How far from Dahl’s “model of polyarchy”does the American political system diverge?
Occurrent in American system, the processes related to the strengthening of executive power at the expense of the legislature, a strong party duopoly and the activities of lobbies and pressure groups (elites), are the reason why it is not a model democracy, but on the contrary, it constitutes a system where “democratic deficit” (the primacy of the minority over the majority) can be noticed.
In his analysis of the systems, Robert Dahl makes the assumption that the highest form of political system that was achieved by large nation-states is polyarchy. He considers it on the basis of five criteria: (1) equality of votes at the decision-making process; (2) effective participation of citizens; (3) political culture, (4) control of the roll, (5) criterion of inclusion. Further considerations will be based on Dahl’s theory that is called the theory of democratic proceedings.
Referring the above-mentioned criteria to American political system, it can be seen that this is not a system in which political institutions operate in accordance with Dahl’s theory. It allows to put a bold thesis that the American polyarchy is not stable (although Dahl has made this assumption).
The aim of this paper is to explain the shortcomings that occur in American political system and by this to show the fact that, despite the common opinion of the „exemplariness” of American democracy, it has a lot of faults, which allows to doubt the reliability of American institutions.