The Virtues of Parliamentarism.doc

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein
Semester
Fall

Description
The Virtues of Parliamentarism - had forms of both these types of government (parliamentary and provincial) - study of democratic systems cannot be separated from the study of electoral systems - Nigerian system represents a unique method of presidential election that might be applicable in federal states (particularly multiethnic ones) - Two most common methods of election: the simple majority or plurality system and the two candidate run-off - Inept democratic regimes stand a good chance of surviving simply because all relevant actors find the nondemocratic alternatives to be even less satisfactory - Societies that are polarizes, or fragmented by multiple cleavages, a multiparty system with proportional representation may allow the formation of alternative coalitions and thus forestall dangerous zero-sum outcomes - Parliamentary democracies in which a single disciplined party obtains the absolute majority of all seats find themselves in what is close to a “winner-take-all” situation, not the most frequent pattern in parliamentary systems - Parliamentary elections may be called not only to benefit from popularity, but also when governing becomes difficult because of a lack of cohesion among the parliamentary majority (Spain 1982) - That “all” that the winner takes may not include much effective power, especially if congressional support is not forthcoming Varieties of Presidentalism - was not simply parlimentarism, but rather democratic institutions as a whole that failed in Africa - a separately elected president can perform in a divided society - a president might be able to help build political consensus (linz) - political problems of multiethnic societies under whatever system of rule (democratic of authoritarian) present complexities - more research is needed concerning the compositions and stability of cabinets in presidential systems - in parliamentary systems even those with unstable gover
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