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POL103 LEC 6

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

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POL103—LEC 06
November 3, 2009
Comparison Presidential v. Parliamentary Systems
Obvious points of comparison;
In a presidential system, one of its most distinctive features is the fusion between head of
state and head of government—President. The idea here is that the head of government is
also the head of state because it is more democratic that way, so goes the argument.
Because if youre going to elect the most powerful pers on in the country then why should
that person not only embody the head of all the beuartocartic body. By fusing those two
ideas, you democratize it because the head of those beaurocratic andmere policy
making functions is the function of government. In this system, the one we elect to make
and execute those policies is one in the s ame person as the head of state. What are the
different functions between head of state and head of government?
Head of state- think of representing us abroad, state dinners, standing in for all citizens,
not just t hose who elected, integrative functions that we dont necessarily need or want
the head of government to perfor m. It shows the sympathy of all of us.
Head of Government- Managing function, ex. loans, shelters, food.
Under a President ial system, the head of state and government are the same function and
it makes sense in some ways because the person is elected. In that way it is more
democratic and more effective.
Parliamentary System in Canada: those two functions are separate; head of state and
government. Integrative fcuntion and manging function are sperate.
Its more effective, bot h those functions can be done better if they are separate.
On the other hand, the intergrative function is performed by who?
Who elected Michaela J eane? The Queen of England; Royal Family
You can hae a head of state that is not royal though like Israel and Germany.
What is the difference between state and government?
State; more permanent, it will always exist even though any given government will not
neccasrly exist, governments can fall and go away
There is argument for Canadas system; Pro Monarcy People
The monarchy is good because it presents the last line of defense against any pr ime
minister whos elected, who has the mandate of the people. The demoractic mandate is
hugely pwoeruf l and you s hould never underestime that. However, the potential for
tyranny is there. What if we elected not Harper, not Ignatief, not Jack Layton, but if we
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