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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Comparative Politics: Executive ©Nigmendra Narain Defining Features  Core of government  Top tier of government  Provides leadership  Sets priorities  Solves crises  Directs national affairs  Implements public policy  Supervises bureaucracy  Required for governing Presidential government  Distinguish from a dictator or ceremonial head of state  Direct election of president  Steers government and appoints it members  Fixed office term for executive and legislative  Neither executive or legislative can bring down the other  Separation of powers  Separation of personnel  Goals: o Executive negotiate with legislature o Deliberation over dictatorship  Problems: o Stalemate o Fragmentation o Instability  USA o Sought to limit executive exercise of power o Electoral College:  Goal: represent states’ choice/vote and limit impact of ‘excitable masses’  Now: popular vote refracted through states Page 1 of 4 (c) Nigmendra Narain, Political Science, UWO o Separation of institutions = share power  Brazil: o Issue decrees for 60 days, no approval, renewable once o Force Congress to vote on bills declared urgent o Initiate bills in Congress o Weak party discipline = loyalty?  appoint to Cabinet  Assessment: o Fixed term’s = continuity o Broad support needed to win o National constituency = above legislative or local partisanship o Symbol of national unity o Limit government, protect liberty o More likely to disintegrate Parliamentary government  Government emerges from parliament  Government brought down by parliament  Executive can dissolve parliament  Executive selects cabinet members o Britain: from the parliament, generally own party o Sweden: must then resign from parliament  Parties = important o Britain: one party runs o Finland: coalition of parties  Majority government o One party wins the most seats in election = becomes majority government in parliament o Prime minister = head of the party o Cabinet = selected by Prime Minister o Controls legislative agenda o Accountability  Defend bills and actions in Parliament  Votes of no confidence = majority of members have no confidence in governing party’s governments  new government or election  Party Whip: keep members voting in line with party position on major issues  Minority or coalition governments o Single-party minority: party with most seats, but still not a majority, governs o Majority coalition: two or more parties form a majority government Page 2 of 4 (c) Nigmendra Narain, Political Science, UWO o M
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