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Flashcards in Parliamentary vs. Presidential Systems Deck (69):

What are three fundamental differences between presidential and parliamentary systems?

1) The fusion of political power versus the separation of political power
2) The existence versus the absence of the principle of responsible government
3) Distinct versus combined heads of state and government


What is the legislative branch?

makes the law


What is the executive branch?

puts these laws into action
-PM and cabinet


What is the judicial branch?

Resolves conflicts over laws and adjudicates the meaning of the law (between citizens, between citizens and the state, and between levels of government)


What is the relationship between the Supreme Court and the Constitution?

Secures the integrity of the Constitution
-Independence is critical
-Resolves conflicts over laws and adjudicates the meaning of the law


What is the separation of powers in a presidential system?

the design of the PS effects and explicit attempt to control the abuse of governmental power
-The PS attempts to do this by assigning distinct powers teach of the legislative and executive branches in the hope that a balancing of powers will restrict the ability of one branch to dominate the other.
-checks and balances or divided responsibilities


What is an example of checks and balances/

Checks; power to appoint a judge
Balances: power to review a judge


In the presidential system, each branch is accorder varying power of___over decisions taken by the other. What is this referred to as?

-"Powers of review"


What does the fact that nether brach's security of tenure is dependent on the other in a presidential system allow each institution?

The freedom to act without fear of repercussion


With security of tenure in the US Congress, how often are the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President elected?

HOR- 2 years
Senate- hold a 6 year term limit with one third being elected every 2 years
President- 4 years (with a two year term limit)


What does the separation of power also extend to in the US system?

to a separation of structures. Those elected or appointed to one branch cannot hold positions in the other.


Who does Congress have formal legislative power over? Why?

Over the president as congress can introduce, debate, modify, and pass legislation.


What does the president generally enjoy freedom in?

the implementation and admin of policy


The president has the power to which 3 things?

1) appoint a cabinet
2) draft the budget
3) appoint individuals to judicial and admin positions


Is the power of the president absolute? Why?

No because Congress is granted powers such as the ability to review and reject various presidential appointments as well as the presidential budget.


What does the fusion of power refer to ?

The integration of executive and legislative branches


What is the requirement to become a member of Cabinet?

Is first that you hold a seat in the HOC


Where are members of the Cabinet and PM chosen from?

Within the legislature


What is the legislative branch in Canada?

Senate and HOC


What is the executive branch in Canada?

PM and Cabinet


Members in the___to become members of___.



In appointing a Cabinet, what are the issues that come to bear?

-appoint specific MPs from a region as a way to get regional representation
-Regional representation
-Diversity within the Cabinet


The leader of the executive in Canada is normally the leader of the___that wins the most seats in the ___assembly as a result of an___.



Th leader of the party that wins the most seats selects who to form the Cabinet?

individuals from within the governing party caucus


What is responsible government?

The executives ability to remain in power in the parliamentary system before having reached some maximum ensure set by law, depends directly on its ability to maintain the confidence of the legislative chamber from which its is drawn.


What are legislative votes with confidence of the ouse?

Yardstick employed to measure the degree of confidence held in the executive branch


What does losing a vote imply in the parl system? What does this suggest in principle?

That the executive no longer has the support of the legislature, the body directly elected to represent the citizenry.
-That the people no longer consent to be governed by the particular executive in question


PM governs at the___of the HOC



How has the practice of party discipline weed the power of the legislature?

Because it requires a party' legislative caucus to vote collectively on legislation


What did party discipline emerge as?

another conventions s a response to the principle of responsible government to avoid/prevent the death of a government by securing enough votes to pass key bills.


What does party discipline ensure?

predictable governing and allows government to pass legislatures


Why is there no responsible government in US system?

No tie between the president and legislative branch --> checks and balances reign in


What reigns in the PM and his cabinet in the parl system?

the fusion


What is there a tension between in the parl system? Why is this?

Note the tension between the principle of majority government and the potential dangers of a dominant executive that can implement policy agendas and legislate without recourse
-Majority in HOC but not a majority of the population


In parliamentary systems, which positions are divided?

head of state and head of government


What are the governor general's duties?

-greeting dignitaries
-providing assent to legislation
-selecting head of government
-dissolving parliament
-calling elections


What does the separation of the he'd of state and thread of government in the parliamentary system reflect?

The traditional belief that the powers of the state is vested in the sovereign and carried out by government in ints name


In the presidential systems, the head of state and government are combined and represented by which one individual?

the leader of the executive


What does the separation of the head of state and government in a pres system reflect?

explicit rejection of the power of royal prerogative once vested in the British crown.


What does the symbolism of the distinct head of state and government in pres system suggest?

that the powers of the state and government are vested the people and there exists no power above or beyond that of their elected representatives.


What are the 6 roles of the OM?

1) Cabinet-maker (and chair of Cabinet)
2) Party leader
3) chief policymaker
4) leading player in the HOC
5) advisor to the governor general
6) chief diplomat


What 4 conventions influence the PM's choice for Cabinet?

1) the need for geographical representation
2) the presence of French speaking members
3) the appointment of women
4) the appointment of members from different ethnic and racial backgrounds


What is a problem with selecting a representative Cabinet?

the PM is generally limited by who the party elected


What are the 3 expectations that Cabinet's role as a decision making body has generated?

1) Cabinet solidarity- the convention that each member of cabinet is expected to fully support and defend the decisions of cabinet
2) collective responsibility - the convention that individual cabinet members will take responsibility for the activities of the departments they administer
3) cabinet secrecy- the convention that cabinet meets behind closed doors and documents remain secret for a lengthy period of time


Explain the president as the Head of state and government?

the president carries out the ceremonial duties assoc. with the had of state, but also heads the executive brach


What are the 4 duties of president?

1) commander and chief of the armed forces
2) exercises considerable control over foreign policy
3) helps shape domestic policy
4) exercises some control over the public service


Besides heading the executive branch (implementation of laws), the president is also involved in what?

legislative activity of passing laws


Why does the Congress have to take into account the presidents views in passing legislation?

Because of the ability to veto laws passed by Congress


Who heads the various departments of US government?

The Cabinet secretaries who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate


Is the American Cabinet as a whole a key decision-making body?



Some presidents avoid holding various___meetings, and the president does not necessarily follow the advice of___.



Explain the election of the president and vice president?

elected by the american people to a four year term


Although voters choose among presidential candidates, technically they are voting for who?

member son the electoral college committed to casting the ballot for a particular presidential candidate


a___of electoral college votes is needed to elect a president



What is parliament responsible for/

passing laws and approving the spending and taxing plans of government


What does parliament provide?

a visible forum in which the opposition can criticize the government


what do individual member os parliament do?

raise issues and concerns of those they represent


this parliament of canada consists of which two chambers?

House of commons and senate


what is the hoc?

elected chamber of parliament with each member representing a particular geographical constitutency


What is the basic operating principle of the HOC?

party discipline that ensure legislators will vote according the the party position


What is the senate?

upper chamber of parliament appoint on the recommendation of the PM


Why was the senate established/

to provide a body for sober second thought to check the democratic tendencies of the HOC


Does gov't need to maintain the confidence of the senate?



Whose approval does legislation need in parl system?

the approval of the senate as well as the HOC


What is the american congress?

A legislative body composed of two separate bodies, the house of representatives and the senate


Who are proposals for legislation presented by in the pres system?

a member of congress


What is congress active in?

modifying or rejecting the executives proposals


What does the executive branch prepare in the pres system?

many of the legislative proposals that Congress considers


How can Congress override a presidential veto?

with a two-thirds majority in each body of Congress