Thomas E. Patterson, a professor of political science at Syracuse University, argues that the process of electing presidents to office is "out of order." The culprits include poorly planned performances by the news media in which newscasters speak more than candidates and the numerous primaries that only weaken the parties and create a vacuum of political leadership. Patterson calls for a shortened nominating primary season--just six weeks--and an institutionalized televised forum in which candidates could speak, debate and be questioned. Until this is done, he maintains, American will suffer from a lack of communication of the issues and an incomplete translation of voter feedback, things that smack of the demise of democracy.
From Library Journal
Patterson (political science, Syracuse Univ.) makes his points early and often, contending that the system used to elect our presidents is "out of order" and clearly identifying the reasons: poor and "miscast" performances of the news media, the proliferation of presidential primaries across the United States, and the subsequent decline of the place of political parties in national elections. Patterson's remedy is to shorten the campaign by bunching up the primaries in a six-week period starting in June. He would also provide candidates with "adequate broadcast opportunities to present themselves and their policies as they wished them to be seen." There's nothing really new in any of this, although the author distills his views from nearly every modern source available. For large political science collections.- Chet Hagan, Berks Cty. P.L. System, Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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