GMS400 – Lecture 2
Forms of Government
Governance of a Nation
- States (nations) are governed by a continuously changing succession of people who have different
roles for creating and enforcing laws (rules). Sometimes the “rulers” or legislators (people in political
power) are hereditary, some come from a small cadre of elite or a dominant political party, and some
are freely elected.
- Kingdoms, Sultanates, Emirates (examples?)
- Absolute Monarchy: A form of government where the monarch rules unhindered, i.e., without any
laws, constitution, or legally organized opposition. e.g. Saudi Arabia
- Constitutional Monarchy - A system of government in which a monarch is guided by a constitution
whereby his/her rights, duties, and responsibilities are spelled out in written law or by custom. e.g.
British Commonwealth, Norway, Netherlands, Thailand
- England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
- Example of absolute monarchy and explain why it is absolute
- 1 monarch (Elizabeth II).
- Mongolian Empire is the largest empire
- Democracy - A form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but which is
usually exercised indirectly through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically
- Generally governments are elected every 4-5 years
- Elected representatives are called “legislators” because they make the laws (legislation)
- Prime minister meets with govern general once a week for about two hours, briefing the prime
- Queen has the ultimate say on anything that becomes law in the country
- Parliament, then queen to sign
- Demos means ppl, government by the people
- Totalitarian: A government that seeks to subordinate the individual to the state by controlling not only
all political and economic matters, but also the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population (usually
only one political party) e.g. Russia
- Dictatorship - A form of government in which a ruler or small clique wield absolute power (not
restricted by a constitution or laws) e.g. North Korea Theocracy
- Theocracy: A form of government in which a Deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, but the
Deity's laws are interpreted by ecclesiastical authorities (bishops, mullahs, etc.); a government subject
to religious authority.
- 2 examples are Iran and The Vatican
- See god as their leader
- Not democratic
They elect a president but power is in the hand or a religious head
- Parliamentary Government - A government in which members of an executive branch (the cabinet and
its leader - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor) are nominated to their positions by a legislature or
parliament, and are directly responsible to it; this type of government can be dissolved at will by the
parliament (legislature) by means of a non-confidence vote or the leader of the cabinet may dissolve
the parliament if it can no longer function.
- Separation of duties between the Head of State (President or King or Governor General) and the Head
of Government (Prime Minister)
- Prime minister is not chosen by the ppl but the representative of their party
- They can get thrown out by their own party or a vote of non confidence
3 Branches of Government
- Designed for a separation of powers in democracies.
o Legislative (parliament, congress, etc.): makes the laws
o Executive (usually the head of state with the Cabinet): approves the laws
o Judicial (the courts and police): interprets and enforces the laws
Capitalism Versus Socialism
- Both are economic systems, NOT forms of Government.
- Definition: Capitalism is an economic system that emphasizes private ownership of the means of
production or a privately controlled economy. In a capitalist society, you have a free market and
companies live by the profit motive. They exist to make money and maximize the wealth of their
shareholders, whether they have one shareholder or thousands. Prices, production, and the
distribution of goods are determined by competition in a free market.
- A capitalist system is also called a market economy. There is a limited regulatory framework.
Legislation is supposed to define and enforce the basic rules of the free market. The government does
provide some public goods and services as well as support.
- Under a this system, small businesses drive the economy. They provide most of the jobs up to 70-80%.
Large corporations provide most of the profit, but small businesses are the job creators.
- Private ownership is what it should be based upon
- They decide how much to produce, what to produce
- Controlled economy decided what and how much, basically free trade Difference Between Socialism and Communism
- Definition: Socialism is an economic system in which property is held in common and not individually,
and economic relationships are governed by a political hierarchy.
- Socialism originally involved the replacement of private property with a market exchange, but history
has proven this ineffective. socialism cannot prevent people from competing for what is scarce.
Socialism as we know it today, most commonly refers to "market socialism," which involves individual
market exchanges organized by collective planning.
- People often confuse "socialism" with the concept of "communism." While the two ideologies share
much in common -- in fact communism encompasses socialism -- the primary difference between the
two is that "socialism" applies to economic systems, whereas "communism" applies to both
economic and political systems.
- Another difference between socialism and communism is that communists directly oppose the concept
of capitalism, an economic system in which production is controlled by private interests. Socialists, on
the other hand, believe socialism can exist within a capitalist society.
Canada’s Government and Process
- Head of State: _________________
• Is he/she elected
- Head of government: _________________
• Is he/she elected?
- Two Houses of Parliament:
1. House of Commons (elected)
2. Senate (appointed by the Prime Minister)
- Enacting Legislation:
1. Governments propose new laws by passing bills in Parliament.
2. A Bill (proposed legislation/laws) has 3 readings, with committees and debates, in the House where it
3. If it is passed on 3 reading, it goes to the other House for the same process.
4. When approved by both Houses, it goes to the Governor General for Royal Assent.
Level of Government (Examples of Responsibilities)
- National (Central/Federal)
o Usually responsible for foreign affairs, international trade, communications, transportation,
o Responsible for education, mineral rights, power generation and transmission
o Responsible for water and sewerage, snow removal, medical, public transportation, garbage
removal, building permits International Organizations
What is the United Nations?
- The UN is a forum, a meeting-place, for virtually all nations of the world.
- It provides them with the mechanism to help find solutions to disputes or problems, and to act on
virtually any matter of concern to humanity.
- Though sometimes described as a “parliament of nations”, the United Nations is neither a supra-State
nor a government of governments. It does not have an army nor does it impose taxes.
- It depends on the political will of its Members to have its decisions implemented and relies on
contributions of its Members to carry out its activities.
- Food, water etc. to help out other countries
- It cannot dictate. It does it through moralsuasion, convincing.
- Created in 1945 after World War 2
- The UN has 4 main purposes
o To keep peace throughout the world;
o To develop friendly relations among nations;
o To help nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease
and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms;
o To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.
- Located in New York city
- Current Secretary General is the former Prime Minister of Portugal, António Guterres
(as of January 1, 2017)
- The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which, in his
opinion, may threaten international peace and security. He can use his “good offices” to prevent
conflicts or promote peaceful settlements of disputes between countries or humanitarian problems
such as world hunger.
The UN General Assembly
All 192 members of the UN are members of the General Assembly
- The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United
- Provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered
by the UN Charter. The Assembly meets in regular sessions intensively from September to December
each year, and thereafter as required.
- However the Security Council has the real power over important and urgent decisions. UN Security Council
- Charged with maintaining peace and security among countries
- Has the power to make binding decisions (called Security Council Resolutions) that member
governments must carry out
- The Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of 5 permanent members – China,
France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members, who
hold their seats for 2 years
- The five permanent members (winners of WW2) hold veto power, which allows them to block
adoption of any resolution that they do not like
- Other countries want to become permanent members, such as Germany, Japan, India and Brazil
- Over 70 United Nations Member States have never been Members of the Security Council.
- A State which is a Member of the United Nations but not of the Security Council may participate,
without a vote, in its discussions when the Council considers that that country's interests are affected.
UN Organizations and Agencies
- There are many UN organizations and agencies that function to work on particular issues. Some of the
most well-known agencies are the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Food and Agriculture
Organization, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultura