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Article 2

Indirect Popular Voting

Indirect Popular Voting


Direct democracy involves citizens directly electing their leaders without an intermediary, while indirect democracy involves citizens electing representatives who make decisions on their behalf. While representative democracy is the most popular form of democracy practiced worldwide, it can take different forms, including indirect popular voting. Indirect popular voting refers to a democracy where citizens elect representatives, who then cast ballots on their behalf for a particular candidate or policy position. This article explores the concept of indirect popular voting, its pros and cons, and how it is applied in other countries.

Definition of Indirect Popular Voting

Indirect popular voting, also known as an indirect election, is a democratic system that involves citizens electing representatives, who then vote on their behalf. The term “popular” refers to the public election of representatives, while “indirect” refers to the subsequent voting by these representatives on behalf of their constituents. In this system, voters elect representatives, who then elect officials to various positions in government, such as the President, Vice President, or a particular policy. Indirect popular voting can take different forms, such as the Electoral College in the United States, where electors cast their votes on behalf of citizens, or the Parliamentary system, where citizens elect Members of Parliament, who in turn elect the Prime Minister.

Pros of Indirect Popular Voting

1. Provides a System of Checks and Balances

One of the advantages of indirect popular voting is its provision of a system of checks and balances. Indirect popular voting helps to ensure that there are several layers of representation and evaluation. This system ensures that all perspectives are well-represented and that a diversity of viewpoints is considered. This way, it’s less likely that the ruling authorities are authoritarian in their leadership style and more likely that they will govern according to what’s best for the citizenry.

2. Promotes Impartiality

Another pro of indirect popular voting is that representatives have the responsibility of voting without fear or favor since they are not directly accountable to the voters. Officials elected under indirect popular voting must act for the wider population and not the particular interests of their constituency or supporters. This way, they focus more on what’s right for the wider population as a whole rather than individual entities.

3. Helps to Avoid Electoral Fraud

Indirect popular voting helps to avoid electoral fraud since it’s challenging to rig the election system. It also prevents the ruling authorities from abusing their power by tampering with the electoral process. In an indirect popular voting system, there’s a lower temptation to manipulate the system as only a few individuals can do the actual casting of the votes, thereby minimizing the prospect of electoral fraud.

4. Encourages Higher Voter Turnout

An indirect popular voting system can encourage higher voter turnout since citizens feel that their vote counts. It also minimizes the problem of low voter turnout caused by obstacles like voter disenfranchisement, apathy or inconvenience because of logistics issues. Thus, there is much less fear of missing out since the representative systems help to ensure the voices of citizens are adequately represented even when they haven’t explicitly cast a ballot.

Cons of Indirect Popular Voting 

1. It Can Result in the Majority Not Winning

One of the criticisms of indirect popular voting is that it can result in a case where the majority’s choice doesn’t win. This is because officials elected under an indirect popular voting system are not bound by the will of all the voters in their jurisdiction, and as such, can support a candidate that does not necessarily represent all the voters in that particular jurisdiction. This may disproportionately benefit particular interests at the expense of the wider population.

2. The Electoral College System in the United States Has Disadvantages

The electoral college system used in the United States, which is an example of an indirect popular voting system, has been a subject of controversy for years. Critics of this system claim that it nullifies the popular vote and favors certain areas over others. Proponents of the system claim that it helps smaller, rural states have a voice in choosing the President instead of being overshadowed by high population states.

3. It Can Create Political Oligarchies

An indirect popular voting system can quickly lead to the creation of political oligarchies in which a small group of individuals control the political landscape of the country. This oligarchy can develop within a particular political party or interests, and without sufficient oversight, lead to the disenfranchisement of other citizens. The elitism-driven nature of indirect popular voting can lead to political monopolies, a problem that may not be able to get mitigated.

4. Can lead to Corruption

Another con of indirect popular voting is that it can lead to corruption. Elected officials may make decisions based on benefits and favoritism rather than the interests of the people, potentially harming the stability of the country and undermining the democratic process. When representatives don’t vote according to the wishes of their constituents, transparency in governance is tarnished and an exploitative political system becomes entrenched.

Application of Indirect Popular Voting in Other Countries

Indirect popular voting is used worldwide, and many countries have leveraged this system for years. Countries adopting an indirect popular voting system include:

1. India

India has a parliamentary system, which is an example of indirect popular voting. India elects individuals to a primary parliamentary position, which then elects the President. In this system, the President is not directly elected by citizens, as is typical in a direct democracy. Instead, the people’s representatives cast the ballots on citizens’ behalf, making it an indirect election.

2. South Africa 

a democratic system that entrenches the indirect popular voting system. The country adopted an electoral system that ensures representatives elected from their district will vote for the next President. It minimizes the direct election of Presidents but still ensures the people’s views are adequately represented in the election process.

3. Canada

In Canada, the Head of State is the monarch represented by the Governor-General, who is appointed by the reigning monarch on the advice of the Canadian Prime Minister. The Governor-General relies on the advice of Cabinet Ministers and other significant officials when they perform their duties.


Indirect popular voting has advantages and disadvantages and has been used worldwide, with many countries adapting different variants to fit their unique democratic systems. While the concept of indirect popular voting may result in a loss of the majority’s choice, it also promotes impartiality, minimizes the prospects of electoral fraud, promotes independence, helps to avoid voter disenfranchisement and logistical problems, and encourages higher voter turnout.

However, it can also lead to political oligarchies, corruption, and potentially undermine the democratic process. Indirect popular voting systems require constant reviews and transparency vis-à-vis the mechanisms of ensuring fair representation.The Second Article of the Constitution establishes the electoral college as a system of indirect popular voting in order to elect the President of the United States. This system is differentiated from a system based upon direct popular vote in that it is possible for a presidential candidate to win the popular vote while losing the actual election. The Constitution separates citizen voters from the actual election for the President in order to prevent a tyranny of the majority, among other aims.

When the Founding Fathers were developing the Constitution, they had to deal with certain facts of the day and age. A direct system, based only on popular vote, seemed unfeasible for practical reasons, including a lack of organization for the political system coupled with issues concerning the speed of communication. At the time, there were not political parties and there was no clear system for determining how many candidates could run for President.

There was some fear on the part of the Constitution’s framers that a huge number of candidates would run, and with a direct, popular vote as determinant for election, it might be possible for a single party to receive more votes than any other candidate while still only receiving a fraction of the overall votes, as each different area of people would vote for a more local candidate. Furthermore, because taking the vote of every single person and then tabulating them all together would take large amounts of time using the technology of the era, a direct popular vote seemed unfeasible.

Thus, when writing the Constitution the framers decided to use an indirect system.   The indirect system of the electoral college, as established in the Constitution, is still, in theory, a system based on a popular vote. Each citizen still gets one vote in the election. But the difference is that no citizen is actually voting for the President directly. Instead, each citizen is voting for an elector, effectively nominating a representative. This representative elector will then actually vote for the President. Each State only gets a certain number of electors based on the population of that State. This ensures that citizens are voting for the President indirectly, as they are voting for an elector who would vote for the same presidential candidate for whom each citizen him or herself would vote.

This system of voting established by the Constitution is still a form of popular vote, as in the end, theoretically, the popular vote of the people will still play the primary, determining role in the actual vote for the President. But this system of voting insulates the vote from the popular sentiment of the people, ensuring that there will be no tyranny of the majority, which was another concern of the Founding Fathers. This can be understood especially well if one were to imagine a popular vote today, as major population centers would have tremendously more power than sparser areas of the country, and thus, the majority might tyrannize the minority.

Furthermore, the indirect voting system established by the Constitution also represents the fact that, while Congressional representatives are voted for through popular vote, the President and Vice President are instead elected as the leaders of a federation of states, and as such, are effectively voted for by each State instead of by the people as a whole.  The system is strongly ingrained in American politics, even though it has been modified from its originally stated form in the Constitution. The system has been considered generally functional, especially as candidates have only twice, in the history of the nation, won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote. In both instances, the popular vote was extremely close.

What Are The Procedures When Majority is Not Met

What Are The Procedures When Majority is Not Met

What Happens When the Majority is Not Met in the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is a crucial, decentralized electoral system in which electors from each state gather to cast their votes for the President and Vice President of the United States. Usually, the electoral college results reflect the popular vote of the nation, but occasionally, the electoral college vote comes out with no clear majority. What happens when the majority is not met in the Electoral College? This article delves deeper into the procedures that guide the electoral process.

What is a Majority in the Electoral College?

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, each selected based on either the winner-takes-all or proportional representation system, depending on the state. To win the Presidency, a candidate must secure 270 electoral votes, which represent more than half of the electoral college. This threshold makes securing the Presidency significantly more challenging than winning the popular vote.

What Happens When There is No Majority?

When a candidate fails to secure the 270 electoral votes required to win, the election gets thrown into the hands of the House of Representatives. Under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, the US House of Representatives has the authority to select the President from among the three presidential candidates who obtained the highest electoral college votes. Only one vote is granted per state, meaning that while some states might have more representatives, they are given only one vote. To win the Presidency in the House of Representatives, a candidate must secure the majority of the state representatives.

The Senate then participates in the electoral process as well in the case of a tie. The Vice President position goes to the Senator with the most votes, and if there is a tie, the Senate selects the Vice President. The Senator that wins must secure the majority of votes in the Senate.

Contingent Elections Can Skew Results

The Electoral College system is not perfect, and it has resulted in significant legal debates in the past. One of the significant issues is the possibility of a contingent election, which occurs when no candidate wins a sufficient number of electoral votes. In this scenario, the House of Representatives holds a contingent election to determine the winner, presenting several challenges, including the potential for political corruption and compromise.


The Electoral College’s role in electing the President and Vice President in the United States has been a hotly debated topic for years. Although this system is democratic, it can be challenging to navigate when a candidate cannot secure the necessary majority of electoral votes required. It is crucial to understand the procedures that guide the electoral process when there is no majority to prevent speculation and controversies in a political climate where electoral legitimacy is critical.

The electoral college system of America requires a candidate to obtain an absolute majority in order to become elected to the presidency. To have an absolute majority means that the candidate has over half of the total possible votes, which is different from a simple plurality, which only would require that a candidate have the most votes out of all the candidates. This necessity for an absolute majority means that, while such occurrences are rare, it is possible for no candidate to win the election, as no candidate could successfully achieve the absolute majority necessary.

Such situations were anticipated by the Constitution’s framers, however, and some provisions and procedures were laid out to determine how such a problem should be solved. The electoral college system was designed so that a candidate would have to achieve an absolute majority in order to prevent one candidate becoming the President of the entire nation simply because he received all the votes from his home area, which were enough to put him over the other candidates. Requiring an absolute majority ensures that over half of the nation would have voted for that candidate, although the exact proportion would vary depending on a number of different statistics.

But because the American system is also not a definitively two party system and does allow for any number of possible parties to run, the available electoral votes might be split between enough parties so as to prevent any one candidate from achieving that absolute majority.  This was most likely one of the primary worries of the framers of the Constitution with regard to the electoral college system, as there were no parties or clear political organizations at the time they were writing the Constitution and they could not have been certain that hundreds of different candidates would try to run and would each eat up just enough votes to prevent any one candidate from successfully winning the presidency.

As such, they included a contingency in Article 2 of the Constitution which would dictate proper procedure in such situations. Specifically, the House of Representatives would perform a vote to determine the President. This system was further refined after the election of 1800 with the Twelfth Amendment. The election of 1800 was a very significant election, primarily because it perfectly demonstrated one of the unforeseen problems of the original electoral college system. In the original system as set forth in the Constitution itself, each elector in the electoral college would actually issue two votes for President.

The Vice President would be the candidate who won the second most number of electoral votes after the President, who must still have had an absolute majority. But in the election of 1796, this led to members of opposing parties becoming the President and the Vice President. While this was not an insurmountable problem, it did make it difficult for the President and Vice President to work together easily. In the election of 1800, however, a more significant problem arose. The supposed candidates for the presidency and the vice-presidency from the same party actually earned the same number of electoral votes, thus meaning that it was unclear to whom the presidency should go.

Because there were no outright vice-presidential candidates, and all candidates were presidential candidates, then the situation was treated as if two presidential candidates had tied and it went to the House of Representatives for a vote, even though all involved knew that one of the two candidates had been originally intended as the vice-presidential candidate.

This election led to the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment, which provided for electors to vote for one presidential candidate and one vice-presidential candidate. The election of 1824 was actually something of a proof of the efficacy of the  system for dealing with an absence of absolute majority. In this election, there were four different candidates from the same party, each of whom took some of the votes away from the others. As a result, no candidate won a majority.

This was different from the election of 1800, in that no two candidates actually tied. Andrew Jackson was the front runner in terms of electoral votes and in terms of popular votes as well. He simply did not win enough electoral votes to be considered to have won an absolute majority. As a result, the decision to determine the disposition of the presidency went to the House of Representatives. In this case, however, the House made a decision which most did not anticipate.

One of the four candidates, Henry Clay, could not be considered in the House’s decision because the House can only choose between the top three recipients of electoral votes. As such, Henry Clay was out of the running and he threw his support behind another candidate, John Quincy Adams. With Clay’s support, Adams was able to edge out Jackson in the House vote and successfully won the presidency. This election showed that the system in place for dealing with the absence of an absolute majority would function, even if the system’s integrity was debatable, as Jackson would have argued.

What Does It Mean To Reach Proper Majority

What Does It Mean To Reach Proper Majority


Winning the presidency in the United States requires reaching the top majority, which is also known as the electoral college. The electoral college is an indirect voting system whereby citizens vote for “electors” who then cast their votes for the President and Vice President. The winner of the presidential election is the candidate with the most electoral votes, not necessarily the candidate that wins the popular vote. In this article, we’ll explore what it means to reach the top majority in the United States, how the electoral college system works, and some pros and cons of this system.

What is the Electoral College System?

The electoral college is a group of electors who represent their states in the presidential election. Each state has a certain number of electors, which is determined by the number of Representatives and Senators that state has in Congress. The District of Columbia is also allowed to participate in the electoral college, with three electors.The number of electors for each state varies, but the total number of electors is 538, which is equal to the total number of Representatives and Senators in Congress. To win the presidency, a candidate must have an absolute majority of the electoral votes, which is 270 out of 538.

How Does The Electoral College Work?

In the United States, the electoral college works as follows:

1. The citizens of each state vote for their preferred presidential candidate and their vice presidential running mate.

2. The votes are tallied, and the candidate that wins the popular vote in each state gets all of that state’s electoral votes.

3. The electors from each state then cast their votes for the President and Vice President, based on the popular vote in their state.

4. The candidate with the majority of electoral votes becomes the President, and the candidate with the second-most electoral votes becomes the Vice President.

Pros of the Electoral College System

1. Equal Representation of States

One of the primary advantages of the electoral college system is that it helps to ensure that all states receive equal representation in the presidential election. In a direct popular vote system, candidates would focus their campaigns on the most populous states, neglecting smaller states. Under the electoral college system, every state is significant in determining the outcome of the presidential election.

2. Precludes Voter Fraud

The electoral college also helps to preclude voter fraud by making it challenging for an individual candidate or party to influence election results. Since each state’s electoral votes are calculated independently, it’s not possible for any one candidate or party to manipulate the results in their favor.

3. Guarantees a Clear Winner

The electoral college ensures that the winner of the presidential election is determined by an absolute majority of the electoral votes. This prevents a situation in which a candidate who has only a slight lead in the popular vote, but not the majority, wins the Presidency. Instead, it sets a required majority that candidates must obtain.

Cons of the Electoral College System

1. Disregards the Popular Vote

The primary criticism of the electoral college system is that it can disregard the wishes of the popular vote who favored a particular candidate. If a candidate wins the popular vote but loses the electoral vote, the entire system is called into question. Such criticisms have led to renewed calls for the abolition or reform of the electoral college system.

2. Contributes to a Two-Party System

The electoral college system also contributes to the growth of a two-party political system, where only two major parties compete for presidential power. Since third-party candidates do not typically have full backing in several states, they are unlikely to win an election, leading to increased polarization and the lack of variation in candidates on offer.

3. Can Disadvantage Minorities

The electoral college system means that the votes cast by citizens in certain states may count for less than those others. This outcome can disadvantage some minoritarian groups and lead to their feelings of dispossession from mainstream politics. Political parties tend give attention concerns smaller or areas, therefore marginalizing constituents.


The electoral college system has contributed to the uniqueness of the United States’ political process. It has advantages, such as promoting the equal representation of states, precluding voter fraud, and guaranteeing a clear winner. However, it disregards the popular vote, contributes to a two-party system, and can disadvantage minorities.

The electoral college remains a subject of debate in the US, with some calling for the system’s abolition or reform. The importance of reaching the top majority means more than a simple majority of the popular vote in presidential elections in the US, and the debate on political representation continues in earnest.The electoral college is a system based upon majority, as opposed to plurality. The key difference is simply that a majority-based system will only provide for election success to the individual or party that earns over half the votes, while a plurality-based system will give election success to the individual or party that earns the most votes. The difference seems to be rooted in semantics, but it is important, especially when viewed in light of the electoral college, which changes the idea of majority from what it might be in a popular vote.

If the American presidential election system as established by the Second Article of the Constitution and the Twelfth Amendment were a plurality-based system, then a candidate voted for by only a small fraction of the country might win the election. This is because that candidate would only have to earn more electoral votes in the electoral college than all the other candidates in order to win. If there were a great many candidates, then each one would steal some votes from the others, and what would likely wind up happening is that no one of those many candidates would actually win a majority of votes, while one would win a plurality of electoral votes.

This would have the unfortunate side effect of resulting in a President-Elect who was not actually voted for by a majority of voters in the electoral college, and therefore, by extension was likely not voted for by a majority of citizens in America.  Instead of such a system, then, the electoral college uses a system based on majority, in which the candidate with the most electoral votes still wins, but that candidate has to have at least half of all the total votes in order to successfully win the election outright. If no candidate earns such a majority of electoral votes, then the decision of which candidate wins the race would actually fall to the House of Representatives, according to the Twelfth Amendment.

The House of Representatives would be able to vote on the top three receivers of electoral votes, but would still need to reach a quorum to elect any of those candidates.  The majority required of the electoral college is not a majority of citizens in the country and is detached from the popular vote. The majority is instead an absolute majority of electoral votes, which means that it is a majority made up of over half of all possible votes in the electoral college. This is different from a simple majority, which would be over half of all the votes that are actually entered into the system.

For instance, an elector can, theoretically, abstain from a vote, but this would not change the fact that the elector would be counted for purposes of determining an absolute majority of electoral votes. A given candidate can win an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes (at the current time) without, in theory, winning a majority of the popular vote. This is, however, difficult in practice, as most cases in which a candidate wins a majority of votes in the electoral college also involves that candidate winning a majority of the popular vote and those situations in which the candidate did not win the popular vote were very close elections.

What You Need to Know About The Election of President and Vice President

What You Need to Know About The Election of President and Vice President

Election of the President and Vice President in the United States

The United States presidential election is one of the most significant global political events, drawing attention from all quarters. The election process to elect the President and Vice President begins years before the election day, and campaigning dominates the media in the lead-up to the election. Understanding the workings of the presidential election is essential to comprehend democracy in the United States. In this article, we’ll explore the voting process, the candidates, and the electoral college that determine who becomes the next President and Vice President.

The Electoral Process

The United States presidential election is a two-step process involving a primary and a general election. The primary elections’ purpose is to select delegates who will represent each state at each party’s national convention. These delegates will cast their vote on behalf of their party in the first round of the presidential election at the national convention.

After the conventions, the presidential candidates will campaign for the general election. The general election is in November of the election year, and it involves vote casting by citizens who meet the qualifications in each state.

The Candidates

Each political party gets to select its presidential candidate through a series of primaries and caucuses held in each state. Once the candidate is selected, they select a running mate or Vice President. The Vice Presidential candidate is usually chosen to balance out the presidential candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of background, experience, party affiliation, and geographical location.

The Electoral College

The President and Vice President are not elected by the popular vote as the electoral college comprised of elected officials from each state votes for the winner. Each state’s number of electoral college votes is based on its population, with a minimum of three per state. Washington D.C also has three votes in the electoral college process.

During the general election, voters in each state cast their vote for their preferred candidates for the President and Vice President. The winner of the popular vote in any given state is awarded all of the state’s electoral college votes. The candidate with the most electoral college votes, i.e., 270 out of 538, wins the presidency.

Challenges in the Electoral Process

The electoral process has several advantages but also includes significant challenges. One of the significant issues is each state’s winner-takes-all system, where the candidate with the majority in one state receives all the state’s electoral votes, which means that a candidate could win the electoral college without winning the popular vote.

Another issue is that the electoral college’s method gives some states significant influence in the outcome of the election while rendering others insignificant, known as “swing states.” This can skew the entire presidential campaign, with these states receiving most of the candidates’ attention while many states are often overlooked.


The United States presidential election process is a complex and intricate affair. The multi-phase process strives to balance popular vote and state representation in the selection of the President and the Vice President. While the electoral process still has its challenges, it remains a pillar of American democracy, representing a unique concept in the power, limitations, and operations of the elected executive branch of government.

The election of the President and the Vice President is established in Article 2 of the Constitution. The procedure is further honed by a number of Federal and State laws concerning the operation of the election, especially in terms of the means of casting ballots and how those ballots are counted. The system has fundamentally changed only somewhat since its original creation with Article 2 of the Constitution, though of course, the specific nature of each election has changed greatly as technology advanced. To elect the President and the Vice President, the system employs the Electoral College. The electors in the Electoral College cast votes directly for the President and the Vice President. Whichever candidate receives an absolute majority of votes, meaning over half of all the possible votes of the electors, wins the election. The electors are, themselves, elected by each State.

The exact method for electing electors is determined by each State Legislature and not by the Federal Government. This means that the popular election for President and Vice President on Election Day is not actually an election directly for the President or the Vice President. The number of electors that each state may appoint is determined by adding the number of Senators that the State has to the number of Representatives of the State. No one holding a public office, such as a Senator or a Representative, can be an elector.

The Electoral College system has changed somewhat as a result of the Twelfth Amendment, which adjusts the methods by which a President and Vice President are elected. In the original form of the Constitution, the Vice President would be the Presidential candidate who received the second most number of votes. Furthermore, this meant that electors were only voting for President, and never for President and Vice President separately. This led to a somewhat dysfunctional system, as Vice Presidents and Presidents might be at odds with each other and there was the potential for a supposed Vice Presidential candidate to be elected President. Thus, the Twelfth Amendment altered the system such that each elector casts one vote for President and one vote for Vice President.

If the Electoral College votes in such a way that no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes, then the vote would go to the House of Representatives, which would hold its own vote for the President. This was part of the reason for the original implementation of the Twelfth Amendment, as the House vote resulted in an entirely different candidate winning than either the popular vote or electoral vote would have indicated in the election of 1800.

To run for President, a candidate must have been a natural born citizen of the United States and must still be a citizen at the time he or she is running.Furthermore, the candidate must be thirty five years old at least, and must have been a resident in the United States for fourteen years. The same criteria apply to the Vice-President.

Second Article of the Constitution

Second Article of the Constitution

Article 2 of the Constitution: Keeping the Executive Branch in Check

If Article 1 of the Constitution outlines the powers and functions of Congress, Article 2 details the framework for the country’s executive branch, which comprises the President, Vice President, and Cabinet. Article 2 outlines the selection and role of the President, clarifies their powers and duties, and defines the powers of the Vice President and Cabinet. In this article, we’ll explore Article 2’s content and its role in keeping the executive branch’s power in check.

The Selection and Role of the President

Article 2 sets out the criteria for selecting the President, who must be a natural-born citizen with a minimum age of 35 and a resident of the United States for 14 years. The President is elected through the electoral college system, with each state receiving a certain number of votes based on their population.

The President’s role is to execute and enforce federal laws, administer the country’s foreign policy, and act as the Commander-in-Chief of the military. In addition, the President has the power to veto legislation passed by Congress and to nominate federal judges, ambassadors, and other officials.

Clarifying Presidential Powers and Duties

Article 2 also clarifies the President’s role as the head of the executive branch. The President has the power to execute the country’s laws and act as its guardian. Besides, the President has the power to oversee the country’s foreign policy, including treaties and powers of appointment. However, the President’s power is not absolute, and the Constitution outlines checks and balances to avoid tyranny.

The Powers of the Vice President and Cabinet

Article 2 also defines the role of the Vice President, who serves as the President of the Senate, casting a vote in the event of a tie. The Vice President is also designated as the successor to the Presidency in the event of the President’s death, removal from office, or resignation.

The President’s Cabinet comprises advisors who serve at the President’s pleasure and are responsible for advising and implementing the President’s policies. Each Cabinet member is nominated by the President and approved by the Senate.

Keeping the Power in Check

One of the significant themes that run through Article 2 is the need to prevent the executive branch from accumulating too much power. Checks and balances are placed on Presidential power to prevent their abuse of power. Congress has the power to impeach the President, the Senate has the power to ratify treaties, and the judiciary has the power to declare Presidential actions unconstitutional.


Article 2 of the US Constitution is an essential piece of legislation that creates the framework for America’s executive branch. The article outlines the selection and role of the President, defines their powers and duties, and clarifies the role of the Vice President and Cabinet. However, most importantly, Article 2 puts in the necessary checks, balances, and safeguards to prevent the President from becoming too powerful, thereby ensuring that the Constitution’s values and principles remain protected, now and always.The Second Article of the Constitution sets out the definition and terms of the Executive Branch of Government for the United States of America. The executive branch of any governmental structure is the one most likely to become powerful, thanks to the nature of executive power.

In most countries, when a dictatorship or despotic form of government forms, the despot comes from what was once the executive branch of the government. Indeed, in the British system of the time, a great deal of power was invested in the monarch of Britain, thus empowering the executive branch of that government. The Second Article of the Constitution, then, was an attempt to help define executive powers without letting them overrun the Government.

It was aimed at both establishing the nature and election procedures for the executive branch, while also ensuring that there were some limits to the powers of that executive branch. Article 2 has been expanded and adapted by some Amendments over the years. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment, for example, specifically clarified Clause 6 in Section 1 of the Second Article of the Constitution, because of its ill-defined wording.

While Clause 6 would have provided for the Vice President to at least assume the duties of the President if the President were unable to perform them himself, it still remained vague on any number of matters, including whether or not the Vice President would become an Acting President or a full President. The Twenty-Second Amendment was also an adaptation of the Second Article, under which the President could not be elected to the office more than twice. The Twelfth Amendment significantly altered the way in which the electoral procedure for the executive branch actually functioned, thereby superseding that part of the Second Article of the Constitution. These changes to the Second Article have helped to further define and refine the points and purposes of that Second Article, such that no difficulties will arise from the Second Article’s original faulty wording or function.

This is especially important as the Second Article, for all that it is part of an intricate system, the whole of which is important to protect and preserve, deals with the branch of government which, as has been shown through countless historical examples, is the most likely to lead to abuses of power. Ensuring that the Second Article of the Constitution is refined, then, is critical for the stability of the overall country. For example, if the Twenty-Fifth Amendment had never been implemented, then there would not be a clearly defined system for establishing a new Vice President after a Vice Presidential vacancy, and there would be no clearly defined system for a President to either establish himself as unable to fulfill his duties for the time being or for other officers in Government to be able to establish that the President is unable to fulfill his duties for the time being.

The only option would be impeachment, which would not necessarily function in certain situations. While no President has ever been removed from power by the declaration of other officers, the fact remains that without such an Amendment, the Second Article of the Constitution would have had a hole in it that could have caused potential problems at a later point in time. Because the Second Article of the Constitution concerns the Executive Branch, however, it is most critical for that Article to be able to clearly delineate the powers of the Executive Branch in order to prevent abuses of power.