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politics and government

As we have noted now in the case of both Britain and France, their is nothing haphazard about the way in which their principal political leaders assume office. In Britain, the political establishment usually are people who have had an elite education (“public schools” and Oxbridge) and a long period of apprenticeship in their parties in which those perceived to be the best are prepared for the Prime Minister position with prior appointments in the Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet. In some instances you find exceptions to the elitist education, but hardly ever to the “grooming” process inside the party.

Likewise, since the Napoleanic age in France there have been specialized higher Institutes created outside the normal university system for training the French for leadership positions in fields ranging from engineering to elected office, with the big growth since World War II in terms of those destined for high public office.

By contrast, the United States relies on popular choice in electoral contests to pick is political leaders, both in selecting the party banner carriers through a primary system and the ultimate winners through a general election.

So the question, and again it is largely hypothetical because we are well past the point of change, do you believe that the United States would be better served in terms of its national political leadership if we had a more European system of preparing them for high public office? Please make your reasoning explicit in terms of why and/or why not.

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Category: Sample Questions