Comparative Politics 2300
Comparative Politics 2300 POLC2300-06
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jillian Marks on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLC2300-06 at Tulane University taught by Oliveros, Virginia in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Comparative Politics in Political Science at Tulane University.
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Date Created: 04/03/16
I. Perils of Presidentialism Majority of stable democracies in world today are parliamentary A. Parliamentary vs. Presidential Systems Presidential systems (USA) dependent on cooperation of legislature 1. President’s strong claim to democratic legitimacy 2. Fixed term in office Legislators can also claim democratic legitimacy - Since both have power from being directly elected by voters a conflict is possible - US exception development of modern political parties usually worsens conflicts Fixed-terms break the political process into discontinuous periods - No readjustments can be made to events that might demand them - No reelections if death of president B. Paradoxes of Presidentialism Presidentialism ”winner takes all,” “zero-sum” – raises stakes of elections and worsens tension/polarization Parliamentary gives representation to number of parties Problem of duel legitimacy – cabinet less likely to contain strong, independent-minded members C. Cabinet (Government) Stability Refers to how long a government lasts Care about stability because a stable government - Can pass bills/make policies - Can be held accountable by voters for their performance/politics a. Crucial for democracy because if government keeps changing hard to know who is responsible and prevents bad governments because politicians know this PM much more easily removed than president if loses popular support - Vice-presidential succession may not work well may come from different parties (ticket-splitting) Countries with more parties tend to be less stable D. Duration of Government Formation Government formation process is complicated because parties bargain over policy/office Example: Belgium in June 2010 – election left no clear party in power - Language division between Dutch-speaking and French-speaking overlapped with economic divisions – cross-cutting - In advanced democracies, country can run without government (PM) because have a parliament E. Presidentialism and Democracy: A difficult combination? “Perils of Presidentialism” (Linz) 1. Temporal Rigidity vs flexibility - Fixed term no way to solve disagreements w/ congress - Crisis if need new leader can’t get rid of president - Can’t change if not what people expected or if there are changes in popularity - Or if have really good president can only stay for fixed time 2. Duel Legitimacies - President and legislature both represent people no “true” representative - In parliamentary systems, legislature is “true” representative - No way to solve problems between president and congress divided government 3. Winner takes all (zero-sum) - Party of president wins everything and losing party gets nothing for 4 years or could also have majority in congress 4. “Style of presidential systems” - presidency so important, can create problems because encourages popularist behaviors - politicians say whatever they want to win election incentive for more personalistic campaigns F. Presidentialism and Multiparties in Latin America 1. Multiparty presidentialsim more likely to produce deadlock - US has only two parties more effective 2. Presidents need to build coalitions to pass legislation - Difficult in presidential democracies because size of coalition doesn’t matter because president and congress stay for fixed- terms 3. Ideological polarization more likely in multiparty systems - Competition for center - Low barriers for smaller parties, radical parties to enter G. Presidentialism in US 2 parties, more majoritarian president has majority support parties not that strong means there is a lot of negotiation and people will vote against party lines in congress