POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Presidential System, Edmund Burke
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Political Science October 4th, 2010.
Reading: Andre Blais, “Criteria for Assessing Electoral Systems”
Juan Linz “The Perils of Presidentialism,” pp.80-83
Horowitz, Comparing Democratic Systems, pp.73-79
Lipset, The Centrality of Political Culture, pp.80-83
Juan Linz, “The Virtues of Parlimentarism,” pp.84-91
Marx: Reality you think you see is not real reality; real reality is exploitation
•Democracy is a method for choosing leaders. Universal franchise, secret ballot,
•Emerges out of different pre-democratic contexts
•But there are different kinds of democratic political institutions, different way of
organizing democratic government. These have profound implications for how
government is carried out, how social interests are channeled into politics, what
political competition looks like, what kind of parties you get, what the flow of
legislation is etc.
Parliamentary Vs. Presidential Systems
•Constitutions: rules of the game, Britain vs. The US
•Ancient (set of practices) vs. Modern (specific document written at a specific
time, RECORDING) constitutionalism
•Unwritten constitution. History of continuity.
•1. Significant acts of parliament and documents
•3. Important interpretations of law
•Importance of common law, judicial precedent and interpretation
•Law evolves through system of interpretations
•Institutions are the product of ‘evolution’
•Rules of game clearly articulated
•Institutions are product of intuitional design rather than (RECORDING)
Design of Government
•Executive, US: president and cabinet; GB prime minister and cabinet, responsible
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