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Government and political systems

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Presentation on theme: "Government and political systems"— Presentation transcript:

1 Government and political systems

2 This week Government and civil society Political systems

3 Government and civil society

4 “Government” or “state”?
“State” is the better word 5 Characteristics Institutions Rules a territory Rules a population Monopoly of the legitimate use of force internally and externally Diplomatic recognition from other states

5 The philosophical origin of the modern state: The social contract
Thomas Hobbes, An intellectual justification for the state From the state* of nature to the social contract The need for public order & laws protection of life protection of property John Locke, * Meaning the situation, the condition Jean-Jacques Rousseau,

6 The real, historical origin of the sate
Wars, civil wars & conquest National independences achieved by force achieved by referendum The state as a “protection racket” (Charles Tilly) English Civil War Voters in the South Sudan independence referendum, 2011

7 The constitution Writing the state into existence
The basic law of the state determines the institutions basis for all other laws constrains the leaders, too Changing the basic law: amending the constitution

8 The state and civil society
Country XYZ The influence of liberalism Separate… …yet mutually dependent State Interest groups Individuals (Business) Civil society Family Social movements Criminal organizations

9 The function of the state
State-civil society relations The systemic model David Easton 1917— Country XYZ State (political system) Inputs: demands & supports Outputs: Rewards & deprivations Individual 2 Individual 1 Group 1 Individual 3 Group n Group 3 Group 2 Individual n Feedback

10 Political systems

11 The question of legitimacy
Legitimate rulers & legitimate institutions who has the right to make decisions? according to what process? Preventing the concentration of political power (in democracy)

12 The division of powers inside the state
Origins in Roman Republic (508BC to 27BC) Modern version, a gradual process Strict division vs. flexible division of powers Legislative power (parliament) Executive power (government) Judicial power (courts/judiciary) Monocameral (1 chamber or house) Bicameral (2 chambers or houses) 1 upper house 1 lower house Monocephalous (1 head) Bicephalous (2 heads) Judges

13 Parliamentary system (Canada)
Canadian constitution Legislative power Judicial power Executive power Flexible division of powers

14 Parliamentary system: legislative power
Parliament of Canada House of Commons 308 Senate 105 Current seats Current senators by party, by province One seat = one riding Members elected by direct suffrage, 4- year terms Proposes, debates, amends, passes laws Holds the government to account (Question Period 1, 2) Party discipline Majority party forms the government* Moderated by the Speaker (neutral despite belonging to a party) Number of seats varies by province Appointed by Governor General on recommendation of Prime Minister Proposes, debates, amends, passes laws Party discipline Retirement at age 75 Moderated by Speaker (neutral despite belonging to a party) Controversies: not elected, low attendance by some, expenses claims

15 Where the real work is done: Parliamentary committees
Members can’t read all bills Party leaders appoint members to committees committee composition reflects composition of House committees can be high-profile or low-profile Where most of the work is done issue-based committees in-depth examination of bills hearings from civil society drafting of reports based on hearings amendment to the bills Bills go back to the full parliament for vote A committee room Committees of the Parliament of Canada - House of Commons committees - Senate committees - Joint committees Hearings sometimes fairly dry, sometimes controversial (1, 2)

16 Parliamentary system: executive power
Government of Canada Current Governor General David L. Johnson, since 2010 Head of state Cabinet (including PM) Governor General Head of government Bicephalous Cabinet comes from House of Commons Cabinet needs support of the House of Commons The Prime Minister: only a tradition Queen Elizabeth II appoints GG on advice of Prime Minister Prime minister can prorogue parliament (suspend work) Prime minister can ask the GG to dissolve the House (i.e., call an election) GG gives Royal Assent to bills, which then become law

17 Parliamentary system: judicial power
A random case from March 2012: John Virgil Punko vs. Her Majesty the Queen Judicial power Highest court in the land, hence Supreme Court 9 judges Appointed by Queen in Council (GG) on advice of Prime Minister Judges the constitutionality of government decisions Controversies: interpreting vs. making law judges’ bilingualism: compulsory or not Back Row: The Honourable Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, the Honourable Mr. Justice Thomas A. Cromwell, the Honourable Mr. Justice Michael J. Moldaver, and the Honourable Mr. Justice Richard Wagner. Front Row: The Honourable Madam Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, the Honourable Mr. Justice Louis LeBel, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C. Chief Justice of Canada, the Honourable Mr. Justice Morris J. Fish, and the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein.

18 Presidential system (US)
United States constitution Legislative power (Congress) Executive power Strict separation of powers Judicial power

19 Presidential system: legislative power
House of Representatives 435 Senate 100 US Capitol Districts roughly proportionate to population Elected by direct suffrage, 2-year terms Proposes, debates, amends, passes bills Negotiates bills with Senate Moderated by majority leader (can change rules on partisan basis)) 2 senators per state Elected by direct suffrage, 6-year terms Proposes, debates, amends, passes bills Negotiates bills with House of Representatives Approves appointment of ambassadors, Supreme Court judges; ratifies treaties 1/3 replaced every 2 years Moderated by majority leader (can change rules on partisan basis) Both chambers need to pass a bill and the president must sign the bill for it to become law. Congress overturn a presidential veto with a 2/3 majority in both chambers. Controls the budget.

20 Presidential system: executive power
US constitution Monocephalous: head of government + head of state Elected by indirect suffrage for 4 years Cannot be removed* Cannot dissolve Congress Chooses secretaries to head government departments Can propose bills to Congress Must sign bills from Congress or veto them within 10 days

21 Presidential system: judicial power
US Supreme Court building Current justices: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor (top row, from left), Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer (Hon.’95), Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan; Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (bottom row, from left), Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Highest court in the land, hence Supreme Court 9 judges for life Appointed by president Confirmed by Senate Judges the constitutionality of laws & government decisions Controversies: interpreting vs. making law a very, very politicized appointment process

22 How to elect a US president step 1: Parties choose a presidential candidate
Party Primaries (Jan. before election year to summer of election year) debates between candidates inside parties party members in each state give support to a candidate support takes the form of delegates National Conventions held in summer of election year delegates vote for the person they want run for president for their party the person chosen is the party nominee & the presidential candidate for that party The nominees choose a running-mate presidential nominee + running-mate = presidential ticket running-mate will be vice-president if ticket wins Democratic Party Republican Party

23 How to elect a US president step 2: The role of the Electoral College
Each state, plus the District of Columbia, is given Electors Number based on seats in the House of Representatives Itself based on population size Electors pledge to vote based on popular vote Total = 538

24 How to elect a US president step 3: Election day
First Tuesday after the first Monday of November Voters vote for the ticket of their choice Voting methods & rules vary by state (computer, touch- screen, punch-card, paper ballot, bubble-filling, etc.) On the same day: many more separate elections Congressional elections (all House seats & 1/3 Senate seats) governor of the state legislature of the state school board police chief ballot initiatives (referenda) many other elective offices

25 How to elect a US president step 4: The Electoral College vote
First Monday after the second Wednesday of December Ticket with most popular votes in a state gets all the Electors of that state (except for Maine & Nebraska) Electors cast their vote in secret The ticket with the most Electoral College votes wins 270 College votes are needed Obama McCain

26 Conclusion Different organization of the institutions
Different relations between the three powers Different ways of translating people’s voice into state decisions

27 Annex 1: Looking inside the state: public administration & state employees
Roles Planning Advising Implementing Delivering services Status Few political appointees Professionals Non-partisan Job security for some Accountable auditor ombudsperson The State

28 Not exam material Annex 2: Semi-presidential system This is for your personal interest There will be no exam question on this

29 Semi-presidential / mixed system (France)
Executive power French constitution in English (Fifth Republic) Not exam material President Government Strict separation of powers Legislative power Judicial power

30 Semi-presidential system: legislative power
Assemblée Nationale 577 Sénat 331 Palais Bourbon Palais du Luxembourg Not exam material Elected by direct suffrage Proposes, debates, amends, passes bills Can censure the government (prime minister & minister) who must resign Elected by 150,000 “grands électeurs” for 9 years 1/3 replaced every 3 years Proposes, debates, amends, passes bills Both chambers must approve the same bill for it to be law. The president must sign the bill for it to be law (promulgation).

31 Semi-presidential system: executive power
Jean-Marc Ayrault Prime minister & head of government Government François Hollande President & head of state Elected by direct suffrage for 5 years Chooses prime minister Can dissolve the Assembly Presides Council of Ministers Promulgates laws May be removed by High Court Prime minister chooses ministers from the National Assembly to form the government Ministers resign from the Assembly Government needs support of Assembly Proposes bills Falls if censured by Assembly Not exam material Palais de l’Élysée Hôtel de Matignon

32 Semi-presidential system: judicial
Judicial power Conseil d’État Conseil d’État Cour de cassation Conseil constitutionnel 5, Quai de l’horloge Dual role consultative judges public decisions Citizens vs. the state Four main chambers Citizens vs. citizens Breaks or affirms judgments of lower courts Not exam material Next slide

33 Semi-presidential system: judicial
Not exam material A third judicial body: the Conseil constitutionnel 9 judges for 9 years, non-renewable 3 appointed by the president 3 appointed by the speaker of the National Assembly 3 appointed by the speaker of the Senate 1/3 replaced every 3 years Main roles consultative: executive or legislative asks it to assess constitutionality of laws & policies supervises presidential elections & proclaims results

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