Introduction to European Government
Introduction to European Government POLI 239
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This 20 page Class Notes was uploaded by Raegan Effertz on Sunday October 25, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 239 at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill taught by Gary Marks in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Intro to European Government in Political Science at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
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POLI 239 93009 Do electoral systems make a difference The Plurality Electoral System vs Proportional Representation The Plurality Electoral System quotfirst past the post a Where i UK US and most Englishspeaking democracies b The first person to get the most votes gets elected ll Proportional Representation PR a Where i Continental Europe b Proportionate seats to the proportion of votes that your party gets lll What is the smallest possible share of the vote that a party needs to get in a plurality system to have a majority in the legislature if there are two parties contesting the election a 51 of the vote in 51 of the constituencies 25 W What is the smallest possible share of the vote that a party needs to get in a plurality system to have a majority in the legislature if there are three parties contesting the election a 34 of the vote in 51 of the constituencies 17 V Plurality systems are highly disproportional a Between 2 of difference one parties votes versus another the party with 2 more of the vote gets 100 of the constituency b Plurality is a way of manufacturing majorities of seats from minorities of votes c Why are there two parties in the US i If the two parties split they would be denying themselves a seat in office There are enormous incentives for the parties to stay together otherwise they would win nothing Vl France a A combination of plurality and proportional election i There are two rounds of voting for president The two with the greatest percentage in the first round have a runoff in the second round ii Called a quotmajoritarianquot system Vll PR Systems are highly proportional a There is a threshold in Germany there is a 5 electoral barrier b Because no party will get a majority of the seats people have to start thinking after the election what will be the governing coalition In a plurality system whoever gets the majority is in control of government 101209 How do parliamentary systems work Parliamentary vs Presidential systems Presidential Systems a Where i USA Latin America African and Caucasian llstrong man republics ll Parliamentary Systems a Where i UK Germany Canada former British empire lll Mixed PresidentialParliamentary a Where i France Finland Czech republic lV Who is the leader a PresidentialPresident b Parliamentary The head of the majority party or coalition the Prime Minister Germany Chancellor ie the party leader V How is a government executive selected a Presidential by separate election of a single individual b Parliamentary by a majority or the legislature This means that the government is rooted in a majority of the legislature So the whole game that takes place where the President in America has to struggle to create unity behind him in the legislature does not take place because the legislature is already in accordance with his views Vl What do citizens vote for a Presidential Individuals who compete for executive office b Parliamentary Voting for specific government ie political parties which compete for legislative representation If a representative was elected but decided to vote based on his own beliefs he would likely face serious consequences from his party and his constituents who selected him to vote based on the party not his own conscience Vll Role of legislature a Presidential The legislature is separate from the executive lt checks and balances the executive b Parliamentary The legislature creates and sustains the executive Governments are based on a continuing majority in the House of CommonsBundestag The moment the legislature passes a vote of no confidence the government falls The leaders of the government are the leaders of the majority party if the majority changes so do the leaders Vlll What is the cabinet a Presidential US llAll the President s Men and Women Cabinet appointees have the power to resign and embarrass the President i They can t bring the government down ii Concentrated executive power in a divided system b Parliamentary The cabinet is made up of party leaders the Prime Minister is the llfirst among equals Concentrated executive power in a unified system In Britain the majority party In Germany the majority coalition iv The Prime Minister has hisher seat only as long as heshe has the support of the cabinet IX v The cabinet generally speaking gets what it wants and is itself a hotbed of political mixture vi The ongoing game between elections is not between the two parties but within each party c Contrasting Powers i The President Influences Congressional votes Constitutionally entrenched in his seat llHerding Cats because the primary allegiance of representatives is to win the next election ii The Prime Minister Sustain party unity llSword of Damocles his position of power is far from secure Paradox of parliamentary sovereignty in Britain a Parliament ie the House of Commons is supreme i lllt has sovereign and uncontrollable authority in making confirming enlarging restraining abrogating repealing reviving and expounding of laws concerning matters of all possible denominations ecclesiastical or temporal civil military maritime or criminalit can in short do every thing that is not naturally impossible Sir William Blackstone b Parliament is weak 101409 How parliamentary systems work House of Commons a lntimate small seats less than 500 and simple b Adversary the opposing parties sit opposite one another with lines running parallel to one another an extended swords length apart to separate the parties like sidelines Question Time a Takes place for half an hour every MondayThursday where the House poses questions to the Prime Minister meant to show the public why the ruling party does not belong in power The Prime Minister then answers the questions as if to prove to hisher party and party followers why heshe belongs in office Functions of the House of Commons a Keep the government on its toes not to legislate that is done by the Prime Minister and his cabinet The government of the day has extreme authority The only thing that can disrupt it is dissention within the cabinet b Public Debate a debating chamber not in order to convince the opposition but to convince the public that your party is best Oversight there is little oversight because the committees are always appointed by their 0 party So the party acts as oversight of itself in this sense Recruitment You make a career in British politics by participating in your party and in the House of Commons as opposed to the US where anyone can run for a seat without any 0 prior experience in politics France and Germany a Government leader i Germany ParliamentaryPR Leader of largest coalition party ii France MixedMajoritarian Split between president and prime minister One can be of one party one of another which is called Cohabitacion b Citizens vote i Germany vote for political parties ii France separate vote for president and for party c Cabinet i Germany ongoing negotiations among coalition parties much more rootedness of individual ministers in their positions ii France ongoing negotiations between two executive branches 101909 How is the United States Different Some basic characteristics of the US political system a Plurality electoral system individual candidates b Presidential system independent legislature c Weak political parties i By comparison to Europe any European country has stronger political parties than the US d Private funding of elections i The candidate running for election must do two things capture a majority of the votes and generate a huge amount of campaign funds e Strong interest groups with political access II The Good a llln their political associations the Americans of all conditions minds and ages daily acquire a general taste for association and grow accustomed to the use of it There they meet together in large numbers they converse they listen to each other and they are mutually stimulated to all sorts of undertakings Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America b Taxation aggregate is lower in America than in China Australia Spain England Germany Italy France Sweden and Denmark c Americans spend more private funds on education than any other countries Public funds are only lower than France Sweden and Denmark d The US has had 175 Nobel Prize winners compared to 66 in the UK 61 in Germany and 25 in France the three nearest competitors e How much do people work per year Americans have a kind of work ethic that is greater than that of many other countries The average annual hours worked by Americans is 18210 compared to the international average of 16542 Ill The Bad The highest percentile of income has increased income steadily from 1965 to 2005 while 11 the lowest percentile income has remained virtually unchanged for 40 years Economic inequality is greater in the US than in any other advanced western democracies 57 comparable to China and Turkey Active labor market programs receive the lowest public expenditure of any developed 0 country The UK government spends less on healthcare than the US but the US is less healthy than 0 Germany France and UK Health Administration and Insurance Costs are higher in the US than any country other than F Luxemburg IV The Ugly The US spends less money on foreign aid per GDP than any country other than Italy a Election participation is generally much lower in the US than almost any other country b Five perspectives on multilevel governance a Efficiency i Centralize where necessary 1 Encompass relevant externalities if you have a jurisdiction which has effects on people outside of it the people outside should be encompassed by that jurisdiction Eg if pollution in one area affects another area that other area should a be encompassed in the decisions which concern both areas b National security taxation etc benefit from this 2 Exploit economies of scale ii Decentralize where possible Makes government more responsive more flexible more in line with those 1 being affected by the decision 2 Preferences vary and the more people that are grouped together the more difficult it will be to meet there needswants 3 Match the scale of the government to the scale of the problem a Local town services b Regional water management c National health system d Continental crossborder pollution e Global climate change i If you don t address this with input from every country countries that are not included in the decision will be unwilling to cooperate with the concluded upon policies b Peace i Civil peace 1 Federalism 2 Selfrule ii International peace softshell not hardshell states domesticate international relations If you have an overarching loyalty to Europe for instance as opposed to one s individual country you will be less willing to do anything hostile to those you now see as your neighbors as opposed to your enemies c Democracy i Multilevel government is consistent with and depends upon democracy because a dictator gains his power by centralizing powerauthority in his own hands A democratic leader on the other hand does not have to centralize power in his own hands to gain a position of leadershipauthority A democratic leader may or may not shift authority up or down d Protest i Basic dilemma 1 Government provides public goods goods that would not be provided if the government was not there to provide it and 2 Government expresses community 3 As Marks regards this as a global dilemma because we have global problems e Survival i A growing number of public bads pollution deforestation nuclear proliferation financial regulation refugees etc are 1 Transitional extend from nation to nation and 2 Distributional because the problems and solutions are in many countries not just individual ones II The European Union is the world s most important experiment in creating authoritative general purpose supranational government European Union 11409 Original 6 1951 a Benelux b France dominated by France because Benelux was too small the evils of Germany were pervasive in European minds and Italy had just switched over from the Axis powers c Germany d ltaly ll Enlargement from 6 to 27 a 1973 UK Ireland Denmark i Charles de Gaulle was afraid if the UK was let in the United States would try to join and it was intended to be a European exclusive group b 1981 Greece c 1986 Spain Portugal d 1995 Sweden Austria Finland e 2004 the quotbig bang eight countries in Central and Easter Europe plus Malta and Cyprus f 2007 Bulgaria and Romania g Strengthened democracy because the EU is an democracyexclusive organization lll Impact of Successive Enlargements 19582004 a Chart on blackboard b It s not a state and could not be a federal state but it s more than a political organization like the United Nations W What are the reasons for the establishing of the EU a War Experience 39 World War 20 million dead World War ll 70 million dead Nationalism the most deadly force in human history young men walked in parades under banners with praise from their fellowcitizens excited and proud to be going to war b Constraining Germany i How was France to deal with Germany 1 Jean Monnet First High Commissioner of the European Coal and Steel Community quotI could see only one solution we must bind ourselves inextricably to Germany in a common undertaking in which our other neighbors could join A Europeanwide territory of prosperity and peace would thus be created c Churchill calls for a quotUnited States of Europe European integration is necessary for future peace The UK would not participate FrancoGerman cooperation at the core 2 ln Zurich 19 September 1946 quotI am now going to say something that will astonish you The first step in the recreation of the European family must be a partnership between France and GermanyWe must build a kind of United States of Europe d The Schuman Declaration i quotEurope will not be made all at once or according to a single plan It will be M through concrete achievementThe French government proposes that Frano German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europeas a first step pin the federation of Europe e How can war be averted i The European Coal and Steel Community 1951 ii European Defence Community 1954 1 Monnet s idea defeated in the French National Assembly for fear that Germany could not be trusted iii The European Economic Community 1957 1 Eliminated trade barriers f The Cold War i No longer Western European great powers ii End of imperial rivalries iii Unity against the Soviet threat iv US support for European integration 1 The Marshall Fund an immensely farsighted and wise policy of providing seriously large amounts of aid to Europe that has not been forgotten g MultilevelGovernment i Benefits of government across Europe 1 The single market a Eliminating trade barriers b Comparative advantage i It makes sense for each country to produce what it is most competitive at producing c Benefits of specialization 2 Environmental regulation 3 Competition authority 4 International economic bargaining power a By banding together they have more influence over world economics How has the EU Deepened 11909 I Intergovernmental a National governments monopolize EU decision making b Nested arenas national governments are gatekeepers between international arena and societies There is the European level and there is what goes on within countries so the EU decisions go through the national government c Bottom line national sovereignty preserved national veto quotlntergovernmentalismquot i The debate is over not whether it is intergovernmental or not but to what extent it is intergovernmental ll Supranational a National governments share decision making with European actors b Domestic groups connect directly to the international arena They are actually trying to affect outcomes since outcomes are affected autonomously by European actors c Bottom line national sovereignty is weakened majority or supermajority voting llmultilevel governance lll Neofunctionalism How you get to supranationalism a Functional need is not enough to produce results b Get things going by doing practical things Show the practical virtues where it makes sense to bring benefits at the supranational level c European actors will take initiative Once these institutions are set up they will push the process to supranationalism along d This will eventually lead to a new supranationalism V VI V Vlll X Spillover a Functional spillover i Integration in one policy area creates pressures for integration in related policy areas 1 Eg Market integration leads to monetary integration b Political spillover i Elites learn that integration works ii Supranational actors gain authority iii A European identity is gradually created European Coal and Steel Community ECSC set up in 51 came to fruition in 52 a Supranational collaboration in coal and steel b Neofunctional in the sense that it was i Step by step problem solving ii Active European elite iii Larger ambitions To the Treaty of Rome 1957 a European Defense Community rejected by the French National Assembly 1954 i Rejected by French on nationalist grounds 1 The French were not entirely willing to join their army with the Germans so soon after WWII ii Focus shifts back to economic strategy b European Economic Community Treaty of Rome 1957 i Key policies customs union external trade policy competition policy Single European Act 1986 a Internal Market 1992 project i Mutual recognition not harmonization A country cannot impose standards on products coming into their country that will cause no environmental or safety hazards b Institutional Reform i More power for European Parliament ii Qualified majority voting QMV 1 Imagine setting up a European parliament in which every country has a veto Because of this it became clear to many that you cannot deepen the market and sustain the standard of unanimity c New noneconomic areas eg regional policy aka structural policy or cohesion policy environmental policy Maastricht Treaty 1993 a Single currency by January 19992002 b European citizenship c European Parliament becomes colegislator d High politics foreign policy defense immigration and asylum justice Populist Backlash a Reaction i Loss of national sovereignty ii Antielite iii Market liberalism b Referendums in Denmark and France c Growth of Euroskeptical parties parties opposed to Europe How does the EU work Lisbon Treaty a Constitutional Treaty rejected in French Dutch referendum b Lisbon Treaty rejected then accepted in Irish referendum referendum necessary in any constitutional change in Ireland c New voting rule 55 member states65 of population of total EU i Called quotQualified majority rule ii Will come to force in 2014 d TV coverage of Council of Ministers meetings i Council of Ministers meetings have previously been in secret so this is a major step in making the Council of Ministers meetings more like the legislature of the US e European Council President will be elected i Probably will be someone prominent but less prominent than someone like Tony Blair who was previously thought to take this chair f EU Minister for Foreign Affairs g National parliaments role increased subsidiarity i They will receive an advanced warning of legislation going through the European Parliament ii Subsidiarity means that decisions will not be made at the European level that have only national consequences don t centralize for the hell of it decentralize where possible h Charter of Fundamental rights 39 Now attached and part of the legal system of the EU Not like the Bill of Rights of the US it has 55 articles and is therefore very detailed and specific Eg capital punishment should not be used by the state ll Budget 2007 Revenues graph The EU uses 11 of European GDP The US spends 1718 of GDP on Federal budget 14 is from VAT more equivalent version of the US sales tax 69 is from GNP richer countries pay larger share 12 is from Customs 3 is from Agro levies Adds up to 169 billion 129 billion euros anhmapzrgn i 37 Cohesion policy ii 34 Agriculture support iii 10 Rural development iv 4 Research v 5 Administration vi 5 External relations vii 5 other EU Institutions chart a THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL IS DIFFERENT FROM THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS b The European Council produces the legislative guidelines which are hammered out by the c European Commission i Only body that can draft legislation ii A supranational European institution 1 It is like the national government in that it creates legislation but is unlike it because the members are selected by their respective governments d The European Parliament is directly elected by the people of the EU and they vote on legislative proposals of the European Commission e Council of Ministers i Representatives of the participating states that meet on a daily or weekly bases that gets together with the European Commission IV European Council a Heads of state and government foreign ministers b Meets at least 4 times a year and decides by consensus c Functions i Issues very general guidelines on EU policy 1 They have to be general because everyone has to be able to go along with them ii Settles contentious issues iii Treaties accession go through the European Council iv Proposes Commission President d Sixmonth presidency i It changes from country to country right now it is Sweden The past president the current and the future president form a triumvirate to maintain coherency in their plans V European Commission a Composed of two levels i Political level College of Commissioners 1 Like a kind of cabinet in which the members have individual responsibilities for issues like the environment etc ii Civil service level more than 20000 career officials 1 Members of the European Commission are like the numerous officials in DC but have much more energy and the level at which they represent is diverse ie national vs European local vs national etc In recent years they have become more like civil servants less like political entrepreneurs iii Functions 1 Power of initiative 2 Implementation and management of finances 3 Trade 4 Enlargement negotiations a When a country wants to come into the European Union they have to meet a set of very specific criteria the Commission evaluates how well a country is meeting the criteria iv College of Commissioners 1 27 Commissioners one from each member state 5 year term 2 President proposed by European Council but the European Parliament has to vote the appointee in 3 Commissioners selected by President of the Commission confirmed by European Parliament 4 Are sworn in by an Oath of independence v Civil Service 1 Divided in 20plus DirectorateGenerals DGs 2 Career officials must take an exam to get in 3 Diverse unusual people 4 Not just a civil service bureaucracy but dynamic Consider themselves the quotEuropean Vanguard I VI Council of Ministers a Multiple specialist Councils Agriculture Finance Foreign policy etc b Institutional representation one minister per member state c Weighted voting on most issues i Unanimity on Treaty revisions taxation foreign and defense policy new policies admission of new member states VII European Parliament a Directly elected since 1979 every 5 years i Individual citizens elect representatives that sit directly in the Parliament b Proportional representation including in the UK c Sits in Strasbourg where it meets only about 4 days a month but the rest of the month committee meetings are held in Brussels d MEPs sit by ideology not country e Legislative authority i Directly elected since 1979 every 5 years ii 1957 consultation 1 No formal legislative powers iii 1986 cooperation 1 The European Parliament could not veto legislation but it could amend legislation and the Council of Ministers could only overrule the European Parliament by unanimous consent iv 1993 codecision 1 European Parliament has power of veto v Noncompulsoryspending 1 About 12 of budget under the Parliament s sway No legislative initiative Ratchet Effect quotThe EP is now one of the most powerful legislatures in the world both in terms of its legislative and executive oversight powers 1 The European Parliament is not formally supreme but in practice it is v39 S extremely powerful f Executive Oversight i Veto on Commission president ii Commission censure with 2339dsmajority iii Committee of inquiry 1 1999 Santer commission censure a Santer was discovered to have provided jobs to a friends and under censure of the EP resigned 2 Buttiglione rejection in 2004 a Rejected because he held the Catholic belief that woman should remain in the home g EP 20092014 breakdown by party affiliation 39 Radical left 4 ii Socialist 25 iii Greens 8 iv Liberals 11 v Peoples party 25 vi Conservatives 7 vii Euroskeptics 4 viii Unaffiliated 4 ix Voter turnout 43 VIII European Court of Justice 27 Judges 6year renewable terms Sits in Luxembourg Unlike the US Constitution there is no supremacy clause in the treaties But what happens when state renege on agreements meUm European law binds national courts i European law has Direct Effect 1 Whether a nation s parliament has passed a law or not European law is law in that state 2 If the government does not accept that law a citizen can take his government to the European Court of Justice ii Van Gend decision 1993 1 The Treaty of Rome has created a new legal order Etc f Constitutionalizing EU Law i European law has supremacy ii Costa v ENEL 1964 1 quotBy creating a Community of unlimited duration having its own institutions its own personality and its own legal capacityThe member states have limited their sovereign rights albeit with limited fields and have thus created a body of law which binds their nations and themselves iii There is a hierarchy to all laws and in Europe the apex of that hierarchy is the European Court of Justice g More Functions i Preliminary rulings article 234 direct link to lower courts ii The court can fine member states and there have been hundreds of cases of national governments being fined X European Central Bank The Regions Rise 111809 Regionalization in Europe a Britain Scottish Welsh parliaments 1997 b France Elected regional governments 1982 c Germany Federal constitution amp has stayed essentially the same d ltaly Elected regional governments 1976 Strengthened 1996 e Spain Autonomous regions 1978 Strengthened 1993 1998 ll Culture Shift a Reform intensified from 1970 b Late 1960s c Ideas of antiauthority anticentralization participation d In the 1950s and 60s things were hedged in but starting in the late 60s and 70s young people started rejecting their parents are authoritative III From War to Peace a War in national The basic distinctive characteristics of Europe of the last generation or two is that it has not participated in major war In the context of total war you just want to get things done now You don t consider creating incentives in the market but rather assimilate a powerful and effective military b Economic development in the context of nonwar requires scale flexibility i Eg welfare microeconomic policy environment education health transport c But institutional structure is sticky so there is delay lV Regional ldentity a Regional community language culture traditions i Eg Scotland Basque Country Flanders Corsica Bavaria etc etc b llWe want to rule ourselves V From Dictatorship to Democracy a Dictators want to centralize i Why 1 Because if you set up regional governments they can be sources of opposition b Democracies are open to decentralization i Democracy lets the chips fall where they may neither centralizing or decentralizing c Pent up pressures for regionalization Vl European Integration a Reduces the economic cost of independence i Overarching market b Competition among regions i When you create an overarching European market the regions start looking at what they can do to attract mobile capital RTP for example c Weak regions see strong ones V l lntergovernmentalism Where does the public stand on Europe Elites and Public opinion on the EU a The elite opinion is that the public benefits no matter what country they are from b The public opinion is lower no matter what country they are from and is lowest in France Italy Austria and UK among others i Possible reasons 1 The elites are better informed as to how the EU worksbenefits 2 The public feel disconnected from the EU government 3 The public in poorer countries are more proEU than those in richer countries because the wealthier countries give aid to the poorer 4 The public doesn t think about the EU Or if they do they do not like the idea of other countries telling them what to do Rising Party Salience a As Europe has become politicized and the number of referenda have been increased political parties have increased their interest in the European Union lll Referenda on Europe a As the EU gets older there are more referenda and therefore more quotNOquot votes V ldentity a The public by and large see themselves as either their nationality or their nationality first and European second b The more people see themselves as exclusively their nationality the more Euroskeptic they are which decrease as their level of skill increases i Why 1 The more skilled individuals stand to gain more from European integration while the unskilled see European integration as a threat to their livelihood V The number one reason why people say they are opposed to European integration is the loss of national identity Vl How might politicians react a Play to the gallery i ie grandstanding deadlock optingout nonimplementation b Call the populist right s bluff c Lower the political temperature i Keep hot issues off the table ii Avoid referenda gtavoid treaties Vll Age and Identity a The younger people are the more they see themselves as both their nationality and European ie younger people are more llinclusive Vlll Eurooptimism a Contact nurtures common identity b Democracy creates attachment c Young people have more inclusive identities IX Europessimism a Weak European identity here to stay b Populism mobilizes difference c Young people will become like their elders 1 EU Enlargement 2 Copenhagencriteria a llMembership requires that the candidate country has achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing The rule of law human rights and respect for and protection of minorities Democracy The existence of a functioning market economy iv Essentially the characteristics of a capitalist liberal democracy b The incentive to join the European Union is clear c Notan attempt to transplant values d To join each countries adopts existing EU policies e Example energy acquis existing policies i Detailed requirements f Successful endeavor i How do you institutionalize democracy 1 Create a club of democratic countries 2 Create an incentive for other countries to join a Economic and political incentives 3 Benefits of Eastern enlargement a Joining members i Candidate countries ii Why would they want to be a member of the European Union 1 Geopolitics security Russia global weight influence 2 Economics aid market access European capitalism 3 Politics consolidate democracy b Existing members i Geopolitics democratic neighbors stable borders ii Moral obligation to stitch Europe back together 1 90 of WWII casualties in Eastern Europe gave the Soviet Union legitimacy iii Economic new markets cheaper labor 4 Challenges a Economic disparities i Comparable to the US adopting Mexico ii Cohesion policy 4 Goal reduce disparities among regions in the EU Around 13 of EU spending 20002006 213 billion Euros 20072013 330 billion Euros iii 04 of total EU GDP iv 10 of total public spending in new member states v Countries must be able to spend this money without inspiring inflation b Corruption i Eastern European countries ii From Transparency lnte rnational iii Suspended payments to Bulgaria because of corruption iv Transference of values c Neighborhood i Tough situation ii Wants to exert leverage d Public opinion i Support is eroding Introduction to European Politics Course Review Exam Monday 14th 400 Bring 2 Blue books Cumulative but biased to second part of course I Parliamentary versus Presidential System a How is the government selected i Parliamentary The majority party So the government is rooted in the legislation Whichever party can maintain a majority gets to form the government ii Presidential Direct election by the public b Who do citizens vote for i Parliamentary Parties not directly for the executive The part will create a government or participate in a coalition which will then create a government ii Presidential The executive c Role of legislature i Par Supports the government Does not the quotcheckquot the executive Concentration of powers as opposed to division of powers d What is the cabinet i Par It is the government composed of the leaders of the majority party e How powerful is the Prime Minister i He is the first among equals ii What are the powers of the Prime Minister 1 He has the full support of the legislature and can pass whatever he wants because he is the leader of the majority party 2 Can hire and fire cabinet members 3 Can call an election when heshe wishes iii How is the Prime Minister weak 1 The party can decide they do not want himher to be leader which will also mean heshe cannot be Prime Minister l Plurality versus PR Electoral System a How do votes translate into legislative seats i PR Seats are distributed in relation to the proportion of votes received Essentially you get more or less 10 of the vote you get more or less 10 of the seats You have to meet a 5 threshold to get any seats at all b What difference for small parties In plurality if you are a small party you have to be concentrated in one area in order to get representation If your vote is spread out evenly you will only hurt the party you are most similar to ii In PR as long as you meet the 5 requirement your party will gain seats in the legislature Ill The role of the state in the economy in Britain France Germany and the US a The US i Lowest taxes 1 High spending on education 2 High spending on health care 3 Low spending on social support 4 Low spending on foreign aid apart from military aid 5 Low spending on spending on active labor market policy ii Party Families 1 See graph on bb 2 Know where they stand have an example or two V Origins of the EU a War experience led to its creation i Building a network of economic interdependence will decrease the likelihood of one state warring against another b Constraining Germany i Fear of a resurgent German state The Cold War Multilevel Governance 0 i Some things are better done at the supranational level than at the national level