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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 Oct 30 07

3 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Parlimentary Vs. presidential systems
Ancient vs. modern
Ancient: Aristotle-> constitution(way politic organize
Modern: constitution ->
Great Britain
Unwritten constitution
1. Significant acts of parliament and documents
Ex. Magna Carta
2. Customs
Ex. Election every 5 years b/c it has been ¯time immemorial°
Common law: law gets passed down through precedent
Change in Britain is ¯evolutionary° -> slow
US:
Written document (1787), short
Enumerated rights: government and individuals
Institutions are product of human design rather than ¯evolution°
Design of government:
Executive, US: president and cabinet, Britain: prime minister and cabinet
Legislative, US congress: house of representatives and senate
Britain: house of commons and house of lords
judicial
Principles of government
Britain: parliamentary, unified cabinet, doctrine of ¯responsible government° (cabinet must enjoy a
majority of parliament, as opposed to support of head of state, vote of no confidence)
Britain: head of state and head of government is different offices
U.S: presidential, separation of powers, federal, cabinet is appointed by president (head of state), only
must be confirmed by senate but does not require continuous majority confidence
In the u.s: head of state is also head of government (cabinet)
Britain: parliamentary supremacy, courts do not invalidate active parliament
US: equality of branches (judicial review), Supreme court can invalidate acts of government by
referring to constitution.
Canada: started off with the British system, unified government, mix of both Britain and US
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Description
Parlimentary Vs. presidential systems Ancient vs. modern Ancient: Aristotle-> constitution(way politic organize Modern: constitution -> Great Britain Unwritten constitution 1. Significant acts of parliament and documents Ex. Magna Carta 2. Customs Ex. Election every 5 years bc it has been time immemorial Common law: law gets passed down through precedent Change in Britain is evolutionary -> slow US: Written document (1787), short Enumerated rights: government and individuals Institutions are product of human design rather than evolution Design of government: Executive, US: president and cabinet, Britain: prime minister and cabinet Legislative, US congress: house of representatives and senate Britain: house of commons and house of lords judicial Principles of govern
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