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This topic contains 20 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Michael Wile 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #45310

    s.wilkes
    Keymaster

    Learning Objective: Understand the core tenets of the US governmental structure.

    Resources:
    1. Democracy: Authority From the People

    2. Government As The Servant of the People

    3. What is a Constitution

    Assignment:
    Answer and defend your answer:

      What is the role of popular soveignty (authority flows from the people to the state, not the other way around) in today’s society?
    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by  s.wilkes.
    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by  s.wilkes.
    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by  s.wilkes.
    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by  s.wilkes.
    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by  s.wilkes.
    #45449

    Ashley Castello
    Participant

    The role of popular sovereignty in today’s society is to give the people the right to vote for the legislators that they believe will represent their interests. Members of society can also vote for or against laws or policies as they see fit. It also means that the government is set up to serve the needs of the people, and not the other way around.

    #45473

    Larry West
    Participant

    The role of popular sovereignty in today’s society is not as it should be. Most people feel like the power flows from the government down. On a local level we have the power to elect our officials. Our vote directly affects the outcome. While this gives us power over our local politicians, this is not so much so on the federal level. The president is elected by an electoral college that is supposed to represent the populous but does not have to. Many states are enacting legislation to give their voters more power in this process by forcing their representatives to vote with the population. Further, the president then appoints a great many positions within the federal government for which the people have no say. This makes us further powerless. As long as an electoral college exists we will not truly have popular sovereignty as it is meant to be.

    #45474

    Jen Loving
    Participant

    For as much as I would like to think popular sovereignty is alive and working as it should in today’s society I tend to agree with Larry. We do have the power to elect our officials and trust they will speak on our behalf based on issues and promises made during their election but sometimes that isn’t always the case. The elected officials have so many individuals, groups and organizations coming at them at different angles with wants and needs; attitudes and beliefs are swayed and then our voice becomes lost. This is why we continue to advocate for ourselves and our loved ones…to remind them why we elected them and that we need to be heard!

    #45545

    Ashley Castello
    Participant

    Hi Larry. I agree with you about the electoral college. I think it is a flawed system that has failed already more than once in that it allowed someone to be elected to office who did not actually win the vote of the people. I also agree with Jen that our elected officials do not always represent our interests. I live in the deep south, and so more often than not, the candidates that I vote for are not the ones who win, so then I am left feeling like my elected officials are not actually making decisions that align with my attitudes and beliefs. However, I am optimistic that the pendulum is swinging back to the side of popular sovereignty working as it should, and that our advocacy efforts can make a difference.

    #45572

    Michelle Fernandez
    Participant

    Popular sovereignty role in today’s society is to give the people the power to directly affect the choices made in our government. We see this through elections at the state level when we vote. Our government was designed to make the people’s voice be heard. With our vote for the candidate that represents our needs we are demonstrating “popular sovereignty”. We also display it in making our wants and needs heard when we visit our elected officials and tell our stories. When we present our ‘asks” to our legislators we are participating in a government set up to serve the people.
    Does it always work? Maybe not, but we have to keep exercising our rights and make ourselves known to our elected officials.

    #45576

    Larry West
    Participant

    Michelle, I’m glad you mentioned visiting our local representatives. Aside from actually running for office ourselves, visiting our representatives and making our voices heard is one of the greatest tools we have. Providing that connection between a bill and the people it affects can change minds and sway votes. It’s also very empowering on a personal level. Not to mention, our responsibility as conscious citizens.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Larry West.
    #45586

    s.wilkes
    Keymaster

    Larry, Michelle-

    I’m glad you mentioned sharing your story/your voice. It’s incredibly important we share our personal experiences with decision makers. Otherwise how will they know the direct impact of the decisions they make?

    Have you guys seen HFA’s recent “Storytelling For Advocacy” webinar? It’s great! The speaker, Dana Norris will be at Symposium presenting a general session on Friday afternoon. You guys will love her!

    #45596

    Steve Spears
    Participant

    The role of popular sovereignty is to limit the powers of the government by ensuring that all authority comes first from the people. Through elections, power flows from the people, to the elected officials, to the legislation that is passed. In order for this model to function as intended, it is important that the people hold elected officials accountable for truly representing the voice of their constituents. The main challenge is that everyone’s voices can’t all be heard at the same time.

    #45597

    Larry West
    Participant

    Yes Sonji, I watched it last week in preparation for a job interview where they asked me give a 3-5 min presentation on myself. Dana was excellent and quite informative. It certainly helped, but I am sure I will refer to again. My story still needs much refinement

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Larry West.
    #45599

    Viviana Gonz谩lez
    Participant

    Popular sovereignty is the authority that we – the people – have to ensure that our interests and needs are being considered by elected officials when they make decisions that affect our everyday lives. It gives us a seat at the table with these decision makers to make our case and inform them as to how a particular bill or course of action would positively or negatively affect our community. Without popular sovereignty, the government would not truly be ours and it would be even more difficult, if not almost impossible, to advocate for our community if our interests in no way align or benefit those in power.

    #45777

    Dana Brayshaw
    Participant

    I feel as though the idea of popular sovereignty, that the people are the highest political authority in democracy, is not always practiced in democracies today. Generally, if someone is able to raise enough funds to run for office they have a higher chance of being elected. This may mean that the more qualified person who was not able to raise vast amounts of money, is then not elected. I think money plays a huge role in how many elected officials make decisions as well. Some decisions have huge impacts on people they aren’t generally thinking about.

    Also, if the general population is not educated on the dynamics of government and learning about the people who they are voting for, then popular sovereignty does not work as it should. I do think it is important for people to make sure to vote for people that are well aligned with their values. When elected officials then have values that do not align with values of their constituents, this is where advocacy becomes so important.

    #45841

    Aidan Elliott
    Participant

    Popular sovereignty is the idea that “the people” hold supreme power over a nation. To my knowledge, The USA was the first to successfully implement a system of government that reflected this idea, though at the time, “the people” didn’t include women, slaves, Catholics, Jews, Quakers, or those without sufficient property. The build up to the civil war was the first time the term was put to the test when congress decided new western territories acquired from Mexico could decide for themselves whether they would tolerate slavery or not. While Nebraska was firmly grasped as a free state, settlers of Missouri rushed in to Kansas to try to influence it to become a slave state. Much violence erupted and the time would be known as Bleeding Kansas. This showed one of the true dilemmas of Popular Sovereignty. I am reminded of a quote from the movie, “The Patriot” when Mel Gibson’s character said, “Why should I trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants one mile away…An elected legislature can trample a man’s rights as easily as the King can.” And he could be right! If the term “Popular” doesn’t reflect a territory’s entire population, how can legislatures be expected to truly be servants of the sovereign people? And who is to decide who is eligible to be Sovereign? Should Quakers be considered people? How about Children?
    Now, I’m not saying we should ask Queen Elizabeth if she would take us back and I’m not saying we should hand every toddler a ballot but I am saying that Popular Sovereignty is a not quite a perfect democratic philosophy. The role of Popular Sovereignty is different today than it was in the time of Bleeding Kansas. Voter eligibility is obviously much higher but many people still do not have the right to vote and of the people that do have the right to vote, only half regularly exercise that right. The challenge for popular sovereignty in modern times is how do we assure everyone has a voice and how do we assure everyone has fair information on how to direct that voice? We can’t require people to vote but as advocates, we can show people why it’s important to.

    #45842

    Aidan Elliott
    Participant

    Dana, I agree completely that people need to be educated about not only the issues but how government responds to the issues. Do you think that an elected official of a two mega party system can ever be truly aligned with an individuals values or even a majority of individuals values?

    #45845

    Krista Davidson
    Participant

    Honestly, I didn鈥檛 know what popular sovereignty meant until I listened to the podcast. I did not correlate voting for instance to the application of popular sovereignty. I feel like the idea of popular sovereignty is lost on a lot of us, like we(the people, ha ha) don鈥檛 feel we truly have control over the government. But why is that? After pondering on the information, of course it has a role in our society today. Aidan I like what you stated previously, that 鈥渨e can鈥檛 require people to vote but as advocates, we can show people why it鈥檚 important to.鈥 We can empower others, to empower others, to empower others.

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