FORMS OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
• Branches of Government in Canada
canada is the federal system, monarch is head of state and PM and provincial premiers are heads of gov
while queen, gov general and lieutenant governors are the crown.
Crown, commons and senate.
The crown: constitution dictates the actions of the crown, if there is not a clear course of action, such as PM
was to die in office and party had not agreed on a successor the head of state might have to use discretion
in asking someone to form an interim government until the majority party could sort out its affairs. also it
acts in times of emergency, liberals, and using control of the agenda to delay the vote of non-confidence,
harper asked governor general to prorogue parliament. some commentators argued the gov was threatened
with losing the vote of non-confidence. but after the cooling off period harper got through. and places a
potential check on the PM.
The House of Commons: Leader from the working majority becomes PM and PM choses cabinets.
Senate: appointed cannot make bills, not a confidence chamber. (Centrally appointed upper house)
• Parliamentary System: Westminster Model
The political machinery of the british parliamentary system, consists of the crown, cabinet, house of
commons and the house of lords.
The british westminster model is a bicameral institution consisting of the house of commons/lords it used to
be that the PM was the primus inter pares - first among equals. now the first minister of the cabinet the party
leader and the leader of the government.
non cabinet are the private members. house of lords are elected, due to birth but is subservient to commons
and may initiate and amend legislation but cannot veto but only delay bills. No one, The monarch, private
members or house of lords is as powerful as the PM.
• Parliamentary System: Fusion of Powers
The PM cannot function without support in the house of commons and it’s the electorate that provides this
support. there are three types of outcomes
one party may win a majority of seats forming a majority government, if no party has a majority the leader of
one party can form a minority government. such a minority government can stay in office only if the other
parties refrain from defeating it, or two parties may form a coalition government, dividing ministerial
appointments between them with the leader of the large partner becoming the PM. there was never been a
true coalition in canada.
The fusion works like this
the legislative fuse powers with executive containing the crown, PM and cabinet. the senate is appointed by
gov general on advice by the PM
• Parliamentary System: Cabinet Solidarity
Cabinet determines the legislative priorities and sets the legislative agenda. A combining committee is the
name of it. this collection of decision making body but dominated by the PM run according to his or her
particular style. once a court is set the principle of cabinet solidarity prevents ministers from differing with
government policy in public, what ever their private reservations are. Private member bills, (non-ministers)
are seldom passed. speaker of the house is elected by the a secret ballot in a fair election. in GB speaker is
non affiliated from party. proposed bill go through three readings in both chambers.
• Parliamentary System: Responsible Government
The term responsible government means that the cabinet must enjoy continued support of the popularly
elected house of the legislative assembly in order to remain in office, concept that has been associated with
parliamentary government. not to be confused with accountability.Budget bills must be treated as
confidence motion but beyond that, the prime minister is free to decide whether any legislation or other
motion should be a matter of confidence. all members must support or they will be expelled from caucus.
sometimes govt may allow a free vote on certain bills. the mechanism of responsible government meant
that the crown could act only on the advice of those who had the confidence of parliament. as long as the supporters of the PM in the house vote as directed the executive and legislative powers are fused and
separation of powers no longer act as a check. but when the PM loses majority support the opposition can
withdraw confidence from the government.
• Parliamentary System: Party Caucus
The party caucus is an opportunity to be heard by their leaders, a party caucus is a closed meeting of the
members of a parliamentary party in the house and senate. benchbackers can question their own leaders
and suggest alternatives. the support of backbenchers is required to maintain a majority position.These
meetings can become raucous affairs, all members support the collective caucus position, once a position is
settled all members are expected to support the collective caucus position. besides this check on the
government there is also the activity of the opposition parties. the development of an institutionalized
practice of loyal opposition, in which one can legally challenge the government without fear of repression.
everyone has limited knowledge and no government or governor is infallible.
• Parliamentary System: Prime Ministerial Government - 287
Executive branch has become too powerful, we have prime ministerial government, aside from provincial
primers we have too much executive power. it has almost autonomous force at the expense of the
legislature. there needs to be a balance. to get rid of this we can reduce party discipline or increasing the
number of free votes or permitting party members to oppose the government on votes. But too much
autonomy of the legislature could lead to gridlock.
• Presidential System: Key Powers of the President
Elected in a four term and both head of state and head of government. very similar to british crown, but
president powers are restricted by his or her not being a member of the congress and limited to exercising
influence rather than authority over its members. Also appoint judges but need consent of the senate.
President submit a budget but it can be altered. commander in chief and need consent of congress to go to
work. electoral college chooses the president.
• Presidential System: Key Powers of Congress
Congress is a bicameral legislature, all elected reps in USA are based on populations one per district.
house is 2 years and the presidential system the dates are fixed. senate is six year term 2 from each state.
each state gets two. senate upper house and conforms presidential appointments and ratifies
treaties.congress holds most of the repository of legislative power. congress and president have checks on
each other. veto power and congress can override the president’s veto. Governor can do item veto, some
clauses. also president cannot introduce a bill in congress, but he can have legislation drafted to submit to
congress. a large majority of american legislation originates this way. neither the president nor the cabinet
secretaries may hold a seat in congress. american cabinet is chosen by the president. some presidents the
cabinet never meet as a group it can varies with the administration. No vote of confidence so no principle of
responsible government. loyalty is to constituency. also have congressional committees. log rolling develops
in committee members to get the bill passed. it’s a great deal of vote trading is logrolling.
• Semi-Presidential System
Semi-presidential systems are the combination of parliamentary and presidential systems operate
differently. Iin france they tried this but experienced extreme political instability during the fourth republic.
The national assembly can pass non-confidence motion or vote of censure only once a year. really
unstable, but french have made it work.. France and Russia, have a president and a prime minister.
• Key Functions of Representatives Assemblies - 392
Liberal-democratic theory says the representative assembly should be the central institution for converting
political inputs into outputs. Through the mechanism of elections, the sovereign people have delegated to
the assembly their power to rule that is, to make decisions about public business. The key function is to
legislate. there is a symbolic importance in the idea that assemblies composed of the people’s
representatives are given the power to make laws. People to make laws, deliberate on them and public
• Representation: Trustee, Delegate, Party Member, & Microcosm Trustee demands that the representatives rely on their personal judgement when deciding what is the best
interests of the community as a whole, representatives act independently, party discipline largely destroyed
trusteeship. MPs always are loyal to party. Delegate does what his constituency tells him to do because
they are a representative of their electorate. Microcosm is the idea that a governing body should be a
miniature replica of the society it represents. (reflect the population/elecorate).
• Parliamentary Executive: Role of Cabinet
Executive formulates legislative proposals to be submitted to entire assembly, has minister running different
departments. each minister is responsible to the house and to the people for the business of a specific
administrative department. All ministers answer to the house for their work, and during question period it
allows backbenchers to pose questions directly to ministers. high political pressure. in the presidential
system party leaders and committee chairs manage the flow of legislation. cabinet members do not hold
seats in the legislature they cannot be subjected to routine questions there, and there is no equivalent
question period in the presidential system.
• Parliamentary Executive: Central Agencies
Half a dozen or so called central agencies of four are very important, department of finance, the treasury
board, two staff organizations. The PM office and the privy council very deeply involved in initiating,
implementing and monitoring policy proposals, called the exclusive club of central agencies. Department of
finance, annual budget of the government, the minister of finance makes decision about how much money
each department gets, only PM give direction to minister of finance. paulo minister good minister of finance.
Treasury Board, separate from department of finance is responsible for public administration in general
terms. Presides over large bureaucracy, provide central controls over expenditures.
Department of finance prepares the budget and allocates money while the treasury board ensures
that the money is spent for approved purposes.
PM office - trudeau PMO includes political operatives as well as advisers on policy areas, hired and fired by
the PM and serve without career security of civil servants. highest appointments of the PMO are personal
friends or political associates of the PM. junior appointments usually young people put in a few years of
extremely concentrated work. Privy council office is special organization designed to serve the cabinet and
cabinet committees. mostly present and former cabinet ministers, council as a whole does not meet.
manage overall government priorities for coordinating the process by which those priorities are achieved.
• Presidential Executive: Log-Rolling or Pork-Barrelling
This is a vote trading where you scratch my back and ill scratch yours, devising trade offs leading to a
majority vote for legislation in congress. - way of getting policy proposals to congress.
• Parliamentary v. Presidential: Citizen Participation
• Parliamentary v. Presidential: Checks and Balances
• Parliamentary v. Presidential: Efficient Government
DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION Chapters 22, 23 & 25
• Key structures of the political process
six important structures, interest groups, political parties, mass media, legislatures, executives and the
judiciary. the functions are the interest articulation, interest aggregation.
laws are regulative extractive distributive and symbolic
regulative when it control individual and group behavior in society, such as speed limits
distributive when they pay extend payments and services to individuals such as health care garbage
collection and education
extractive such as taxes ect
symbolic such as when they represent the community with a flag or anthem. • Key functions of the political process
The Political system is the simplest form is a process of authoritative decision making politics as a systemic
flow, specific inputs (demands and supports) are generated in society. demands are what the people want
and the supports are the approbation they bestow on a government they consider legitimate. these are
transformed or converted into outputs: laws and policies, this conversion takes place in what easton calls
the black box. with many branches and layers of government.
This works like this, inputs gives demands and supports to the political system giving decisions and actions
giving outputs and this leads to new inputs.
• Concept of policy community
Paul Pross, includes all actors or potential actors with direct or indirect interest in a policy area or functions
who share a common policy focus, and who with varying degrees of influence shape policy outcomes over
the long run. this forms once a particular policy becomes an issue, there are sub government groups and
attentive public, such as gov agencies interest associates and business firms. it is interactive and dynamic.
• Roles of political parties
Political parties are an essential feature of politics in the modern age of mass participation, in liberal-
democratic systems they help to keep governments accountable to public opinion. they help maintain hold
on power and important link between government and the people. they evolved with the extension of the
franchise, tories and whigs dominated the UK as political clubs of upper class, little with reg people but as
suffrage extended the clubs transformed
The role is to place and maintain in public persons who will control alone or coalition the machinery of
government. The most important goal is electoral success, organize and get voters to support the
candidates. also influence is important. party acts as an intermediary between elected members and the
public that is between people and their government. provides training ground for political leaders. Aggregate
demands to some extent and done behind the scenes party coordinates publicity in mass media
• Contrast types of political parties: pragmatic, ideological, interest, personal, movement
i. Political party whose primary concern is winning the election
i. Political party that emphasizes an ideological perspective over attaining power
i. Political party with a single interest or purpose
i. Type of political party founded by a single influential leader
i. A political party that emerges from a political movement such as a natural
• Contrast party systems: one-party, two-party, multiparty
One party: Only one party in the political system, with no political alternatives.
Two party: two parties are credible contenders and eit