Taking stock at the end of an eventful year…

This autumn has flown by, and I have failed miserably at maintaining this blog. And that is quite a sad accomplishment given everything that has happened in the world, the UK and not least in the USA since August. Taking into consideration the curriculum in this subject, could you help me sum up events and incidences that should have found their way to this blog? What have we been working on in class, and what are simply events that we should follow in the news, giving us a broader understanding of the British and American societies?

Try to think of such events, people and incidences, and prepare to talk together in groups on Friday to compile a list then.

Hilde

Has Covid-19 impacted the nomination processes and the outcome so far in the 2020 US presidential election?

The Coronavirus has not left anyone or any sector unaffected in 2020, perhaps particularly not American politics. Both the Democratic and the Republican National Conventions are now over, and the presidential race is about to enter its final stage.

Write a blog entry in which you describe some of the usual stages in American presidential elections, and compare the 2016 and the 2020 nomination processes to look for evidence of whether Covid-19 has impacted the 2020 campaigns significantly or hardly at all.

Hilde

Welcome!

Welcome to a new school year at Fagerlia!

I am excited to have this class with you and hope we can all learn a lot and have some fun throughout the school year.

Most of you will already have your blog from last year (International English) and may continue to use this. If you don’t have a blog, or would like to create a new one, we will set aside some time on Friday to do so. Use wordpress.com and choose a free account. When making your account you can choose whether to have a public, private or hidden blog, but no matter which you choose you have to share the link with me. Remember, this is an educational blog, which will be evaluated, so keep it tidy and professional. I will read all your blogs and they will count towards your final grade, but you will be notified which assignments will be graded. These you always have to hand in on itslearning as well.

Your first blog assignment will be to create a text in which you discuss what “politics” means to you, and where you mention some of the political events and developments in the USA and the United Kingdom that you are already familiar with. Do some of these intrigue you, and what would you like to learn more about?

Good luck with the new school year! Make new friends and broaden your horizons:)

Hilde

In the news week 14 – how the Corona virus affects the ones already worst off…

Here are three articles to read and discuss this week:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/30/india/india-coronavirus-social-distancing-intl-hnk/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51949125

https://time.com/5800930/how-coronavirus-will-hurt-the-poor/

The first one is from India, the second from South Africa and the third from the USA. After skimming through them, what do they seem to have in common? What do you think the implications of what is happening now will be for the poorest communities in these countries and others?

Electing a President

For overview, read the chapter on Electing a President p. 203-208 in your book. Make sure you can explain these terms: primaries, national convention, Electoral College

Pick one of the candidates (either Republican or Democrat) and write short presentation of him/her.

The Constitution and the Supreme Court

Bilderesultat for picture founding fathers

The US Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified (accepted by all the states) in 1789, making it a 230 years old document…Needless to say, there have been many changes to it after that. In order to change the Constitution, the Congress needs to pass an Amendment. Another way of changing thhe Constitution is if the Supreme Court rules the law unconstitutional.

Look into the process of how the American Constitution was made and the process required to change it. What are the 10 first Amendments called, and why? What other important amendments have been made? Choose 1-2 of these and write a little bit about them.

Look into the role the Supreme Court plays in the American political system. What powers does it have? Find examples of important Supreme Court decisions that have made an impact on how the Constitution is interpreted.

Group Photo of Nime Justices

Above the law?

In Britain, the Supreme Court has ruled Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament illegal. In the USA, the Democrats have started impeachment inquiries against President Trump.

Are we seeing a new trend of leaders putting themselves above the law and preferring a more authorative way of leadership? What then happens to the system of Checks and Balances in the USA and the power of the parliament in the parliamentary system in Britain? Rarely have we seen such important times when it comes to political decisions in these two major English-speaking countries…. To be continued;)