The executive branch

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The executive branch

  1. 1. -Lecture IV- THE EXECUTIVE
  2. 2. THE EXECUTIVE ROLE <ul><li>List of duty of the American President (Rossiter): </li></ul><ul><li>Chief of State </li></ul><ul><li>Chief Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Commander-in-Chief </li></ul><ul><li>Chief Diplomat </li></ul><ul><li>Chef Legislator </li></ul><ul><li>Chief of Party </li></ul><ul><li>Voice of the People </li></ul><ul><li>Protector of Peace </li></ul><ul><li>Manager of Prosperity </li></ul><ul><li>World Leader </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Should we have several leaders to perform all these tasks instead of one for reason of efficiency? </li></ul><ul><li>Concept of Multiple Executive not new, yet rejected by the Founding Fathers because: </li></ul><ul><li>Too divisive when in need of a rapid decision (can lead to inaction) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of accountability (who’s responsible in case of failure) </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Executive Function: <ul><li>SYMBOLIC MANAGERIAL </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>SYMBOLIC </li></ul><ul><li>Dignity of the state abroad </li></ul><ul><li>Ceremonial function </li></ul><ul><li>MANAGERIAL </li></ul><ul><li>Taking care of the business of the state </li></ul><ul><li>Making the tough decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate leader of the state </li></ul>
  6. 6. Four Models of Executive SOVIET COLLECTIVE EXECUTIVE MODEL FRENCH PARLIAMENTARY CABINET MODEL “ WESTMINSTER” PARLIAMENTARY CABINET FORM OF EXECUTIVE PRESIDENTIAL MODEL OF EXECUTIVE
  7. 7. THE PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE <ul><li>American model (+ Latin and Central America/Asia) </li></ul><ul><li>Presidential model: centralization of power and authority in the hands of the president </li></ul><ul><li>Presides at ceremonial functions </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolizes and represents the nation abroad </li></ul><ul><li>Head of the state </li></ul><ul><li>Head of the diplomatic body </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses the Congress each year during the State of the Union </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Presidential systems do not separate the symbolic and managerial functions of the executive (the same person performs both) </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of the presidency: independence (the president is elected every four years independently from the legislature) </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, the president is elected on the basis of popular election </li></ul><ul><li>In the U.S.: there is however an additional structure called the electoral college (the Founding fathers distrusted popular vote because it was source of unrest and instability). Therefore the president is indirectly elected. Voters select electors who elect the president. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>In Presidential Systems: </li></ul><ul><li>Legislature President </li></ul><ul><li>In the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>indirectly via the electoral </li></ul><ul><li>college </li></ul><ul><li>Voters </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>In non-presidential systems: </li></ul><ul><li> Chief of Executive </li></ul><ul><li> Legislature </li></ul><ul><li> Voters </li></ul>
  11. 11. Different elections for branches: <ul><li>President/vice-president elected every four year independently </li></ul><ul><li>Representatives in the House elected every two years </li></ul><ul><li>Senators elected for six years yet not simultaneously (no complete change of the Senate at one time) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Consequences of such system? <ul><li>Gives the President an independent base of power: </li></ul><ul><li>- Except through the procedure of impeachment, the president’s length of term does not depend from changes in the legislature or of public opinion (always four years or more) </li></ul><ul><li>- The president can be more flexible in making decisions </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Trade-off: because American legislators are chosen by the people and not by the president, they can act independently as the president can virtually not do anything against them (except maybe refusing to support their campaign for reelection) </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Negative impact of this structural independence: mutual frustration </li></ul><ul><li> veto </li></ul><ul><li>President Legislature </li></ul><ul><li> override the veto </li></ul><ul><li>The President does not have absolute veto </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>In the same way, the Congress can refuse to pass a legislative request of the president, while the president can try to accomplish his goal through executive decrees </li></ul><ul><li>INACTION? </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Because the president is not part of the legislative branch, the president needs to find a legislative sponsor to introduce bills (only representatives can do that) </li></ul><ul><li>No sponsor means inability to pass a bill </li></ul><ul><li>Situation of immobilism </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>IMMOBILISM IN THE U.S.? </li></ul><ul><li>Most tension when the president is of one of the two parties and the Congress is of the other one </li></ul><ul><li>During Nixon’s presidency: Republican president facing a Democratic Congress </li></ul><ul><li>During Reagan (Republican president) in the 1980’s: same situation repeating; Congress partially controlled by the Democrats (Republican Senate and Democratic House) followed by a Democratic majority in both houses </li></ul><ul><li>Same situation under Bush Sr. </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse with Clinton (Democrat as president) facing a Republican majority in both houses during the most part of his mandate </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Tensions generally in such situations </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessarily happening only in the U.S. (“cohabition” in France) </li></ul><ul><li>Tandem analogy </li></ul>
  19. 19. THE PARLIAMENT EXECUTIVE <ul><li>More complex than the presidential system </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic and Managerial functions generally performed by two distinct individuals (multiple executive). Ex: UK </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic Managerial </li></ul><ul><li>Head of State Chief executive </li></ul>
  20. 21. Head of State/Chief executive <ul><li>Head of State: </li></ul><ul><li>Receives ambassadors </li></ul><ul><li>Hosts ceremonies </li></ul><ul><li>SELECTION? </li></ul><ul><li>Hereditary position (UK) </li></ul><ul><li>Selected by a governmental body (Israel president elected by the Knesset) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-selection (dictatorships) </li></ul><ul><li>Chief executive: </li></ul><ul><li>Chief of the executive branch </li></ul><ul><li>Same tasks as the executive in presidential regimes (except ceremonial) </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate government policy-making </li></ul><ul><li>Assisted by cabinets (department or ministries) </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible for the day-to-day operations </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes, no legal basis to the position (customs and traditions), sometimes detailed in the constitution of the state </li></ul>
  21. 22. Chancellor President Parliamentary Germany President President Presidential United-States Prime Minister Queen Parliamentary United Kingdom President President Presidential Mexico Prime Minister Emperor Parliamentary Japan Prime Minister President Parliamentary Italy Prime Minister President Parliamentary Israel Prime Minister President Parliamentary India Prime Minister Governor-General Parliamentary Canada Prime Minister Governor-General Parliamentary Australia Chief executive Head of State Model of government Nation
  22. 23. RESULTS? <ul><li>Duality of executive leadership visible today: </li></ul><ul><li>Monarch Prime Minister </li></ul><ul><li>Official (de jure) active (de facto) </li></ul><ul><li>Head of state Head of State </li></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>All appointments are made and all government is carried on behalf of the King/Queen </li></ul><ul><li>The Prime Minister and the Cabinet make all the selections for appointments, sponsor legislative bills, and make the administrative decisions </li></ul>
  24. 25. The Selection of the Chief Executive <ul><li>Before, selection of advisors and Prime Minister by the Head of State </li></ul><ul><li>The process greatly differs nowadays </li></ul><ul><li>Varies in each parliamentary system depending on the de jure/de facto distinction </li></ul><ul><li>In Parliamentary systems, unlike in presidential systems, no special election for the chief executive (elected as a member of the legislature </li></ul><ul><li>In the United-Kingdom, the Prime Ministers is a member of the House of Commons renewed every five years (House of Lords instead is made of appointees) </li></ul>
  25. 26. Process <ul><li>In most countries, the Head of States has in tradition the right to choose the chief executive and the member of the government (de jure). </li></ul><ul><li>In reality, heads of state must invite the leader of the majority in the parliament to become the Prime Minister </li></ul><ul><li>The Prime Minister (leader of the majority) selects the members of the cabinet (Government) </li></ul><ul><li>Once the cabinet members are appointed, it is generally in the tradition that the new Government must receive a vote of confidence from the legislature before it assumes power (vote by a majority of the legislative house indicating confidence/support in the Prime Minister and his cabinet) </li></ul>
  26. 27. PHASE II The Head of State Invites the Leader of the majority PHASE III The leader of the Majority appoints The members of the Cabinet PHASE IV Vote of confidence By the legislature PHASE V Formal Investiture PHASE I People elect the legislature
  27. 28. <ul><li>Vote of confidence as an instrument of legislative supremacy: the legislature “hires” the executive. Ex.: the Chancellor in Germany; the Prime Minister in Japan </li></ul><ul><li>The legislative often have the power to fire the executive </li></ul><ul><li>When the executive fails to pass a new vote of confidence, or when it fails to pass a major legislation, it is often in the tradition that the chief executive must resign </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Government has fallen”: the Prime Minister resigns because fails to pass a vote of confidence/or a major legislation, or for other reasons </li></ul><ul><li>In parliamentary systems, the chief executive does not have the job security of the chief executive in presidential systems. Needs to retain the majority to maintain his position </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>Usually, the head of state must appoint the leader of the majority (otherwise unlikely to get the support of the legislature) </li></ul>
  29. 30. <ul><li>If there are no majority, 3 options: </li></ul><ul><li>Minority government </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition government </li></ul><ul><li>Dissolve the legislature </li></ul>
  30. 31. <ul><li>Minority government: </li></ul><ul><li>Situation in which the Prime Minister to be does not control 50% of the legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Temporary understanding among parties who do not want to have to contest in elections again, and give temporarily their confidence to a minority party </li></ul><ul><li>Minority governments tend to be short-lived </li></ul>
  31. 32. <ul><li>2) Coalition government </li></ul><ul><li>Two or more non-majority parties pool their seats to make a majority </li></ul><ul><li>More or less formal agreement </li></ul><ul><li>The composition of the government generally corresponds to the agreeing parties’ numbers of legislators </li></ul>
  32. 33. <ul><li>3) Dissolving the Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of appointing a government, the head of state decides to dissolve the legislature and to run new elections </li></ul><ul><li>Hope that the result of the next elections will show a clear majority </li></ul><ul><li>Usually not used as first resort </li></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><li>Chief executive selected by the legislature and retains this position as long as the legislature continues to express support, and as long as he/she controls the legislature </li></ul><ul><li>When a majority cannot be controlled, a motion of no confidence will force the prime minister to resign </li></ul><ul><li>No necessary elections. The head of state can just reassess the situation and appoint someone else </li></ul>
  34. 35. Calls for Early Elections? <ul><li>The chief executive can decide to call for early elections at a time his popularity is at a all time high </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons: likely that his party will gain even more vote in the legislature than during the previous elections; ensures that the length of his mandate will last longer. </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothetical situation: In a system in which you have legislative elections every five years. Calling for elections two years before regular election date at a time of extreme popularity will ensure that the PM’s party will have a larger majority (whereas it would not necessarily be the case two years later) </li></ul>
  35. 36. COALITION GOVERNMENTS <ul><li>(in political systems that have more than two main political parties) it is often the case that no single party controls a majority in the legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Usually, a leader of a party will have to promise other leaders rewards to join the coalition (generally cabinet positions) </li></ul>
  36. 37. PARTY A 14 votes PARTY B 35 votes PARTY C 27 votes Combinations possible: AB-AC-BC
  37. 38. <ul><li>Coalitions can be simple (two actors) or more complex (involving a greater number of parties) </li></ul><ul><li>Partners in coalitions are usually chosen among parties that share similar values and political platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition majority tend to be less stable than single-party majority systems. In single-party systems, leaders can exercise party-discipline. It is more difficult in coalitions. </li></ul><ul><li>Coalitions are unstable because of the subsistence of diverse party interests and divergent political ideas </li></ul><ul><li>The more complex a coalition, the more difficult will it be to maintain it </li></ul>
  38. 39. PRESIDENTIAL AND PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEMS IN COMPARISON <ul><li>What are the differences between presidential and parliamentary systems in terms of policy outcome and daily operations? </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible government: does the government have the ability to deliver its promises? </li></ul>
  39. 40. Responsible government in Parliamentary Systems <ul><li>Party discipline: ensures that legislators will vote according to the chief executive’s decision </li></ul><ul><li>The selection of the leader as leader of the largest party in the legislature and the notion of the vote of confidence ensure that the prime minister will always have the support of a majority of the legislature </li></ul><ul><li>What the Prime Minister wants will have the approval of a majority of the legislature (otherwise must resign) </li></ul><ul><li>Because while being the chief of the executive branch, the Prime Minister is also in theory the chief of the legislative branch, the prime minister is in a good position to implement the promises made by its government </li></ul>
  40. 41. Responsible Government in Presidential Systems <ul><li>Because of the separation between branches and the existence of checks and balances, the legislative branch can deny the requests of the president </li></ul><ul><li>The executive cannot always deliver the promises it made to the public </li></ul>
  41. 42. Weaknesses and Advantages of each system <ul><li>Slower and more difficult to enact (-) </li></ul><ul><li>Because of the checks and balance, it is unlikely that a bad policy will pass (+) </li></ul><ul><li>Stability and tenure in office (established term of a number of years) makes it possible to pass a good yet unpopular measure (+) </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid (+) </li></ul><ul><li>If rapid for good policy, also for bad one (-) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Prime Ministerial dictatorship” (-) </li></ul><ul><li>- No job security and tendency to instability. Policy-making more contingent to the popularity of the measure (-) </li></ul><ul><li>Executive less likely to go against the legislature and vice-versa (?) </li></ul>Presidential System Parliamentary System
  42. 43. <ul><li>Both models can be responsive to public opinion, both can provide effective leadership, and provide for the general welfare of the political system </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to argue whether one system is better. They are just different. </li></ul>
  43. 44. THE PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM AND THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE MONARCHY IN ENGLAND <ul><li>William the Conqueror set up in 1066 the Witenagemot (legislative assembly) and institutionalized the King’s court ( Curia Regis ). Way for the King to get financial resources in exchange to paying attention to the advices of the members of both councils </li></ul><ul><li>1215, King John Landless constrained by his barons to adopt the Magna Carta, a document acknowledging the powers granted by the King to the barons (in like manner, obligation of the people to the King, of the King to the people, and law and justice) </li></ul><ul><li>13 th century: need of more resources, call to the counties and cities in addition to the barons. In exchange, admission to the Curia Regis. Creation of the superior House of Lords (barons) and House of Commons (elected members of the cities and counties) </li></ul><ul><li>Growth of the power of the House of Commons by 1500. The King needed their approval for raising taxes </li></ul>
  44. 46. 17 th century. Stress between the monarchy and the growing legislature <ul><li>James I (1603-25): believed in the divine right of Kings (authority does not stem from the people but from God. Any right of the legislature was granted by the King themselves. Period of repression and dissolution of the legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Under Charles I: tensions continued the policy of his father. Yet, was refused the right to raise taxes by the House of Commons. Civil War (1642-8) during which the main question was whether the King should rule the parliament, or the parliament should rule the King. Royal army defeated by Oliver Cromwell followed by the execution of the King in 1649. Instauration of the Republic under Oliver Cromwell. Yet, not long later, the new convention elected decides to bring back another member of the Stuart family: Charles II </li></ul><ul><li>Charles II (1660-85) and James II (1685-88): tensions between the King and the parliament start again. James II forced into abdication. Invitation to William of Orange (Holland) to the throne </li></ul>
  45. 48. <ul><li>Reign of William and his wife Mary: much more stable; Bill of Rights (1689): taxes could be raised only with the assent of Parliament, people could petition the King, while the use of the army was partially transferred to the Parliament. In like manner, freedom of speech and debate in parliament were granted, cruel punishment was prohibited. </li></ul>
  46. 49. Constitutional monarchy <ul><li>Evolution: even though most powers are still theoretically exercised by in the name of the King/Queen (de jure/in law), in practice power is exercised on the advice of the Chief executive </li></ul><ul><li>Early 18 th century England: the King could still do what he pleased, and were not forced to accept the advices of his cabinets or advisors (obligated/not legally bound) </li></ul><ul><li>18 th and 19 th century: the cabinet was now chosen by the House of Commons. The cabinet (government) was now making decisions on behalf of the King/Queen </li></ul>

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