All over the world, true democracies are measured on not only how often they hold elections, but also how free and fair are the elections, how inclusive the elections are but also how competitive they are. In both the presidential (United States) and parliamentary (United Kingdom) forms of government, elections are a true measure of the strength of the democracy. There are different types of elections. They include general elections, by-elections, primary elections, etc.
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Elections are decision-making processes where the general citizens (those who are legally eligible to vote) choose the people who are to govern them for a certain period maybe four to five years. By conducting elections and choosing the government then what the people say is that the power given to the government belongs to the people.
The United States elections of the year 2008 that are scheduled to take place on the fourth day of November 2008 will include presidential elections together with their vice presidents. At the same time, new senators will be voted in, there will also be a couple of state and local elections without forgetting the election of new members of the House of Representatives. The elections will mark the 55th time that the country has held quadrennial elections in its history.
The 2008 general elections will be a very special election. This is because there is something that will be happening that more than half of all United States of America citizens have not seen in their lifetime. This is because the elections will mark the first time since 1928 that the country will be going into the ballot box without having an incumbent president or vice president carrying the ruling party’s flag to the elections.
This is because neither president bush (whose second term will be expiring-constitutionally he cannot vie) nor the vice president dick Cheney (who has categorically refused to run) will be spearheading the campaigns.
Compared to other general elections the 2008 presidential elections seem to be the one that will be most hotly contested. This is first because no incumbent will be running. Historically incumbents have a relatively higher chance of being elected. Secondly, the 2008 elections have become some kind of an online election. In search of votes, many candidates have turned to the internet. As a result, history is in its making as republican candidate Ron Pol sends records tumbling as he made history by raising $4.2 million in a single day on November 5th, 2007.
In addition to this, there is a new debate springing up within the political divide. With support for an African-American candidate, barack Obama increasing, new questions of whether the time is ready for America to have a black president have become commonplace.
Because of all this, campaign issues have gone further this time round to encompass issues that are centuries old like the issue of slavery and slave trade. In addition to this, issues of religion have sprung up especially after it had been falsely rumored that the democratic, African-American candidate Barack Obama was indeed a Muslim and that he had attended the Madrasa someplace in the Philippines or Indonesia.
The actual voting process will start in December of 2007. Currently, party front-runners have started to emerge through the analysis of poll results and campaign kitties that have already been set up.
5th February 2008 will be a very decisive date for the electioneering process since more than 20 states with more than half the population of the United States will be holding their party primaries then. From there other important events and dates that one should look out for include the following
April 2008: this month the Constitution Party National Convention, will be held in Kansas City, Missouri. After this event during May (23-26) 2008, Libertarian National Convention will be held in Denver, Colorado. Later on, on July 10-13, there will be a big feast in Chicago Illinois, as the 2008 green party convention will be held there. Denver, Colorado will host its second big feast on august 25-28 as the 2008 Democratic Party convention will be held there. Minnesota will hold its fine share of the conventions during September (1-4) when it will host the republicans.
After these conventions on 4th September 2008, the District of Columbia together with all the other 50 states will go to the polls to elect members of the Electoral College. After this exercise, the elected members of the Electoral College will go to the ballots and elect the president and his vice on 15th December. The electoral votes will be tallied on 6th January 2009, before the houses of congress and then the official inauguration will be held on 20th January of the year 2009.
January 6, 2009: Electoral votes officially tallied before both Houses of Congress.
January 20, 2009: Inauguration Day.