The public does not directly choose its country's leader in these systems.
The task is left to the parties.
The prime minister's time in office is not certain.
Prime ministers usually serve in office for as long as they can command the support of their party and its allies, even though members of the legislature are voted in and out of office in direct elections.
Robert Menzies was Australia's prime minister from 1949 until 1966.
Parliaments retain the right to dismiss a prime minister at any time by taking a vote of confidence.
Without majority support for the prime minister, the government will fall.
Depending on the constitution, this outcome may lead to a national parliamentary election or a search for a new government and prime minister from among the parties.
The prime ministers have the right to call elections.
While the constitution may specify that elections must be held within a specific time frame, prime ministers can often schedule these elections when they think they will serve their party best.
The prime minister and his cabinet are the main drivers of legislation and policy in parliamentary systems.
The house may be limited to debating policy that comes from the cabinet when the prime minister has a majority.
The lower house can often overturn the power of the upper house in rejecting legislation.
Judicial systems are often weak under these conditions.
The idea of checks and balances is unimportant in parliamentary systems.
The fusion of the prime minister's power with that of the lower house and the weakness of the upper house means that fewer opportunities arise for real constitutional conflicts that would empower constitutional courts.
The opportunity for independent judicial power is limited by the fact that heads of state and upper houses have certain powers of constitutional review.
There are a lot of democratic systems around the world.
The president is directly elected by the public for a fixed term and has control over the legislative process.
In the presidency, the head of state and the head of government are fused.
The prime minister and his cabinet have to command a majority of support in the legislature to stay in office.
The president and legislature serve for between four and seven years in presidential systems.
Election dates are not easy to change.
Presidents and legislatures can't be removed by a vote of no confidence.
In the case of malfeasance, elected officials lose their seats.
Government is affected profoundly by this institutional relationship.
As a directly elected executive, the president is able to draw on a body of popular support in a way that no member of a legislature, or even a prime minister, can.
Only a president can say that she or he has been elected by the whole of the people in a single national vote.
As the head of the state and the government, the president is an important national symbol as well as the overseer of policy.
The president is able to choose a cabinet of people who aren't members of the legislature.
Presidents don't need to worry that their cabinets are made up of party leaders.
Since the president is directly elected, minority parties don't have the kind of influence over the executive that can be found in parliamentary systems.
The president's power is not dependent on the legislature.
A stronger separation of powers between executive and legislature is created by the fact that neither branch has the ability to easily remove the other.
It is more likely that this separation of powers will lead to a divided government.
Presidents and legislative majorities can be from different parties, and even when they belong to the same party, the separation of these institutions means greater independence from each other.
The legislature and the president can check each other's ability to pass legislation in a way that is unlikely to happen in a parliamentary system.
Political parties can be weakened by presidentialism since their leaders are concerned with winning a single national office.
To become prime minister, an individual must come up through the ranks of the party.
As has been the case in the United States, the conflict between an independent legislature and a president may pave the way for a more active judiciary.
There aren't many presidential democracies around the world.
Presidentialism is the norm in Latin America, but the United States is the most typically cited example.
Over the past 50 years, the hybrid between parliamentary and presidential systems has become more common than presidential and parliamentary systems.
The power of the head of state and the head of government is divided between a directly elected president and a prime minister.
Prime ministers are subject to the confidence of the legislature and the confidence of the president, in some cases.
Depending on the country, power is divided between the two offices.
The president exercises important powers but has limited control over the prime minister in some cases.
The president has greater authority over the selection, removal, and activity of the prime minister when he is beholden to both the legislature and the president.
The president and the prime minister share the same powers.
The prime minister will often translate policy ideas into legislation for the president to sign.
As commander in chief, the president will take the lead in foreign policy and represent the country in international relations.
The French system places most of the power in the hands of the president while the prime minister plays a supporting role.
The president has the power to appoint the constitutional courts.
Conflicts between presidents and prime ministers created opportunities for more judicial authority.
Semi- presidentialism has spread into several former Soviet republics, most notably Russia, and it is also the form of government in a few countries in Asia and Africa.
The head of government is an indirectly elected prime minister.
The term may be removed by a vote of no confidence.
The head of state is mostly ceremonial.
The president is the head of state and government.
Legislation and international and domestic policies are formulated by the cabinet.
It can't be easily removed from office for a fixed term.
The president and prime minister share power.
The president helps set policy while the prime minister executes it.
The president is also in charge of foreign policy.
The power of the office depends on the country.
It makes sense to ask which of the three systems has the best system of governance.
Some scholars have made arguments about how stable these systems may be.
According to advocates of parliamentary systems, the fusion of power between the executive and legislature reduces the chances of divided government and deadlock.
The prime minister's office can normally promulgate and pass legislation relatively quickly, without having to take into account the interests of individual legislators or smaller parties.
Legislation can usually be passed by the prime minister.
The public doesn't directly select the prime minister and may feel less control over the executive and the passing of legislation.
The president can use a national mandate to create legislation.
The legislature may be controlled by different parties, leading to divided government.
The president may not be easily removed from office except through elections.
The prime minister's ability to quickly pass legislation comes at the cost of a weaker separation of powers according to critics.
Legislation is more of a top- down process than a bottom- up process, so the Legislature may have less opportunities to influence the passage of legislation or effectively express the voters' specific interests.
The voters' distance from government decision making can apply to the executive as well, since that individual is directly accountable to the legislature.
Public oversight and control over elected officials may be weakened by greater efficacy.
There are problems with presidentialism.
The pub lic has the ability to directly select its leader, who serves for a fixed term.
This situation can cause difficulties.
Presidents are not dependent on their parties in the same way that prime ministers are.
Even if a president loses the public's confidence, he or she can't be replaced.
Presidents enjoy the separation of power from the legislature, which can lead to Parliamentary, Presidential, and Semi-Presidential Systems: Benefits and Drawbacks.
It is possible to debate whether checks and balances are beneficial or detrimental to democracy.
Presidentialism lacks the mechanism through which legislators and executives can be easily removed from office and is a more unstable system according to several prominent scholars.
The result can make politics unstable.
At the opening of this chapter, it was noted that this was a concern with Indonesia's transition to democracy.
The track record of semi- presidentialism is limited and mixed, so we might conclude that it would be the best of both worlds.
In many cases, power is concentrated in the presidential office, and in some cases, like Russia, presidents can use their office to dismantle democracy.
James Madison, one of the founding fathers of the U.S. political system, once wrote that parties are unavoidable in every political society.
Observers have several reasons for forming political parties.
Parties bring together diverse groups of people and ideas under an ideological mandate.
There are two functions that these organizations serve.
They help establish the means by which the majority can rule by bringing different people and ideas together.
Without political parties that provide candidates and agendas for politics, the political process would be too fragmented and it would be impossible to get much else done.
Various groups are built around differing issues in political parties.
Heterogeneity helps limit a tyranny of the majority, since parties are often diverse enough that they are unable to fully dominate politics even when they hold a majority of power.
Parties in liberal democracies are homogeneity enough to create majority rule but too weak to facilitate tyranny of the majority, so long as open and regular elections give the opportunity to turn the ruling party out of power.
The electorate and political elites have the means to hold politicians accountable.
Parties ensure that their members work toward their goals by having an ideology and a set of goals.
Voters can evaluate politicians based on fulfillment of a party's policy platform.
A political party can serve as a shorthand for a set of ideas and objectives, and voters can use that to make a decision on whether to vote for party A or party B.
A variety of party systems can be found in countries.
The separation of powers between the different branches of government prevents abuses of power by one branch.
In Italy, power has moved back and forth between a few parties on a frequent basis, creating greater instability.
Italy's coalition governments are the norm in some parliamentary systems.
It is hard to generalize these differences because they involve so many reasons.
We have discussed why political parties form, but we need to look more closely at why certain countries have more parties than others.
The fortunes of political parties can change over time.
In looking around the world, we see that there are many different ways in which members of the public cast their votes, how those votes are applied, and how many parties enter the legislature.
An elected official represents a geographic area.
There are a number of legislative seats allocated to these constituencies.
Argentina is divided into 24 constituencies that correspond to the country's 23 provinces, whereas in Nigeria the lower house of the country's parliament is called the lower house.
How these boundaries are drawn is important as well.
If an ethnic or religious minority is concentrated in one constituency, Electoral Systems 157 may have more political power than if it were divided across a number of constituencies.
Different districts may have different population sizes, but the same number of legislative seats, giving those in less populated districts more power.
Electoral boundaries can have a huge impact on who gets elected, and are often a source of great contention in new democracies.
Two broad forms of electoral systems are being used in liberal democracies today.
We can consider each one in turn.
The electoral constituencies in these systems are single member districts, which means that each constituency has only one representative.
The candidate who gets the most votes wins the seat.
If a candidate for whom a vote is cast does not win, his or her votes do not count toward any other candidate's electoral bid.
The political power of some parties can be amplified by the winner take all approach of the SMD system.
Political scientists say that most people are unwilling to vote for smaller parties.
Voting and district and proportional elections are the two main types of electoral which the public participates in.
Voters can participate in use PR.
Many use a mix of political decision making and PR.
In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the Democratic Republic is dominated by two parties.
In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons is the lower legislative house.
The Labour Party won 40 percent of the seats.
The winner- take- all system can be seen in the case of smaller parties.
The Democratic Unionist Party gained between 4 and 10 seats, while Sinn Fein gained between 4 and 10 seats.
There are three regional parties in Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Scottish National Party's geographic concentration is important to supporters.
Power within the parties can be affected by the distribution of power across parties.
Voters choose between individual candidates within a constituency as much as they choose from among parties.
Voters may be more interested in what a candidate has to say about their local needs than in party ideology, and individual candidates may act more independently of their party if they believe that is what will get them elected.
Under presidential systems, this approach to voting is likely.
Voters don't have to worry about their party winning a majority of seats in the legislature in order to choose the prime minister when the president is elected directly.
The impact of SMDs can be altered by a small modification to the electoral rules.
Majority- based systems function the same way as plurality- based systems, except they use certain mechanisms to ensure that the winner is elected by a majority of the voters in the district.
The easiest way to do this is to have two electoral rounds, with the top two vote- getters going on to a second election.
France uses this system.
A majority can be generated by having vot ers rank candidates by preference.
If no candidate wins an absolute majority, the candidate with the lowest number of first preferences is eliminated, and her or his ballots are redistributed based on the second preferences on those ballots.
Until one candidate has a majority, the elimination of the lowest ranking candidates continues.
This system is currently used in Australia.
The adoption of this system in the United States and Canada has been supported by advocates.
The United Kingdom held a referendum on changing native voting.
The Liberal Democrats believed they would do better under this system.
The change was opposed by more than two-thirds of voters.
A majority of democracies around the world use propor tional representation, which is a different type of SMD system.
PR tries to increase the number of parties in the legislature by decreasing the number of votes that are wasted.
There are more than one legislative seat up for grabs.
In PR systems, voters cast their ballots for a party rather than a candidate, and the percentage of votes a party receives in a district determines how many of that district's seats the party will gain.
A party that won 17 percent of the vote in a district would get 17 percent of the seats in that district, and a party that won 100 percent of the vote would get all the seats.
Votes can profoundly affect how seats are distributed among competing parties.
PR allows a small percentage of the vote to win representation.
The percentage of seats won in the legislature in South Africa can be compared to the number of votes under PR.
The South African National Assembly has small parties that would not have won a seat under plurality or majority systems.
Because PR is based on multimember districts, elections are not centered on competition between individuals.
Instead, political parties draw up a list of candidates for each electoral district, often proposing as many candidates as there are seats.
If a district has 10 seats and a party wins 50 percent of the vote, the party will send the first five candidates to the legislature.
The most senior members of a political party are put on the party list.
Even if the party gets a small share of the district vote, a candidate would want to be listed as high on the list as possible to get a seat.
PR voters are more willing to vote for small parties since they stand a better chance of winning seats in the legislature than voters in plurality or majority systems.
The party that won less than 10 percent of the vote gained seats in the South African elections.
Many more parties are likely to be found in countries with PR systems.
Israel's legislature has more than 15 parties, some of which are coalitions of smaller parties.
Israel established a threshold for the first time in 2015 of 3.25 percent.
Voters who choose parties that do not make it over the threshold will not have their votes counted.
The number of wasted votes tends to be smaller in PR.
There are two reasons why party discipline and ideology may be more pronounced.
The need to carve out distinct ideological spaces is related to the diversity of parties.
The difference between this and the SMD systems is that parties want to reach as many people as possible in order to win a majority.
PR may lead to more disciplined parties since those who don't follow party rules can be dropped from the list in the next election.
The difference between a stable government and a vote of no confidence can be made by party discipline.
Brazil has an interesting contrast.
In addition to a strong presidency, the legislature uses an " open- list" system of PR, where voters not only choose a party but also choose their preferred candidate in that party.
Seat allocation is based on the percentage of votes cast for a party and the candidate in that party.
The candidates competing against their own party members weakens party unity.
The supporters of PR say that it allows for a greater range of interests to be expressed politically.
Religion and ethnicity can be included in the interests of these groups.
One way to resolve ethnic conflict is to use institutions like PR to allow ethnic or religious groups to advance their causes, especially if these groups are not geographically concentrated and would fare poorly under SMD.
Increasing the competition of ideas and providing a way for new issues to enter the system are some of the things PR can do.
As early as the 1970s, environmental parties were able to form and make an impact in many PR systems.
When combined with the parliamentary form of government, PR makes it necessary for parties to form coalitions to get a majority of votes.
The benefits of single- member dis tricts and winner- take- all elections are emphasized by those who favor SMD systems.
People can connect with their elected representatives more easily under such systems.
Since SMD voters express their support or rejection of particular candidates, these candidates form ties to their constituents that are as close as those to their party, if not closer.
Supporters note that an SMD system allows for the creation of large parties that are able to muster the majority needed to govern without being held hostage by smaller, often fringe parties.
Critics argue that the flip side of party diversity may be political instability.
Some countries have combined the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems.
Voters are given two votes, one for a candidate and the other for a party, which can be divided on one ballot paper, or they can participate in two separate elections, one for the PR candidates and one for the SMD candidates.
In the PR segment of the election votes are allocated proportionally, while in the SMDs they are elected on the basis of plurality or majority.
Depending on the country, the percentage of seats allotted for each electoral method varies.
In Germany, the seats in the lower house of the legislature are split evenly between SMDs and PR, whereas in Japan, the breakdown is 60 percent SMD and 40 percent PR.
Voters can choose to vote for a candidate from one party with their SMD vote, or they can vote for a different candidate with their PR vote.
Since only a large party is likely to get the plurality of votes needed to win, the PR portion of the ballot should be reserved for the Green Party.
We should consider what electoral systems have to do with legislative relations.
Since small parties are less likely to get into office and single parties are often able to command a majority of seats in the legislature, parliamentary systems that rely on SMDs are less likely to have coalition governments.
PR in parliamentary systems can broaden the range of participation, but also increase the likelihood of government instability, which is inherent in managing so many interests.
The electoral system used for the legislature is unrelated to executive- legislative relations.
PR or SMD can be used for the legislature.
A country could change its constitution so that the executive position changes from president to prime minister without changing its electoral system, or it could switch from PR to SMD without having to modify its executive structure.
Electoral systems can affect policy and shape how a voter's participation is counted.
Many countries offer the public the option of voting directly on policy issues, even though voting is typically used to choose parties or candidates for office.
Referenda allow the public to make their own decisions about policy.
Although there is no constitutional provision for national referenda in the United States and Canada, many other democracies use them.
Italy and New Zealand have used referenda to restructure their electoral and legislative systems.
In Switzerland, where the political system is closer to the idea of direct democracy than in any other country, many of the most important national decisions are made by referenda.
Some European countries use referenda to approve changes to their relationship with the European Union.
The power to referenda may be called by the government, but it is up to the head of state.
Asia has made democratization possible in the past decade.
The Asian Values argument is the most common explanation.
According to this view, Asian culture is modernizing.
The importance of changes likely to push the public toward of a strong leader who serves as is one of the reasons why modernization theory argues that eco ence to authority, an emphasis on community, and nomic growth is associated with a number hierarchy, and stability.
Democratic values with els of education increase political awareness, their emphasis on individual competition, fostering demands for greater participation, and liberty would run counter to the state.
Hierarchy is also chal enged.
The emergence of modernization in Asia is more pronounced than in Europe or North America.
The middle class assumes that citizens control the state.
In South Korea and Taiwan, democratization is hampered by expla selves that are a barrier to democracy.
Over the past three decades, it has been less helpful in cases like the Philippines, where GDP remains far lower.
It doesn't account for the ongoing presence of authoritarianism in Singapore, which has a hybrid or il iberal regime.
The Philippines distinction of being both authoritarian and democrat was one of the first in the world.
We noted in Chapter 4 that South Nevertheless owed in the 1980s.
In the mid 1990s, Taiwan and Indonesia began to democratize, as rising incomes and an emerging middle class across Asia coincide.
Among them, Singapore, Malaysia, in Asia overlap with modernization theory.
In our discussion, we looked at the imporcivil liberties have improved.
The role played by civil society in the military coup in Thailand has a fabric of organizations created by people.
Communist regimes help define their interests.
Civil society in China, Vietnam, and North Korea did not show signs of increasing democratization.
In Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines, environmental groups played an important role.
In Malaysia, for example, we have seen growing civil society while authoritarianism is still entrenched.
The elite explanations focus on the distribution of power in society, both economic and political, and on how this might affect the calculations of those in power.
Levels of development and elite role have been overlooked.
The emergence of pro- democracy leaders can be seen.
In the Philippines and Korea, growing inequality and the increasing popularity of the party elites meant they had a strong incentive to stay in democracy.
We should not overlook the fact that China could be a democ international factors.
Skepticism in the United States began putting pressure on order in the 1980's.
Some had argued that China would be an authoritarian leader in Asia.
If the predictions of states and international nongovern come true, China's change in regime would cause mental organizations to expand in a world where the 1990s supported civil society.
The impact rule should not be underestimated.
When democratization began in the region, it increased expectations in neighboring states that such transitions were possible.
Similar waves were seen in Latin America and Eastern 1.
The discussion raises an interesting topic.
Do you think China will be the big outlier in Asia?
Some are concerned that national votes place too much power in the hands of an uneducated public, which can weaken representative democracy.
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