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Democratic Models. Political and Electoral Models. Political Models. Direct Democracy 1. direct democracy (vs. elected representatives) 2. exclusion (vs. inclusion) Who gets the right to vote? Expansion of the franchise? 3. civil and political rights? Does the majority respect rights?.

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Democratic models l.jpg

Democratic Models

Political and Electoral Models


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Political Models

  • Direct Democracy

    • 1. direct democracy (vs. elected representatives)

    • 2. exclusion (vs. inclusion)

      • Who gets the right to vote? Expansion of the franchise?

    • 3. civil and political rights?

      • Does the majority respect rights?


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Political Models

  • Republicanism: Representative Democracy

    • Delegate Model of representation

    • Trustee model of representation

    • Who elects the representatives?

      • Popular vote

      • Intermediary institutions


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Political Models

Minimalist definition: Emphasis on electoral procedures & selection of leaders, i.e.:

“A system in which the most powerful decision-makers are selected through fair and periodic voting procedures in which candidates freely compete for votes, and in which virtually all people have the right to vote.”

(Samuel Huntington)


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Political Models

  • Maximalist definition: emphasis on electoral procedures AND protection for civil liberties

    • the right to vote

    • the right to be elected/eligibility for public office

    • the right of political leaders to compete for support and votes

    • free and fair elections

    • freedom of association

    • freedom of expression

    • alternative sources of information

    • institutions that make government policies actually depend on votes and other forms of (voter) preference

      (Robert Dahl)


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Political Models

  • Various degrees of democracy: terminology

    • Liberal democracy (full or institutionalized democracy)

    • Electoral democracy

    • semi-democracy/pseudo-democracy/ “Illiberal” democracy


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Variation #1: degree of territorial & political centralization

  • Federal System vs. “Unitary” System

  • Federal system:

    • Decentralized authority

    • sovereignty constitutionally split between at least two territorial levels

    • units at each level can act independently of the others in some areas.

    • Citizens have political obligations to two (or more) authorities

    • Examples: U.S., Canada, Germany


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Unitary System:

  • Authority & sovereignty centralized in one place (the capital)

  • Policies largely set by “the center”

  • No intermediary layer between local and central government

  • Local govt subservient to central govt

  • Examples: France, Turkey, England


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Pros & Cons:

  • Federal system:

    • more democratic, more responsive…

    • Encourages separatism? Less efficient?

  • Unitary system

    • more efficient?

    • Encourages national unity?


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Variation #2: Powers and processes of leadership

Presidential vs. Parliamentary Systems


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a. Title & power of head of state

  • Presidential system:

    • head of govt – always called the president – is elected for a prescribed period and generally cannot be dismissed unless guilty of severe wrongdoing.

  • Parliamentary system:

    • head of the government usually (but not always) called the Prime Minister. His/her cabinet responsible to the legislature (Parliament); can be dismissed through a vote of no confidence.


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b. How head of state is chosen

  • In Presidential System, presidents are popularly elected by populace

  • In a Parliamentary system, head of state selected by the legislature.


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Elections for other Representatives

  • SMDP Model:

    • One winner

    • Determined by plurality vote

    • Disproportionate Representation

  • PR Model

    • Multi-party systems

    • Determined by % of the popular vote

    • Uneasy majorities subject to the disproportionate influence of minority parties…need to hold together fragile coalitions


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c. Status of the head of state

  • In a presidential system, president appoints the cabinet and they are considered subservient to him.

  • In a parliamentary system, the prime minister serves as one among equals


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d. selection of the cabinet…

  • In Presidential system, cabinet appointed separately by president

  • In Parliamentary system, cabinet drawn from legislature


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e. Length of term in office

  • In a presidential system, legislators and presidents serve fixed terms

  • In a parliamentary system, legislators and presidents serve a maximum time in office but a ruling party can call early elections if it wants to


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f. allocation of govt powers…

  • In presidential system, executive and legislative functions separate

  • In parliamentary system, executive and legislative functions fused


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Notes:

  • it is common in parliamentary systems to have a president or monarch who is the CEREMONIAL head of state, and a PM who is in charge of the government

  • Examples of Parliamentary systems: Britain, Turkey, South Africa, Germany

  • Examples of Presidential systems: U.S., most of South America

  • Many countries have “mixed” systems, i.e. France


Examples turkey l.jpg

chief of state: President Ahmet Necdet SEZER

head of government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (14 March 2003)

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister

elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a 7-year term; prime minister drawn from majority party and confirmed by president.

Examples-Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, 2003


Examples united kingdom l.jpg

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II

head of government: Prime Minister Tony BLAIR (since 2 May 1997)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

elections: monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually the prime minister

Examples- United Kingdom

Tony Blair, British PM (photo from the Birmingham Post)


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Example: Brazil

  • chief of state: President Luiz Inacio LULA DA SILVA (since 1 January 2003)

  • note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

  • elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms


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+ Strengthens parties over individuals

+ Encourages policy-based voting rather than voting based on individual charisma or $$

+ Fusing of legislative & exec. branches can promote efficiency

- Gives the public less choice over leadership

- Flexible election terms can = less stability

- Fusing of executive & legislative branches can concentrate too much power in one place

parliamentary system: pros and cons


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+ Gives the people more choice over leadership

+ “strong” government- president more insulated and can act with daring

+ higher levels of government accountability

+ Greater stability

+ Clear separation of powers

- Power of presidency can be abused

- Can encourage deadlock between legislature & executive

- Encourages charisma, $$, rather than substance & policies

- Set terms= rigidity (bad leaders can’t be easily removed)

Presidential system:pros and cons


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Electoral systems

How voting works: who, where, and how people get elected


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Electoral System ‘Families’

Source: http://www.idea.int/esd/systems.cfm


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Democracy -- A Process

Opportunities for Mass Participation

LOW

HIGH

Representative (Trustee) Democracy

Representative (Delegate) Democracy

Participatory Democracy

Direct Democracy


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Democracy -- The Outcomes

Protection of Individual Rights

High

Low

Communitarian

Emphasis on General Welfare of the Community

Libertarian

Emphasis on Limited Government and Rights of the Individual


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MODELS OF DEMOCRACY

Individual Rights/Limited Gov’t

Liberal Democracy

High Mass Participation

Low Mass Participation

Elite Democracy

Majoritarian Democracy

General Welfare


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Models of Democracy

  • majoritarian democracy

    • most important goal is maximizing mass participation

    • high mass participation will result in decisions being made that maximize the general welfare


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Models of Democracy

  • elite democracy

    • most important goal is the general welfare

    • requires an elite capable of pursuing the long-term interests of society

      • actually values low mass participation


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Models of Democracy

  • liberal democracy

    • most important goal is protecting individual rights

    • does not prefer low mass participation but may be willing to accept it


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Models of Democracy

  • majoritarian democracy

    • most important goal is maximizing mass participation

    • high mass participation will result in decisions being made that maximize the general welfare

  • majoritarian democratic critiques of other models

    • elite democracy – there is no such thing as an elite that is not self-interested and will look after the good of the general masses

    • liberal democracy – emphasis on individual rights is used to limit government in order to protect small, privileged groups


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Models of Democracy

  • elite democracy

    • most important goal is the general welfare

    • requires an elite capable of pursuing the long-term interests of society

      • actually values low mass participation

  • elite democratic critiques of other models

    • liberal democracy – undue focus on individual rights limits government’s ability to pursue the general welfare of the community

    • majoritarian democracy – masses are too uninterested, incompetent or, at worst, dangerous to be given control over decision-making


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Models of Democracy

  • liberal democracy

    • most important goal is protecting individual rights

    • does not prefer low mass participation but may be willing to accept it

  • liberal democratic critiques of other models

    • elite democracy – if unchecked, elites will use power to infringe the rights of individuals

    • majoritarian democracy – if unchecked, majority will infringe the rights of minorities (tyranny of the majority)


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Models of Democracy – Viewing Democracy Over Time

  • elite democrats

    • the masses will always be incapable of making decisions for the long-term common good

  • liberal democrats

    • elites and the majorities will always be prone to infringing individual rights if given the chance

  • majoritarian democrats

    • elites will always be self-serving

    • masses can learn over time to become better democratic citizens if given a meaningful opportunity to do so

      • elite and liberal democrats would argue that the risk is too great


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