Chapter 10Comparative Politics III Governing Democracies:Executives, Legislatures, and Judiciaries
Executives• Presidents • Elected• Prime British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, U.S. Ministers President George W. Bush, and Portugese Prime Minister Jose Durao Barroso, • Selected from its own ranks
European Parliaments• “Forming a government” in Britain • Monarch invites the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons to become prime minister and “form a government” Queen Elizabeth II
EuropeanParliaments• “Constructive no confidence” in Germany • Chancellor of Germany stronger than British prime minister • Head of largest party in the German Chancellor lower house (Bundestag) Gerhard Schroder – Ousted only if the Bundestag votes in a replacement cabinet – “Constructive no confidence” succeeded only once in 1982
EuropeanParliaments• “Cohabitation” in France • Semipresidential system • President elected for Premier Lionel Jospin and 7 years President Jacques Chirac • Parliament elected for 5 years – President appoints premier from majority party in parliament
The ClintonImpeachment• Snapshot of American politics: • Moralistic • Public • Example of morality • Open to media • Divided • Legalistic • 2/3 pro Clinton • Legal details • Partisan • Expensive • Division on party lines • $40 million + • Personality-driven • Institutionalized • Normal (immature) • According to Constitution • “Slick Willy” • Distasteful • Partisn politics run amok
Roles of theExecutive• Head of state • Symbol of nation• Chief of government • Responsible for making • Chief diplomat and carrying out policy • Grant diplomatic decisions recognition• Party chief • Negotiate trade deals • Leaders of political party • Executive agreements• Commander in chief • Dispenser of • Commands military appointments establishment • Patronage (3,000 jobs) • Most dangerous power • Chief legislator • Law-making powers
Executive Leadership • Hands-on Causes chief executives to scatter and exhaust President Carter themselves “Hands-On” Style of leadership • Hands-off • Pay little attention to crucial matters causing serious problems Ronald Reagan with his horse • Rely on trusted"Little Man" at Rancho Del Cielo. subordinates February, 1977.
ExecutiveLeadership• Middle Ground • Appeared to be hands-off • Actually very active • Preferred to let others President Eisenhower take credit (or blame) – “Hidden-hand presidency”
Barber’s Presidential Character• Based on how much - presidents like political office - energy they put into it
Types of Presidential Character• Active-positive • Enjoys being president and puts a lot of energy into it. • Roosevelt, Kennedy, Bush Sr.• Active-negative • Real “meanies” in office • Lots of energy but don’t enjoy relaxed power • Johnson, Nixon
Types ofPresidentialCharacter• Passive-positive • Like being president, but little energy • Prefer to delegate matters to subordinates • Taft, Harding, Reagan General Eisenhower Passive-negative – Politicians drafted for the job, don’t relish it – Little energy – Coolidge, Eisenhower
DisabledPresidents • Woodrow Wilson • Strokes, poor health • Treaty of Versailles • Franklin D. Roosevelt • Heart Failure, hypertension Ellen Axson Wilson • John F. Kennedy • Addison’s disease • Ronald Reagan • Assassination attempt
Psychology of Power• Classic 1936 work of Harold Lasswell • Politicians start out mentally unbalanced • Have unusual need for power and dominance • Normal people find politics uninteresting Plato – Even sane people who become too powerful in high office go crazy. • They have to because they can trust no one Solution – Limit power and have mechanisms to remove officeholders who abuse it.
Cabinets• Major executive divisions called department in U.S., ministry in most of the rest of the world.• Who serves in a U.S. Treasury Department transfers its law cabinet? enforcement units, including • Parliamentary systems the Customs Service and the Secret Service, to the • Presidential systems Department of Homeland Security and the Justice• Rise of noncabinet Department. advisers Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and • Chief of Staff Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson • National Security Adviser
ExpectingToo Much?• Presidents and Prime Ministers are expected to • Deliver economic growth with low unemployment and low inflation • Be responsible for anything that goes wrong • Delegate to subordinates (“hands-off”)• What matters is getting reelected • Personality counts more than policy • Symbols count more than performance
How Do We SafeguardDemocracy? Electoral Punishment!
Executive Roles• Head of state • Top leader, but with only symbolic duties • Queen of England • King of Sweden Head of government – The real working executive • Prime minister, premier, or chancellor – Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair – Germany Chancellor Angela D. Merkel– United States – President is both head of state and head of government.
PresidentialDemocracy• Separation of power between executive and legislative branches• President combines head of state with chief of government roles Executive not easily ousted by legislature Less dependent on legislative majority
ParliamentarySystem• Fusion of power between executive and legislative branches• Head of state distinct from chief of government• Chief political official (usually prime minister) easily ousted• Cabinet members are members of parliament
Separation andFusion of Power• Government • In Europe, a given cabinet • U.S. “administration”• Executive-legislative deadlock Vote of confidence – Major vote in parliament on which government stands or falls. – Can oust cabinet on a no-confidence vote Immobilism – Inability of coalition governments to solve major questions.
Coalition• Multiparty alliance to form a government When no one party has majority of seats in parliament
LegislativeChambers• Bicameral • Parliament having two chambers, upper and lower• Unicameral • Parliament with one chamber
The CommitteeSystem• Real power of modern legislatures• Screen much proposed legislation Can make or break a proposal Includes - Standing (permanent) committees - Special ad hoc committees - Subcommittees
A Closer Look atLegislatures• Lawmaking • Pass laws, few originate laws• Constituency work Supervision and criticism of government – Keeping a critical eye on the executive Education – Keep citizenry informed Representation – Chief function to represent the people
Decline ofLegislatures• Structural disadvantages • Legislators obey party whips • U.S. lacks efficiency• Lack of expertise • Must rely on experts• Psychological disadvantages • A President can have charisma, but a legislature cannot • “President worship”
Decline ofLegislatures• The absentee problem• Lack of turnover• Dilemma of parliaments • To get things done, power must be concentrated, as in the hands of a powerful executive. • To keep things democratic, power must be dispersed, divided between an executive and a legislature.
Types of Law• Positive law • Written by humans and accepted over time Criminal law – Regulates the conduct of individuals, defines crimes, and provides punishment for violations • Infractions • Misdemeanors • Felonies • U.S. criminal law codified or statutory
Types of Law• Civil law • Private matters brought to court by individuals, not by governments • Marriage and divorce, inheritance Constitutional law – Grows out of a country’s basic documents – U.S. Supreme Court interprets the Constitution – Judicial review of legislation
Types of Law• Administrative law • Regulatory orders by government agencies International law – Guides relations among nations – Include treaties, authority, and customs – Reciprocity and consistency – No enforcement apparatus
Types of Law• Common law • “Judge-made law”; old decisions built up over the centuries Code law – Laws arranged in books, usually updated Roman law Canon law – Laws of the Roman Catholic Church, based on Roman law
The Roots of Law• Higher law • Attributed to God or the Creator and thus higher than laws made by humans John Locke – People are “endowed by their Creator” with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…-- rights that no just government can take away. Natural law – That which comes from nature, understood by reasoning.
U.S. Federal Court SystemDiversityJurisdiction: U.S. Supreme CourtLitigants whoare citizens ofdifferentstates Circuit Courts District Courts
State Court SystemAdversaryProcess: CA Supreme CourtTwo sides:Plaintiff andDefendant Court of Appeals Superior Courts
Judges• Federal Judges • Nominated by President and appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate • Position held during “good behavior”• State Judges • Either popularly elected or appointed • Terms range up to 14 years
Comparing Courts• British court system • Common law traditions • Divided into civil and criminal branches – Judges • All judges appointed by the Monarch on advice of prime minister • Lifetime tenure • Lack power of judicial review – No written constitution – Lawyers • Barristers represent clients in court • Solicitors handle all other legal matters
ComparingCourts• European court system • Based on French system • No separate civil/criminal divisions • Accused bears burden of proving innocence • Lawyers • Court questions witnesses, not lawyers • Lawyers try to sway jury and show factual mistakes • Role not as vital as in U.S./British systems
Role of the Courts• Judicial review - Marbury v. Madison (1803) • Supreme Court’s power to review the constitutionality Chief Justice of laws John Marshall Political role – Appointment of judges – Impact on laws
Influenceson Judges• Geography• Outlook and background• Occupational background• Party affiliation• Conception of judicial role• Colleagues’ opinions• Public opinion
Warren Court• Civil rights • Brown v. Bd. Of Ed of Topeka (1954) • Reversed “separate but equal” doctrine • Ordered desegregation of schools • Lombard v. Louisiana (1963) • Supported the sit-in
Warren Court• Criminal justice • Mapp v. Ohio (1961) • Evidence seized without warrant was inadmissible in state court – Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) • Indigent defendants must be provided counsel – Escobedo v. Illinois (1964) • Suspect could not be denied right to lawyer during police questioning – Miranda v. Arizona (1966) • Once detained by police, suspect must be told rights
Warren Court• Legislative reapportionment • Outlawed “gerrymandering” – Unequal representation denied citizens their 14th Amendment rights – States must apply the principle of “one person, one vote” in redrawing electoral lines
Post-WarrenCourts• Burger Court (1969 –1986) • 1978 Bakke Case • Reverse discrimination • 1984 added “good faith exception” to the Mapp rule• Rehnquist Court (1986-present) • Burning of the American flag protected form of free speech • Our current Supreme Court
“Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always remain unaltered.” -- Aristotle