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Wilson Chapter 14 - Presidency

Wilson Chapter 14 - Presidency - Wilson Chapter 14 The...

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Wilson Chapter 14 – The Presidency February 4, 2008 Presidents and PM 1. in parliamentary system, the PM is the chief executive a. chosen by the legislature – usually from the majority party or coalition cabinet b. Pm stays as long as have a majority of the seats in the legislature or coalitions stays together 2. Presidents are often outsiders: a. Winning elections – try to claim you are not of the mess in DC; not legislators, usually governors, VP etc b. PM – chosen from insiders 3. Presidents choose cabinet members from outside congress: a. Pm chooses cabinet members from parliament b. P – no sitting member of congress can hold office in executive branch i. Usually close friends, aids, reps of constituency etc 4. Presidents have no guaranteed majority in the legislature: a. Pm always has majority in parliament b. P doesn’t Divided Government 1. divided government – a government where one party controls the white house and another party controls one or both houses of Congress 2. unified government – the same party controls the White House and both houses a. this is very rare 3. Americans don’t like divided government – partisan bickering, gridlock, paralysis a. This is not clear though; gridlock (the inability of the government to act because rival parties control different parts of the government) might not actually happen Does Gridlock Matter? 1. most conclude that divided governments do about as well as unified ones in passing important laws, conducting investigations, and ratifying treaties 2. because unified government is something of a myth – even if both republican, don’t mean they agree on everything – even divisions within the party 3. only time there really is a unified government is when not just the same party but the same ideological wing of that party is in effective control of both Is Policy Gridlock Bad? 1. P has less ability to decide what laws get passed than a PM 2. only way to stop is change constitution or change voting – much split ticket 3. gridlock is a necessary consequence of a system of representative democracy a. causes delays intensifies deliberations, forces compromises, and requires the creation of broad based coalitions to support most new policies The Evolution of the Presidency 1. legislature had almost all power – chose governors etc 2. requires single president with significant powers – confidence in GW Concerns of the Founders 1. concerns were that president would use the militia to overpower state govts 2. concern he would become a tool of the senate
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Wilson Chapter 14 – The Presidency February 4, 2008 3. most concern was possibility of reelection – scared that once in power, president would arrange to stay by resorting to bribery etc 4. relationship with congress important a. first plan was congress elect the president – but that would mean congress could dominate an honey or lazy president and other way around b.
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Wilson Chapter 14 - Presidency - Wilson Chapter 14 The...

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