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GOVT203 Notes Week of 2/29

by: user258

GOVT203 Notes Week of 2/29 GOVT 203



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These notes cover Monday, Wednesday, and Tuesday's classes of this past week, covering chapter 15
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Dr. Clay Clemens
Class Notes
Intro to Comparative Politics, Comparative Politics, Politics, Government
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by user258 on Sunday March 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GOVT 203 at College of William and Mary taught by Dr. Clay Clemens in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Comparative Politics in Political Science at College of William and Mary.

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Date Created: 03/06/16
Intro to Comparative Politics Class Notes Week of 2/29/16 Monday Starting Chapter 15 Legislatures  Not governing bodies (note: narrow definition of governing, day to day running)  US legislature o Very strong, among the most powerful and active  Very important in a democratic setting  Origins o Lots of countries claim to have the first legislature o Mostly were convened so the parliament etc. gives money in exchange for the monarch hearing them out  Size o Typically, the smaller the more effective  In large numbers, parties, committees, and other various subgroups run the show  Average 400-600 members as an effective system  Camerality o Number of chambers/houses  One or two typically, there have been more  Unicameral and bicameral  Usually post colonial, post revolution  Generally not federal o Choices  Unicameral—majority power  Bicameral  Second house—economic, keeps down lawmaking, individual power  Weak or strong o Parliamentary gov’t o Weak—weak gov’t, stong senate o Strong—legislature has no say in the executive (federal) Wednesday Continuing Chapter 15  What is represented in the 2 house system? o Descriptive representation  Representation with ratios according to population, etc  Extension of vote  Terms of office—refreshing the legislature; length, limits  Voting districts  Quotas for representation—gender, ethnic minorities o Substantive representation  Parties/party system; faction  Making laws o How much impact? o Who makes the laws?  Executive and legislature o Committed legislative body—parliament  Stronger body  Committee/coalition run laws  Need more than one party to get through o Party Dominated o Separation of powers  Executive is not origin point typically  Legislature much stronger, sometimes starts bill on its own  Same as presidential model  Weaker executive  Separately elected legislature  MAJOR difference between Prime Minister (PM) and President Friday Finishing Chapter 15  Legislative Scrutiny of the executive o Parliamentary questions  Direct queries of a minister (secretaries of a cabinet)  Interpolation—query turns into a floor debate, can last all day sometimes  Tool of accountability  Vote of no confidence o Forces the executive (PM and cabinet) to resign o Basically when the legislature decides the executive should no longer govern o Specifics of the vote (frequency, majority, etc) vary o Possibly followed by new elections for all of parliament of new government is formed from existing legislature without a vote. The executive just voted out could actually be voted in again o It’s a political move, usually not as a form of punishment or similar. Separate from impeachment (that has to do with corruption, crimes, legal issues, etc) o Anyone can call for a no confidence vote  Legislature politicians o Parliament started getting trade union members, ordinary people o ‘Politicians’ are set apart to an extent o Personal Brand  USA is on one extreme of the spectrum  Party strength plays in, a weaker party means we’re electing individuals (US has very weak parties)  Selling yourself to your district regardless of party (whatever scale election it is). Also leads to higher reelection rates (gerrymandering plays in as well—when district boundaries are shifted around) in other systems there is a much lower reelection rate  Strong party cases directly effect who the next PM will be. Selling the party as a whole  Legislative elections connect directly to executive elections  This is how Canada got all the young, unknown legislators—had local candidates just sign up (local activists mostly) to run, people elected them to support the party (NDP)  Legislature in Authoritarian Systems o Lends legitimacy o Gives some moderate party incorporation to dilute force o Makes everyone feel more included, local representatives given a voice o Recruitment—testing ground for reliable talent to add to the regime o Not very strong, big, meets rarely o China’s has recently been not unanimous, which is actually a pretty big deal


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