POLS 120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Minority Government, Parliamentary System, Corporatism

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21-03-2018
1
THE EXECUTIVE
Leadership:
o Setting national goals and priorities
o Shaping of legislative agenda
o “oli represetatio perfored  head of state, hih a or a ot
e the sae as the head of goeret
o Representing the country internationally, including by directing foreign policy.
Maageet:
o The pratial arrig out i.e. eeutig of poliies ad progras, the
enforcement of laws and regulations.
Patterns of electoral responsibility:
1. Presidential systems
2. Parliamentary systems
3. Semi-presidential systems
Government formation in Parliamentary and Semi-Presidential Systems
Pattern 1: Single-Party Governments
Why?
o SMD-tpe eletoral sste agifies the largest part’s itor.
This part is >5% of seats, the the part fors a ajorit
government.
How?
o The leader of the winning party becomes the prime minister (PM).
o The government (the PM + the cabinet of ministers) is formed from members of
parliaet of the PM’s hoosig.
Voters
President
Bureaucracy
Parliament
Voters
Parliament
Government
(PM + Cabinet)
Bureaucracy
Voters
President
Parliament
Bureaucracy
Government
(PM + Cabinet)
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21-03-2018
2
o The government remains in office for the customary period of time or until it
loses a vote of no confidence called by the opposition. But this is not likely as
long as the governing party:
Has the majority of seats
Its members of parliament will support it in such a vote.
Ex. Single-party Governments in the UK
Pattern 2: Coalition Governments
If no single party wins a majority of seats, it is unusually necessary to find a combination
of parties that will be able to govern together by agreeing on:
o Jobs (how many ministers and other positions in public office for each party)
o Policy hih part’s or parties’ faored poliies ill e ipleeted
Customarily, the leader of the party that won the most seats has the first crack at
forming a coalition government. The various possibilities include:
o Miial iig oalitio: just oer 50% of seats
o Miorit goeret: uder 5% of seats.
o Oersized or grad oalitio: uh ore tha 5% of seats.
o These terms are IMPORTANT.
Pattern 2a: Miial iig coalitios
Wh are iial iig oalitios the ost oo tpe?
o The fewer/smaller coalition partners there are, the more jobs each one gets to
keep.
o The fewer/smaller coalition partners there are, the fewer conflicting policy
priorities need to be accommodated.
o It follows from the above that coalitions between two smaller parties (or one
large and one small) are easier than coalitions between two larger ones.
Why are iial iig oalitios a oo outoe i Gera?
o Proportional electoral system means no majority winner.
o But its PR with a 5% threshold, so not many small, extremist parties.
o Rather, there are to large, ut ot ajorit parties CDU/C“U ad “PD ad…
o Several smaller parties (FDP, Greens, Linke) large enough to make up a majority
with one of the larger parties (CDU/CSU and SPD). So, the usual pattern has been
of  large +  sall part i oalitio together, although  large part
coalition have also occurred.
o Also, constitutional requirement that no-odifee otes e ostrutie i.e.
they simultaneously express lack of confidence in current prime minister, or
Chancellor, and must propose the successor).
o This akes the less likel to sueed, hee goerets do’t feel eed for
ushio of additioal oalitio parters. This eas there are iial
coalitions.
Pattern 2b: Oersized or Grad coalitios
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