitution favors the rich and wealthy people. The rest of us wait for someone to hopefully change the laws.

candace nalls said...

Robert Dahl made a very valid point about both the founders of the Constitution and the Constitution itself. The paragraph about slavery (which is very important to me) caught my eye. I think that the founders of the Constitution really didn't want to abolish slavery so they made the laws that attempted to abolish slavery not go into effect until after some time when they would mos likely be out of office. Suffrage was also a very important issue and the founders probably, again, didn't want certain people to have the right to vote (mainly slaves and women) so they left the suffrage laws up to the states. Elections and appointments of some major political figures is kind of shaky because it doesn't really follow a democratic way of voting. As we saw in the 2000 Presidential election, Al Gore had the popular vote, but still lost the election. All in all, I think the founders of the Constitution amended it to their own liking and I mean who wouldn't? If I was making a constitution, I would tend to be bias toward a certain group of people I like and leave others out. It's just the way people are and I guess we just have to live with it.

Zachary Schwabe hr.3 said...

After learning about Jefferson vs Hamilton we can understnad why the constitution was not very democratic simply because they did not trust the people. I agree with Evan O. back then the constitution was very democratic for its time and it has "evolved" over the years because we better understand these rights.

Emily B. said...

This article was basically his opinion on the Constitution. I don't agree with him on most points mostly because he doesn't take into account the culture of the civilization that made this document. He condemns the Constitution becuase of slavery, but that was part of the culture. I'm sure if one of the founding fathers looked at our culture, he'd think that we were fat pigs. However, they had to grow their own food; they couldn't go out and buy it. How can we judge their culture with our moral and societal standards?

Elisa Estrada said...

Dahl talks about the Constitution, and that has aspects that are not suitable now a days because the Constitution slavery was accepted even when it says all men are equal, meaning white men with property. Also, it didn’t talk about women’s rights since they were considered men’s property. Dahl also criticize the amendment, which seem to be interpreted in any way that suitable the court. The Bill of Rights also seems to have flaws like Dahl says. Another point that Dahl shows is that many people believe the United States Constitution was great and could be a good role model for other countries Dahl says that in reality many countries reject or don’t agree with the American Constitution or the way it is written. The Constitution is not specific and that is why it has its flaws because it can be manipulated in any way some one with power wants. Dahl thinks that the Constitution is not a “ Democratic Constitution” because it should be for the people but it seems that the government has more power. Democracy in the times when the Constitution was written was only for the white men with property, now things have change and now it is not limited. I think that the Constitution should be written to be suitable so it can be current to our time but it should be rewritten with the same principles.

Angela Lang hr 2 said...

I agree with Evan. The constitution was democratic for it's time and now it isn't.I agree with Robert Dahl. I also thought that it was ironic that everyone sees our constitution as so democratic but yet no other country adopted it.

Back of class hr.9/RJI said...

In the article Dahl refers to the constitution as non-democratic. But he does imply that it was a denocratic republic when it was created. I agree with Dalh that things are left out. Things like slavery not being a directly in the constitution and the Native Americans, as well as women, being left out too. When he looks at no other country adopting the contitution for their own as a thing that makes the constitution bad, i don't agree. Personally I think the constitution is a good general docuemented law and also, i wouldn't expect another country to form a constitution off of another country any way. I don't think that these tings was purposely left out because if you look at the time when it was made certain things needed to be left out because they were not logical. I don't think these people were innocent in cases, they were just looking out for themselves. If you look at it like that the constitution should be changed. Five years later it should be changed as well. It should be changed until every little thing is in it. It should be changed so that we can't leave the house because that is the only way a person feels safe.

Jeff S. said...

It seems that Dahl's point is pretty well taken by most of the people. The Bill of Rights is well described and shows a sense of past Democracy. But I don't really think that the Constitution can be taken seriously today as being Democratic. Most of the stuff was just written to satisfy the people and weren't even followed well. So even though the Constitution was written as a Democratic document, I don't think it ever was and ever will represent what it is supposed to. People will not have all the rights that were promised to them and the government will always have the final say in every matter.

Fong Xiong said...

This article by Diahl, to me, is writen in his opinion because the Constitution is probably seen differently when it was written. yeah, Diahl did make and express some good points especially on how the constitution didn't allow women and other race to vote. This article is okay, but i think that Diahl is writing or showing all the weakness and downfall of the rights from the constitutuion.

adam meno, hr. 9 said...

i agree with dahl and the even though something might not be in the condstitution, it doesn't mean that you are allowed to do it or that it is morally right - i.e slavery. i also think that we should be able to directly elect a president and senate becasue that is what the people want.

P Cain said...

Robert A. Dahl basically talked about how the constitution was not democratic. He talked about how the costitution didn't forbid slavery,and I do believe that this was unconstitutional. Slaves shouldn't have been forced back to their owners. I also agree with Dahl when he says that the constitution excluded women, and African Americans when it came to voting. I feel that everyone should've been able to vote and I'm glad it changed.

Aziza Courtney said...

This article speaks very well about the shortcomings of demoratic feelings and basis in the Constitution. He gavre good examples on how the foundation on which this country was based was not strictly followed by the founding fathers and the constitution writers. They had tried so hard to get all those things from the British, but wouldn't honor the lower class of the population with those priviledges.

Shannon Johnson hr.9 a.k.a Dominquez Bojangles..says said...

I feel that the signies and draftors of the constitution needed to put their ideas in better depth. the laws that were to be acted out i n the constitution should have been practiced well out by the govenment and the states. i believe that not enough people stood up against the governmet and its back slidding when it came down to following up with equal rights,proper representations and nationalizing "America" as a unified fair country for all. the inferiors people of color, women and immigrants were treated unjust infront of the eyes of the constitution with no shame also by the purchasing of the Louisiana own by Nepolen was strickly unconstitutional, and for that i agree with Dahl

Alexandria Jack said...

To me it sounds like Dahl believes that the Constitution was made to benefit the people who wrote it. It had many things that in a way slipped through the cracks. Slavery, elections, suffrage, equal representation and judicial power just to name a few. I personally feel that there should be no fine print. If they took out that much time to write it they should have made sure they did not leave anything out.

Elizabeth m. hr3 said...

I think that the laws they made to get rid of slavery we're fake. I mean they were real but I believe that if they really wanted to get rid of it they would have. I think that they actually inforced the laws after salves weren't neede as much. I also think that the Bill of Rights wasn't real. It was simply there because that's what the people wanted. I that teh Costitution would have been a bunch of bull today, because like I said before it was just written to satisfy the people. This was really the only things that caught my eye.

kiara hinton hr8 said...

The points he made appear valid from the evidence he presented. I always thought that the constitution shouldn't be always strictly interperated or followed because of the difference in times and society. Althougd alot of the constitution seems to be undemocratic or not fair in some aspects-you do have to realize the period of time it was written. That's why it shouldn't be so strictly followed. The election process isn't completely right to me. I would have to do research and do my homework before I could say how we should do the process but I will say I believe there's better ways. The whole issue of equal representation on senate is confusing because I see the point but at the same time it's seems like it would balance out with the house. Maybe if I was more interested about politics and had more knowledge I could analyze and state my opinion clearer and be more sure. I do agree that the judicial branch holds alot of power and it seems like no one pays attention to the fact no one can check them. Its seems like everyone is worried just about executive and legislative branch. But I'm not smart in these topics. I do agree about all the shortcomings. I do think that many things are missing and limited in the constitution. I do think that something else should replace the current election policies. And I also think that America is not really a model for our governement but for other aspects.

Alex hour 3-4 said...

Dahl goes on telling the basic Amendmets of the constitution and its basic reason of creation like slavery, women's rights, election of president, and judicial power. however when it was first written Dahl remarks on how the writers didn't practice what they promised in the document. " all me are created equal" didn't happen for a long time. African Americans were treated like property just like white women but the African Americans were considered lower then white women. at first there was no law in the Constitution that said anything about choosing the president and V.P it was who ever had the most votes and the person with the 2nd amount of votes became the V.P and now u have the electoral college and the canidate can choose his V.P.
In my opinion Dahl did a good job of explaining but since we went over it in class it was easier for me to understand

Erica McKinney said...

I believe that all in all the constitution was established to help better the lives of all americans. I believe that when the constitution was written it may have seemed very democratic. But in are society today you find that many people just have different view points on what democracy should or shouldn't be. I personal feel that it is democratic.

Albojay Deacon hr3-4 said...

After reading the article written by Robert A Dohl, I kind of got the over all feeling that although things may seem stable now, their were and still are big gaps of information missing from the constitution and some pieces of it neeeding to be revised, taken out, or completely change dto fit this day in age. Although we seemed to have found ways around things that seemed obvisouly wrong with the constitution I stilll think that there are still errors in the constitution and if we aren't going to fix them, whicjh I think Mr. Dohl was suggesting by writing this article, we need to make another more updated document that addresses all the "Un written Laws" of are government, which we find ourselves living by and using to make our life time decission.(I don't know about other people, but I don't see how we could allow are lives to be ruled by an old unchanged document that was written over 100 years old by people who had no idea how things were going to be in the 21st century and beyond. TO me this leaves space for to much faulty ruling and accusations in our government)

UrSuLa said...

Before I start my blog I would like to say:
Greg-"yes the government should have all possible control over the economy.." kinda sounds like a communistic system..eh? :)
Before I start my blogg I want to comment to greg...
"yes the government should have all possible control over the economy"
this kinda sounds like a communistic government to me?...eh?

*slavery- It is insanely discusting that it sook us hundred+ years to get rid of slavery, the rape of millions of people's culture, society, and dignity. It makes me ashamed to be an American to know that it took my county that loong to toss slavery ( and adapt the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments between 1865 and 1870.)and we are all still attached to racism and segregration. What about human rights? Aren't we as fellow humans responsible for eachother?
•suffrage- Also bogus how can there be any sort a democracy if 75 plus precent of the poplulation can't vote because of race and sex. this could have been achieved if the white men at the top gived any sort of emmotion or action towards the oppressed classes.
•elections- they should be entirely democratic!!!!! duh if the people as a whole have to choose the president they will worry abouit eachother, as a group. When electorial college votes are cast people don't connect votes with eachother with the outcome.
•judicial power- judges should have equal power to the branches of the government and be able to be checked by the people.
•Final comment-agree with dahl...why are we the model of democracy when we have such bad poverty and such... bogus...

Anyways if any one reads this they should come to the rally on the 17th after school talk to me for details....
Peace!
P.S. i hope that this doesn't have any dumb mistakes again cuz i am not rechecking it!!!

Charlotte B. Hr 2 said...

I think Dahl is right for what he said. He was talking about how the constitution failed to guarantee certain rights. He also thought that the constitution was not democratic.

Shanise R. hour 2 said...

To me Dahl is saying that the Constitution was not really democratic. I think he was giving a summary of all the rights given to man and what he thought about it. He talks about how the Constitution does not say anything about slavery being allowed or not being allowed. He also talks about things such as suffrage, voting rights, congress and judicial powers. I think Robert Dahl did a very excellent job of expressing how he felt in a healthy and safe way.

m.Kirkwood said...

This is basically stating that the constitution wasn't equal for all and non-democractic. Dahl list the shortcomings of the constitution and it equality issues. He also brought up how the bill of rights is used by the government to go all the law and to use for the own gain.

m Kirkwood said...

sorry! typing error !
I meant the government uses the Bill of rights to go around the law and their own gain!

Quentin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Quentin said...

Dahl argues that the Constitution, the so-called basis of all democracy, is in fact not democratic itself. The most axiomatic proof of this would be Constitutional policies regarding treatment of slaves. The majority of Dahl's arguments rely on faults in the Constitution and of the United States government alltogether (gerrymandering, Ammendments, winner take all elections, Judicial power.) Despite the fact that the information presented is in fact valid to my knowledge it seems that Dahl is looking at the Constitutional elements that have proven to be non-democratic. It cannot be expected that such an important piece of legislation would be perfect. The fact that the United States government attempted to create democracy, something extremely foreign and abstract at the time, is extraordinary. In writing this article it seems that Dahl saught to criticize; he did not truly offer much of what should be done to fix problems within the Constitution. What he did offer seemed to be just as experimental as all policies upheld by the Constitution. Surely all of the values presented in the Constitution were presented in order to better the well-being of all people in the United States. Attempting to do good does not always turn out well in the long run. Who's to say that Dahl's ideas wouldn't eventually become non-democratic through execution by the American people?

mr.chestnut said...

This article broke down alot of important topics: Slavery, suffrage, election of the president, choosing senators, equal representation in the Senate, judicial power, and congressional power. This article explains how the doesn't meet the requirements that are necessary today in government and in a demoratic republic.
In my opinion, i do feel that the constitution doesn't address alot of the problems that we have today. It's outdated, times have changed and things have advanced so i believe that the constitution should be changed or advanced to fit the times.

Kraig Gibson of hr. 2-2 said...

Summary:
1.The Bill of Rights didn't ban slavery. A democratic system, by Dahl's, believe should never own slaves.
2.The Bill of Rights didn't grant rights to woman, also bad in Dahl's mind.
3.The Bill of Rights doesn't grant a direct democracy so it isn't fair.
4.The Senate was decided by State Legislatures and not popular vote
5.The Senate doesn't represent population so the population is unfairly represented.
6.I believe he meant that the Judicial system isn't checked by other branches or by the people enough.
7.Congress is too restricting on the economy? I'm not entirely certain.

My Opinion:
1.Slavery at the time of the amendments creation was not the most important thing to deal with. The United States at the time was hardly united. The states needed to compromise just to stay together. It was also an essential thing at the time for a growing economy. Ultimately, the slaves were freed.
2. This is something that truly is uncalled for, but you must take into consideration that times were different then. Stop thinking like you're in the 21st century and start thinking as though you were in the 18th and 19th.
3. I'm kind of indifferent about this issue. On one hand, if the popular vote doesn't always win it isn't truly a democracy. However, direct democracies are hard to uphold, and it's much easier using the electoral college. Besides, it upholds are democratic-republic which is much better than a direct democracy.
4.Keyward in this analysis is "was." The Senate is now decided by popular vote. Open and shut case in my opinion.
5. Dahl focuses on the Senate, yet Congress is made up of two Houses, the Senate and Representatives. Popular vote is upheld by the Representatives. It ensures no state is left with one person representing them. It's perfectly fair.
6.I'm indifferent on this as well, Mainly because I had trouble understanding it. I think the judicial system is doing a fine job as is, and don't believe any sort of restriction is necessary.
7. Checks and balances is my only comment. I do support a free economy, but I'm not sure if that's exactly what Dahl meant. I'll stop talking now.

Enrique gallegos Hr.9 said...

In my opinion, Dahl did a very good job in bringing forth the shortcomings of the Constitution to show the truth, which is that the constitution wasn't very democrtic at all. he brings up the topic of slavery, which I think is very hypocritical because they wrote a rule that they didnt even follow. he lso talked about issues like elections of officials, suffrage and the power of Congress and of the Jusdicial branch. I also agree with Dahl in the point that he makes that the framers of the Constitution werent sure themselves of what they meant by bringing up those issues.

saddymae33 said...

basically Dahl was pointing out the flaws in the constitution such as slavery and how although the Constitution didn't forbade it nor give them permission to.the part about suffrage seemed more republican to me than democratic b/c republicans are the ones who limit the rights and freedom of people wheresas democrates fought to give everyone a voice.also the fact that people weren't able to choose their president nor the body that represented them was wrong b/c the political leader they may have choosen would have been the one who represented their values and listened to their opinions instead of the president elected by the blonde hair blue eyes guys and following their morals.There's not much i can think to say about the constitution other than it was written based on the time period it was written in and and that society.....

Dr. Draddle said...

It is funny to think that it took this long to publish a list of shortcomings with the constitution, there are many positive sides to the constitution however the problems needed to be stated and Robert Dahl just just that and succeeded in revealing obvious problems like slavery (not abolished) or the presidential election

Dr. Draddle said...

It is funny to think that it took this long to publish a list of shortcomings with the constitution, there are many positive sides to the constitution however the problems needed to be stated and Robert Dahl just just that and succeeded in revealing obvious problems like slavery (not abolished) or the presidential election

Adrianna Stovall said...

Dahl was just expessing his opinions of the shortcomings of the Constitution.I do agree with him though. Back then no one could really change it but if we had that constitution now, everything would be different. Agreeing with Brittney, they didn't forbid slavery bu they also didn't give permission.

Seth H. House said...

The constitution was drafted a very long time ago when any liberties were a very rare occurance. Many now would argue that the constitution isn't as democratic as it should be nor are the prossesses for amending it. The lack in democracy in the constituion is due to the lack of trust in the people. I agree with dahl on his stand that now the constitution should be more democratic now.

Valeria Gonzalez said...

I agree with Dahl and pretty much everything he said. All he did was summerize all the ammendments and stating their flaws. I don't think it is democratic, but for it's time I guess it was. I admire is audasity to come out and say all of the things that are wrong with the one thing that we are supposed to abide by.

Savannah McKinley hr.3 said...

How democratic is the Constitution. If you ask me I fuuly agree with Robert Dahl's Analyzation of the Constitution. I feel that the Constitution is not democratic like it should be or even as it claims to be. First off the issue on slavery. Was it democratic to aloow salvery to go on forso many years? Was it constituational and democratic not to give congress the proper power to prohibit slavery? To allow people who are suppose to be equal to go through so musch pain and suffage? This brings me to my next subject...Suffage. The constition failed to grant the right of suffage to half of the America. To half to the people who should be protected. There was no suffage to women, African Americans, or Native Americans. The people are suppose to hold to power, but they don't even have the power to chose who the state senators are. So where he question is asked is the Contstition demcratic I can honest say no.

Lester Kern a.k.a. Sage said...

I would say that the Constitution is not democratic and agree with Dahl, but after 50+ people have said the exact same thing, I'm going to switch it up: The Constitution was the most democratic article ever written. Period. Ahh...forget it. I will be the conformist zombie today, so just like everyone else said: "The Constitution is not democratic." Fully. How can an article be fully democratic when it only deals with the issues facing the average white male with property? The Constitution makes really no mention of the voting rights or representation issues regarding slaves and even less mention of women. Why? Beacuse they had no rights and no say-so in the rich, white, male-dominated government.

ahmed bagoun said...

i think Robert A. Dahl did a good job summarizing the constitution, and the most important part which is the bill of rights.

but one thing that i would like to comment about that Dehl said that the constitution didn't give permission for slavery even though it didn't forbid it.
In my oponion when u don't forbide something as horrible as slavery, then you are agreeing with it.
Those people who wrote the constituion had two option,one of a complete democracy and one with a half democracy. Well people would say these people did not believe in slavery, but couldn't stop it because they didn't have the power to.
i would say these peoplewith Any had their own slaves; and probably after they were done writing the constitution they went home and raped and beat up some slaves. If these people really believed all men were created equal they shouldn't own slaves; and if you tell me that slaves were a usual thing or they were born with it. then are not men that can a lead a country 1 step toward democracy

Tharris hr3 said...

In this article Dahl talks about the shortcommings of the constitution when it was first formed,but even now it is not a perfect piece of law to rule by. Living by a democracy is having equal rights for everyone. When the constitution was first written it was not very democratic at all. I mean to some extent it was but not fully. Everyone did not have equal rights. The constitution favored the white man with land. The writers of the constitution had no idea that by demanding equal rights for the white, land owning male would lead to equality for all(well at least thats how it's suppose to be but even today that isn't the case). Equality has gotten better over a period of time but everyone still isn't treated equally. Gay people are discriminated against for their sexuallity. The constitution can be interpreted in so many different ways and this causes a problem today in our judging system in many cases. In other words it is not a stable foundation to rule upon. That should be odvious because as Dahl stated other democratic countries haven't adopted our constitution. I'm not completly going against the constitution because it was a great accomplishment during that time when america was still trying to find itself, but time changes and with time comes different needs. Our country is way different than what is was when the constitution was formed and the constitution is not fit to rule our society today.

Shannon Johnson hr.3-4 a.k.a dominquez bojangles said...

I felt that the article argued that the constituion was not followed or full proof. This "written" documnet was to better of the United States, but instead made confusion with the people. Backslidding was the problem with the constituion. slavery was strickly unconstitutional but a SLAVE OWNER could travel up north and anywheree and search for his HUMAN PROPERTY and bring IT back to the south beat and or kill his slave. Everyone has free rights but it was clearly seen that the rights weren't fully exercised but used best fit with the region of interest. also when it came down to voting life and elections were not fair because everyone could not vote for whom ever had the same beliefs as they did, but they lived in the they same country? so now you had to live and follwo laws and dictatorships made by a man who was differnt like apples and oranges like you and black slaves, women and non land owning people lived like this for Decades and no one in office ever saw this as un constitutional and that was a hypocracy.

jessica retzlaff said...

dahl is basically saying that compared to nowadays, the constitution isn't all that democratic, but it was back when it was written. most of the things that are pointed out weren't seen too often, such as free speech and "all men are created equal," even though slavery was still going on. we have different standards in this day and age and i do not think the constitution is all the democratic.