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Executive institutions . Presidential vs. P arliamentarian Models of Government. INTRODUCTION TO THE EXECUTIVE ROLES. Clinton Rossiter lists 10 distinct roles that Presidents are expected to play 1- Chief of state 2- Chief of executive 3- Commander in chief 4- Chief diplomat

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executive institutions

Executive institutions

Presidential vs. Parliamentarian Models of Government

introduction to the executive roles
  • Clinton Rossiter lists 10 distinct roles that Presidents are expected to play
  • 1- Chief of state
  • 2- Chief of executive
  • 3- Commander in chief
  • 4- Chief diplomat
  • 5- Chief legislator
  • 6- Chief of party
  • 7- Voice of the people
  • 8- Protector of peace
  • 9- Manager of prosperity
  • 10- World leader
executive roles
Executive Roles
  • Nevertheless, the executive roles are divided into two general groups:
  • 1- Symbolic roles
  • 2- Political Roles
  • Presidential Systems: symbolic + political roles, given to the head of the state
  • Parliamentarian Systems: Symbolic roles are given to the head of the state (presidents) and the political roles are given to the Chief Executive (PM, Chancellor, et.)
executive roles1
Executive Roles
  • Four general approaches to the executive institution:
  • 1- Presidential systems (the US)
  • 2- Westminster parliamentary-cabinet form of executive (the UK)
  • 3- French parliamentary cabinet
  • 4- Collective executive model (Russian Model)
  • This article focusses on the presidential and the parliamentarian models only (the first two types).
the presidential and parliamentary executives
The Presidential and Parliamentary Executives
  • The symbolic and political powers are centralized in American president.
duration of terms in office
Duration of Terms in Office
  • The Election of the President through Electoral College
  • The Election of the legislators: popular vote
  • President and Vice President, fixed terms, 4 years
  • Senators, fixedterms, 6 years
  • Members of the House of Representatives, fixed 2 years
  • All of them have job security, they cannot fire each other.
electoral college
Electoral College
  • People ================== 538 Electors
  • 538 Electors ==== President and Vice President
  • Criticism: EC is outdated
this election method in presidential system is significant for 3 major reasons
This election method in Presidential System is significant for 3 major reasons
  • Rigid terms  No one can remove the president from the office for 4 years, unless he commits a serious crime.
    • Freedom: The President can take unpopular decision at times
  • The legislators also have the job security
    • Warning: House of Representatives Elections every 2 years
  • Negative outcomes: frustration and immobilism
  • The president and the legislatures can frustrate each other sometimes, but that is all they can do.
  • The president can veto acts of congress, but the congress can override the presidential veto.
  • Congress can refuse to pass a legislative request of the president.
  • However, the president has some alternative ways to reach his goals, such as the executive decrees, executive agreements, and unilateral executive actions.
  • Immobilism: each actor has enough power to block the other, but not enough to achieve its own objectives.
  • This happens especially when the legislative and Executive branches are controlled by different parties.
  • For example, when, the Republican President, Richard Nixon was the head of the state, he faced a senate and a house of representatives controlled by the democrats.
the parliamentary executives
The Parliamentary Executives
  • Chief Executive =========== Head of State
  • Symbolic role is given to the Head of State
  • Political role is given to the Chief Executive
  • In different parliamentarian systems, the head of state is elected or chosen differently.
    • The UK: a hereditary position
    • India: election by the legislators
    • Cuba: Self Selection, Like F. Castro
t he process of forming government in four steps
The Process of Forming Government in Four Steps
  • 1- The chief executive is elected as an ordinary MP with and like any other member of parliament.
  • 2- Invitation bythe head of state to form a government
  • 3- Subsequently, the PM advises the cabinet to the Head of State
  • 4- the vote of confidence
  • The duration of the legislative elections might change from country to country, but it is held in every 5 years in Britain.
who is invited to form a government
Who is invited to form a government?
  • If there is a majority party, its leader is invited to form a government.
  • If there is no majority party, the head of the state might invite someone to form a
    • Minority government (in which the prime minister does not control over 50 percent of the sits)
    • Coalition government (two or more parties are united to form a government)
    • Dissolve the legislature with the hope that a party will secure the majority of the sits in the next elections. (Writ of Dissolution)
the fall of governments
The fall of Governments
  • The government falls when 3 things happen
    • The vote of no confidence
    • Failure in passing a major piece of legislation
    • The strategic decision of the Chief Executive to go to the early elections

Note: if there is a strong party discipline tradition, it is nearly impossible for the majority governing party to fall. But, minority and coalition governments fall quickly.

coalition governments
Coalition Governments
  • Party A 33 seats Party B 20 seats
  • Party C 18 Seats Party D 16 seats Party E 13 seats
  • Coalition governments are formed where no party has a majority in the parliament.
  • The head of state invites a party leader to form a coalition government.
  • Coalition is formed => vote of confidence => governing => disagreements => fall of the government,
  • Invitation of another party leader by the head of State => coalition => governing => disagreement => fall of the government => dissolution of the parliament (writ of dissolution)
  • The coalition governments are less stable. The leader of the major party is concerned with the discipline of his party and expect the same thing from the leader of the other partner parties. But generally disagreements cause the fall of the government.
the evolution of the monarch into chief executive
The Evolution of the Monarch into Chief Executive
  • Dev. of the British Political Syst. = the dev. of the Parliamentarian syst.
  • 1066  William the Conqueror became king  institutionalized the Curia Regis
  • 1215  Curia Regis  Magna Charta
  • 13thCentury  extension of the membership of Curia Regis to the representatives of the towns and villages
  • This led to the formation of the House of Lords and House of the Commons
  • 1500s  the house of Commons was strong enough
    • to make laws,
    • negotiate with the king, and
    • make the king listen to people’s demands
  • 1600s, King James I., dissolved the House of Commons , and his son followed the same policies, leading to unrests
  • From 1642 to 1648, a civil war between the supporters of the House of Commons and the supporters of the King  King Charles was hanged.
the evolution of the monarch
The Evolution of the Monarch
  • A republic was established, led by Oliver Cromwell
  • 1689, British Bill of Rights: Freedom of speech, free elections, prohibition of unfair punishment, etc.
  • In 18th century, the parliament still was an advisory body. Over time, the democratic principles were strengthened. The king had to accept the proposals from the House of Commons
  • The legal status of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet: Privy Council
  • All cabinet members are also life time members of the Privy Council
comparing the presidential and parliamentary systems
Comparing the Presidential and Parliamentary Systems
  • In terms of the idea of responsible government
    • Parliamentary=>more disciplined=> rapid delivery of promises
    • Presidentialism=>rigid terms=> separation of powers and separate elections=> slow delivery of promises
  • Policy making
    • Parliamentary: disciplined party system=> rapid policy making (bad policies also pass rapidly)
    • Presidentialism: slow policy making process (more likely the policies be high quality, but time sensitive policy proposals may go unanswered)
  • Tenure of office and stability
    • Parliamentary: no job security, fall of govern. and writ of dissolutions
    • Presidentialism: job security, fixed rigid terms
the military
The Military
  • Military coups => almost always due to the military’s own interests. Developing regimes of Latin America, Asia, and Africa experience it more often.
  • Examples: Thailand (2006), Nepal (2005), and Pakistan (1999)
  • In countries such as Guatemala, where civilian governments are clearly in control, the armed forces have been shown to exert considerable political influence.
  • Military takeover causes a radical increase in defense budget, almost invariably.
  • The civilian rule over the military is established when
    • 1- The military agrees to accept the products of the policymaking process.
    • 2- It lobbies for the policies it supports in acceptable ways.
  • Bureaucracies are a common institution that can be found in all nation states.
  • Bureaucracies generally have well designed rules and institutions that regulate the behaviors of the bureaucrats.
  • Bureaucracies are organized in a hierarchical manner, like a pyramid.
  • Bureaucracies are generally based on
    • merit system in developed nations, and
    • patrimonial values in less developed nations.
  • The chief executives generally replace the top bureaucrats, the ministers and their deputies, with those loyal to their parties after election.
  • Challenging forces claim that bureaucracy represent the interests of the old order, resisting their proposed changes.
t he executive roles
The Executive Roles
  • The President. and Parliamentary Executives
  • The Parliamentary Executives
  • Coalition Governments
  • Comparing Presidential and Parliamentarian Systems
  • The Military
  • Public Administration and Bureaucracy