America has a federal type of Government. There is a belief that power has been brought closer to the people by devolution through state governments. It is therefore important to understand state politics including the desirable qualities of elected representatives to better understand how the government works. The governor for example has both political and constitutional powers.
In my state Georgia, the governor is the chief executive of the state and oversees the executive branch. He is also the chief law enforcement officer. He also ensures that the set laws are faithfully followed. This power to enforce laws is almost identical to that of the president of the United States. Besides, he is also the commander-in-chief of the states’ military forces. (Dye 106).
The governor has also got the power to veto legislation. On top of this, he is allowed to fill any vacancies in the House of Representatives and Senate. The governor also gives an annual State address to the General Assembly and is permitted to propose any policies or laws of choice. He may also call the General Assembly into a special session as he deems necessary. Special sessions last for only forty days unless three-fifths of the house and senate members agree to extend such a session. Moreover, a governor is allowed to appoint officials in the event of a vacancy until the next election of any state political office. Under the U.S. Constitution, the governor has the power to appoint a replacement if a vacancy occurs in the office of one of the two U.S. senators. (Dye 109)
According to my analysis, political powers are more significant for the governor than constitutional powers due to various reasons. First, Constitutional powers restrict the governor since his roles and responsibilities are spelled out in the constitution. Secondly, political powers can enable the governor to manipulate situations to his advantage. An example is in seeking re-election. Thirdly, political powers will enable the governor to build a network that might meet his needs, and depending on the type of person holding the office, some may be involved in cases of corruption like when heading committees that control state funds. Lastly, the power of the governor is conventionally determined by approval ratings which are more political than constitutional. (League of Women Voters)
There are diverse qualities that are desirable for both a governor and a state legislator. One should be trustworthy, reliable, and have exemplary character. He should also be enthusiastic with his work and believe strongly in a cause. It is also very important for him to show dedication and commitment to his work. Besides, he should be confident and always appear positive to draw trust from those he is leading. Moreover, he should be tolerant of others and should always be composed and calm. (Berman 122)
It is also crucial for a governor to be organized and always do things in a purposeful and orderly manner. Apart from keeping the main goal, he should be able to think analytically and break down a problem into small segments and see the bigger picture of the situation. Besides, he should be committed to excellence and maintain high standards. A good governor should as well be resilient and consistent in his work. (Berman 126)
On top of the above-mentioned qualities, the president and congressmen should understand the constitution and the history of the United States of America. They should also understand the various forms of political, social, and economic organizations as they exist in the world today. Moreover, they must understand that they are the chief servants of the people of the United States of America. (League of Women Voters)
The most important qualities of a good leader are being a person who is trustworthy and of high integrity, having an ability to think analytically, seeing the bigger picture, and being able to break up a problem into small solution segments. Besides, he should understand various political, social, and economic forms that exist in the world today. I cannot generally think of a better leader than one who has high moral values, is knowledgeable, and is committed to his work. An ideal representative should be qualified to lead and exercise his power for the benefit of the electorate. Often, this may not occur for various officeholders. It is at this point then that the constitution draws boundaries and prevents abuse of office.
Berman, David. State and Local Politics, 120-130. Allyn and Bacon. 2009. Print.
Dye, MacManus. Politics in States and Communities, 102-111. Longman, 2006. Print.
League of Women Voters. “League of Women Voters in Greater Seattle”. How to Pick a candidate, n.d. Web. 2009.