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Power to the People

We learned so much in our government course the first two trimesters of the school year like Foundations, Civics, Elections, Congress, the Presidency, and the Court. The topic that grab my attention the most was how average citizens shape the course of government in democracy through pathways of action. The five pathways of actions that citizens can take part in, to effect the government in a democracy is through elections, courts, lobbying, grassroots mobilization, and cultural change.

Pathways of action are the activities, institutions, and decision points in American politics and government that affect the creation, alteration, and preservation of laws and public policies in our government. These pathways our routes of change in our system of government. The first pathway that citizens use to take part and effect the government is the elections pathway. Our government is based on a representative democracy where voters elect the leaders who run the government. The citizens play a big part in our government because the people who are running to be elected depend on the voters to vote for them so they can be elected into our government. The actions of the leaders in our government are influenced by the citizens because they leader has to keep the voters in favor of him so that they can be re-elected next time they run for office. The activities that the citizens can take part in to effect the outcome of our government are voter registration drives, fundraising, political campaigning, and each individual vote each voter takes.

The second and third pathway that citizens can use to effect our government our the lobbying pathway and court pathway. The lobbying pathway is vital for citizens because they use this pathway to attempt to influence the activities, actors, and institutions of government by supplying information, persuasion, or political pressure. The lobbying pathway is mostly used in the decision making process in our government. These legislatures are made up of elected representatives who more often have to face the voters in elections. Through this pathway individuals or organized groups can present information on a topic to try and persuade the government officials to listen to their input. Citizens use this pathway to try to convince these officials to support or oppose a certain law proposal. The third pathway that citizens can use to effect and take part in our government is through the court pathway. I learned that in the United States the judges have broad authority to order the government to take a specific action. Citizens in the United States are granted specific legal rights that they can use for filing lawsuits against the government. Citizens must hire an attorney and pay for gathering and presenting evidence to the court. One prime example of how citizens can use the courts pathway is in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case. This student is filing a lawsuit for the University of Texas for not accepting her due to her race and accepting other less qualified diversed applicants instead of her. This court case is still going on today.

The last two pathways that citizens can use to effect our government is through the grassroots mobilization pathway and the cultural change pathway. The fourth pathway that citizens can use to effect our government is through the cultural change pathway. This pathway is an indirect approach to influence the government. This requires the citizens to be committed and determined. The final pathway that citizens can use to effect our government is through grassroots mobilization pathway. This is used by citizens when they want to influence the direction of law and policy by mobilizing others to join them in taking strategic actions. The most common way to use this pathway is when citizens boycott or protest against something they do not agree with and want the government to change it. One recent example of how citizens use this path is when a group of americans got together to protest the United States Drone strikes. Some citizens are opposed on the idea of the United States using drones on enemies so they are protesting the United States to stop using the drones because they do not agree with the use of these drones.

With these pathways the citizens of the United States play a big role in shaping our government. Our government depends on the people because it is powered by the people.

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