The elite democracy allows a small wealthy group of people who have the policy planning network and political influence to run the government while the popular democracy advocates for all citizens to take part in making policies that help run the government. The American constitution, the federal system and the arms of the government have brought out these two perspectives in various ways. The elite democracy is reflected through the election of the president. The Electoral College consists of the elite in the society who decide who becomes the president through their vote despite the decision made by the population through the voting process. The Electoral College can overrule the will of the people if their choice is different from the popular vote (Leib et al. 78).
The legislature passes laws which are meant to protect the elites’ interests. Bills such as tax cuts proposed by the Republicans to the wealthy who are believed to be job creators show the power and influence that they have on the government. The government trusts that they run the economy through innovation thus creating jobs. However, the judicial system can overrule any law even though it is passed by legislators who represent the majority of the people in America.
The constitution also represents popular democracy in which the citizens are allowed to choose their leaders in the Senate to represent them and voice their grievances. The people's will is respected as the person with the majority of the votes wins to serve the people. The majority are also given the opportunity to vote and elect their leaders without any interference by the elite class. The judicial system also protects the rights of the civilians through overruling any controversial laws in the system that are meant to constrain the rights of citizens (Leib et al. 48)
Information from Gills et al. (510) makes me think that the electoral process profoundly lies on the elite democracy because the Electoral College which is made up of the elite in the society has the final say when it comes to the presidential election. With the influence, they can make policies that will influence the way of doing things to their interest disregarding the will of the people. The elite also has the power to control the legislation of laws as they aim at having laws that protect their investment and economic development. They pass policies that will grant them more power and influence and silence those that object their bidding.
On the other hand, the judicial system is more of a popular democracy because it aims at ensuring that the majority gets justice and the rules in place are for the greater good. Despite the fact that the elite also has controlled the judicial system is more of popular democracy.
However, the majority of the laws and policies in the constitution, federal system and the three arms of the government have incorporated both elite and popular democracies. The balance lies in a situation where the elite and the popular democracy coexist because we cannot overrule either of them because both have a significant influence on our government and the policies that are formulated. The two democracies have a common ground on matters of freedom, political culture and how to sustain democracy. The elite has the power and influence, but they still need the majority of the people for them to implement the policies.
In conclusion, I believe that ours is a more elite-driven system because only a few minority formulate the policies that are to be used on a majority and decide what the rest should have due to their power and influence in the government systems (Gills et al. 518)
Gills, Barry, and Joel Roca Mora."Low-intensity democracy." Third World Quarterly 13.3 (1992): 501-523.
Leib, Ethan J. Deliberative democracy in America: A proposal for a popular branch of government. Penn State Press, 2010.