p11_lec05

p11_lec05 - Executive dominance Although parliaments choose...

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Executive dominance Although parliaments choose governments, governments seem to dominate parliaments… Parliaments engage in little meaningful, observable activity Majority that elects government does activity from government, not from individual MPs Governments also have some control over their parliamentary majority via legislative agenda : A government might say to its majority that it wants them to pass a particular bill or else! If members do not want to pick another leader or to have elections at that time, they go along 1
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Theater Executive dominance parliamentary activity is largely “theater” Most bills considered in parliament are submitted by the government, and their discussion is often an unimportant “ritual” In discussing laws and Question Time, the opposition does not provide constructive criticism, but takes political punches “Backbench” MPs are often absent… can find better ways to spend time 2
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Majority vs. Coalition Government Majority government = majority party controls parliament, takes all cabinet portfolios. “Westminster” style Minority party is opposition, often as “shadow” government Coalition government In effect, each party in the coalition is a veto player “Minimal - winning” = together, the coalition has just enough members for majority of parliament. Remove the smallest party, and no majority “Oversized” = can remove a party and coalition still has a majority “Grand” = two largest parties are in the coalition Minority government = coalition or party in government does not have a majority… opposition large enough to bring down government at any time 3
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Political power is concentrated Unitary Weak / no bicameralism No judicial review Parliamentary Single-party majorities (“majority government”) Political power is dispersed Federal Strong bicameralism Judicial review Presidential Multi-party coalitions (“coalition government”) Majoritarian Consensus
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Pros : more cross-party consensus in policymaking Cons : Governments are less stable routine government collapse makes it difficult to run the country Accountability issue : if government does poor job, who is to blame? Identifiability ” issue : it may be difficult for voters to predict which coalitions will form Sometimes, parties form coalitions before elections & the coalition that wins a majority forms government Elsewhere, voters are not so lucky. Italy : very unstable governments: 63 in 65 years! 5
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p11_lec05 - Executive dominance Although parliaments choose...

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