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Thursday October 25th.docx

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Political Science
Bozidar Mitrovic

Thursday October 25 , 2012 Constitutions: Blueprints of Governance Slide 1: Constitiutions: Designing and limiting government - “shape” of politics not only determined by political culture but also by the “rules of the game” - New flurry of constitution building in Europe (EU), Iraq, former Soviet bloc, Afghanistan - Constitutional reform in Canada, Australia, UK Slide 2: Institutions - the structure of political institutions shapes the conduct of politics and types of public policy - example: US and Canadian health care systems Slide 3: Health care example USA - in usa, multiple veto point thwart legislative agenda - vertical and horizontal fragmentation of power - lack of party discipline - structure of legislature - power of interest groups Canada - executive dominance of Prime Minister means legislation easily passes - vertical fragmentation but executive and legislature fused - strong party discipline Slide 4: What is a constitution? - the fundamental laws, rules, practices that define the basic structures of government, allocates power among governmental institutions, and regulates the relationship between citizens and the state - think of it as the master blueprint - Germany: Basic Law Grundestez - Also symbolism and amending formula Tuesday October 30 , 2012 Slide 5: Bear in mind: - all states have constitutions but these may not be respected by governments - e.g soviet constitution provided for secession of republics and for a free media - constitutionalism: Leaders are bound by the law Slide 6: Particular constitutions - Germany: Basic aw - Canada: Constitutional Act, 1982 - Usa: The constitution of the USA (1787) - These are the supreme law of the land (section 52 of the Canadian Constitution) Slide 7: Origins - Revolution may bring in new constitution (USA 1776, USSR 1917, Eastern Europe 1989-91), radical transformation - Decolonization - Defeat in war (Japan and Germany after WWII) - Secession: Bangladesh 1971, Czech Republic and Slovakia 1993 Slide 8: Rule of Law - EVERYONE is subordinate to the law (the rule of law) - 1215 Magna Carta structured relations between King and nobility Slide 9: Pictures - Bill Clinton 1998 - Johnson - Both were impeached - Both escaped from being removed from office Slide 10: USA: Separa
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