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Cabinets Majoritarian democracy: Single party majority executive

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1 Cabinets Majoritarian democracy: Single party majority executive
Consensual democracy: Parties share the executive office Two factors important: Number of parties Executives support in parliament

2 Classification of Cabinets
Cabinet support Minimal winning Oversized Minority Most majoritarian: Single party & minimal winning Most consensual: Multiparty and oversized

3 Coalition Theories Parliamentary government
Definition: The cabinet/executive relies on the parliament’s confidence. Hence, a majority of legislators must not wish to remove the cabinet Elections result in a distribution of parliamentary seats among parties Which parties form a cabinet?

4 Coalition Theories If a majority party exists it is likely to form a cabinet by itself Exception: Wartime coalitions What if no party has a majority? Can we predict which parties form a coalition? What factors are likely to matter? Distribution of seats Policy preferences

5 Coalition Theories Minimal winning coalitions Minimum size coalitions
Coalition parties have a majority of seats Removing any party from coalition reduces it to a minority Minimum size coalitions Minimal winning Smallest in terms of legislative seats

6 Coalition Theories Minimum number of parties Minimal range coalition
Minimal winning Fewest number of parties Minimal range coalition Parties with similar policy preferences form a coalition

7 Coalition Theories Minimal connected winning coalitions
Not minimal winning Connected – does not exclude parties with moderate policy preference relative to other cabinet parties Policy viable coalitions Minimal winning Always includes the party of the median legislator (or median party)

8 Predictions A B C D E Minimal winning: ABC, ADE, BCD, BE, CE Minimum size: ADE Minimum #parties: BE, CE Minimal range: ABC, BCD, CE Minimal connected: ABC, BCD, CDE Policy viable: ABC, BCD, CE

9 Minority & Oversized Cabinets
All the theories predict the formation of a (minimal) majority cabinet Cabinets are, however, often minority or oversized cabinets Minority cabinets almost the rule in Sweden, Denmark Nearly 1/3 of all cabinets are minority cabinets About 1/5 are oversized

10 Minority & Oversized Cabinets
How do we explain this ‘anomaly’? Cabinet participation can be costly Accountability may harm parties electorally May decrease likelihood of future cabinet participation (loss of identity) Oversized cabinets Narrow majorities dangerous Insurance against defections Minimizes individual legislator’s bargaining power

11 Minority & Oversized Cabinets
Parties care about policy Thus, B may be better of in coalition ABC than coalition BC External threats Need to minimize domestic conflict Institutions Investiture vote (note Sweden) Constructive vote of no confidence Votes of confidence in France Committees

12 Minority & Oversized Cabinets
Requirements regarding cabinet membership (Belgium – linguistic) Need to change constitution or legislation requiring super-majorities

13 Minority Cabinets Where do minority cabinets fit into the majoritarian-consensual classification Minority cabinets tend to be single-party but do not have majority support Two types can be distinguished Continuous bargaining over policy ‘Majority cabinets in disguise’ => The former is more common – similar to oversized cabinets?

14 Presidential Cabinets
Differences between parliamentary and presidential cabinets: Presidential cabinets do not rely on the confidence of the legislature Parliamentary cabinets are collegial, presidential cabinets are not

15 Unusual Cabinets Austria The U.S. Grand coalition cabinets 1949-1966
Minimal winning but composed of the two largest parties (holding 92% of seats) Oversized? The U.S. Partisan cabinets Token opposition members

16 Unusual Cabinets Japan LDP has a majority from 1976 to 1993
Behaves like a minority cabinet – attempts to build oversized coalitions to pass legislation

17 Cabinets in 36 Democracies
Measuring majoritarianism: Average of percentage of minimal winning and one-party cabinets Problematic? Relationship with party system Strong negative relationship Surprising?

18 Prime Ministerial Power
Presidents have great control over their cabinets In parliamentary system the power of the Prime Minister can vary greatly Relationship between the PM’s power and concentration of power in the cabinet Finds strong relationship

19 Summary Classifying cabinets Theories of coalition formation
Advances Relationship between type and number of parties Interesting? Small number of parties => Majorities more frequent

20 Executive-Legislative Relations
Majoritarian: Executive Dominance Consensual: Legislative Dominance Parliamentary vs. Presidential Gov’t Reliance on legislature’s confidence vs. fixed term Selection by legislature vs. popular election Collegial executive vs. one-person executive

21 Parliamentary vs. Presidential Government
Many combination are possible Empirically there are only ‘pure’ presidential or parliamentary systems Switzerland is the only exceptions. Semi-presidentialism Vary in strength of presidents France, Austria, Iceland, Portugal, Finland Lijphart – depends on president’s support Dissolution power

22 Israel (Is Lijphart right?)
Before 1996 – Parliamentary Now: Prime Minister is directly elected Parliament elected at same time Parliament can dismiss Prime Minister Prime Minister can dissolve Parliament Either requires a new election? Similarity to a presidential system

23 Parliamentary vs. Presidential Government
Separation of Powers: In presidential systems it implies that the same person can not serve in both legislative and executive branch In parliamentary systems, generally, cabinet members are legislators Netherlands, Norway and Luxembourg the exception

24 Parliamentary vs. Presidential Government
Presidents don’t have the right to dissolve the legislature Exceptions: France, Israel In parliamentary system dissolution rights may or may not exist Norway: Fixed term Restricted dissolution rights Unlimited: UK

25 Parliamentary vs. Presidential Government
Head of state/government Presidential systems: President is both head of state and government Parliamentary systems: Monarch/President head of state, PM head of Government Botswana: PM is both South Africa under Nelson Mandela

26 South Africa T.he President is elected for five year term by the parliament The Cabinet consists of the President, as head of the Cabinet, a Deputy President and Ministers. The President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them. The President: must select the Deputy President and Ministers from among the members of the National Assembly; may select no more than two Ministers from outside the Assembly. The Deputy President must assist the President in the execution of the functions of government.

27 Separation & Balance of Power
Not a simple relationship between presidentialism/parliamentarism and balance of power Presidents, as well as PMs, can be either strong or weak (Belgium vs. UK, US vs France)

28 Presidential Power Reactive & Proactive Powers
Veto Power Decree Power Strength & Cohesion of Presidential Parties Popular election Claim to legitimacy

29 Presidential Power Dependence on Partisan Power Constitutional Powers
May lead to instability of power Constitutional Powers Generally stable Vetoes and Decrees still work ‘fairly’ well Popularity ????….

30 How do we measure balance of power?
Cabinet durability as an indicator for parliamentary government Q: May inhibit cabinet’s ability to pass a coherent policy program, but does it shift power to the legislature? The fourth French Republic? Italy? Cabinet stability vs. Regime stability How to measure cabinet durability?

31 How do we measure balance of power?
When does a cabinet end? When does a new one begin? Important factors: Partisan composition Elections Change in PM Change in type of cabinet (winning, minority, oversized?) Lijphart: Combines measures.

32 How do we measure balance of power?
Lijphart: Nothing more stable than the U.K. ??? Lijphart: U.S.? Switzerland? Term limits?

33 Cabinet Type and Cabinet Durability
Durability: Minimal winning party > Minimal winning coalition > Minority party > Oversized > Minority coalition Caretaker cabinets Short duration of oversized cabinets. Why?

34 Executive Dominance and Majoritarian Governments
Figure 7.2 Shows a fairly strong relationship However, executive dominance is really durability and ‘majoritarian cabinet’ is really percentage of minimal winning, one party governments => Seems like somewhat an uninteresting finding

35 Summary Attempt to measure balance of power
What is power? Ability to pass legislation/influence policy – even if legislator opposes What is the outcome? Better measures? Veto power, Decree power, Agenda setting, etc… President Legislature

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