PAPM 2000 October 22, 2013.docx

4 Pages

Public Affairs and Policy Management
Course Code
PAPM 2000
Graeme Auld

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Horizontal Divisions of Power • There is an idea that a government can oppose itself in constitutional law • Separation of power • Challenge was how to create a Republican system that is energetic and vigorous but will still escape all the evil of the Monarchy • One of the top ten quotes in comparative constitutional list o "Frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. • This was a system of accident, British sovereignty • Parliament became empowered • Cabinet system of government gradually emerged over the course of different centuries • Perceived that they are living under an arbitrary system without force • How do we create political system? o 3 things that governments are based on: • Reflection and choice • Accident • Force  Upon reflection, according to what master principle should the power be organized in a political community?  Principle: Reacting not only to their political privilege, there is a separation of power that is a master principle that they talk about  What is this system of checks and power? How do we divide power in the political community? Is it enough that we have a constitution and write down things? • So and so is in charge of this or that, etc  Congress will pass laws and president will have wars  Need to have a system of separation of power, write down who is in charge of what to keep each other in check, operates under the assumption that writing down these paper walls entrenching, organizing power, etc. is not enough, we also need to (in the constitution) create a mechanism, constitution is not just a remind, it is a machine that generates political power and channels political power and blocks political power • We speculate, what is the idea behind checks in balances? What further idea can be deduced?  Why do we think checks in balances would be effective?  A pathology of the idea and a system that runs 'wild' -> levers come to a gridlock  All governments derive their legitimacy from people, excs. Are elected by the people  It's not the matter of them not being elected by the people, it is the assumption that the legislative would control each other  What do they fear more? -> do they fear more monarchy or more direct democracy  Part of the answer in Federalist 51 • "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition, constitution may be a reflection on human nature to control abuses of government, if men were angels, no governments would be necessary, the great difficulty lies in this, enable the government to control the government"  Hobbes had an issue -> civil war, federalists thought we could tweak the idea of constitution • John Adams -> our ambition can be made to work in favour or for the common good • Government can be kept in check • Ambitious people can be one of the best checks, but they need institutions and tools at their disposal • In late 18th century, we have Benard Mendavle, arguing that luxury and the pursuit of it is very contusive and good for process because artisans and tradesmen, productive occupation would arise and aggregate good would increase that way • Men of their age so to speak  System that they created gives independent means and has come to be known as the presidential system of government • The defining feature is the head of state and head of government • In the US what is the relationship between the legislative and the executive? • How are they linked in terms of mutual responsibilities? Exc. Holds the power • Is there a relationship of political responsibility between the two? Yes. To keep the president in check, politically • Do not mistake political responsibility and criminal responsibility • The body that does the impeaching is the house of representatives • Talking about political responsibility, keeping president in check, it is not the responsibility  Would it be possible for a shutdown to occur in Canada? • Vote of non-confidence, if PM does not have the confidence of the House, there is a re-election • Two bodies are linked together in responsibility  There is no constitutional mechanism to do different things  The gridlock that we've seen by the government (prorogation) is imagined in different systems  Who is more legitimate in presidential system? The president? House of representatives or the senate? 
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