Presidential vs. Parliamentary Democracy

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Presidential vs. Parliamentary Democracy. Overview. Dimensions for evaluating democratic institutions. Normative Positive Defining presidential, parliamentary, and mixed democracies How do they work? Implications of executive-legislative relations for policies and stability of democracy. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Presidential vs. Parliamentary Democracy

Presidential vs. Parliamentary DemocracyOverviewDimensions for evaluating democratic institutions.NormativePositiveDefining presidential, parliamentary, and mixed democraciesHow do they work?Implications of executive-legislative relations for policies and stability of democracy.Dimensions for analyzing democratic institutionsProtection of libertyProtection of minoritiesDecisiveness, especially under stressCredibility of commitmentsStabilityQuality of democracyRepresentativenessAccountabilityRent-seeking and corruptionDimensions for analyzing democratic institutions (cont.)Public versus private goodsBroad versus targeted programs and expendituresThe extent of redistributionBudget deficitsSize of government as a share of GDP

What are the features that distinguish parliamentary and presidential regimes?What are the features that distinguish parliamentary and presidential regimes?Crucial questions:How is the executive selected?Is the executive dependent on legislative confidence?

What about France?

French presidentFrench Prime Minister

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13Dimensions for evaluating institutionsProtection of liberty, prevention of tyranny.Dimensions for evaluating institutionsProtection of liberty, prevention of tyranny.Some issues: Madison and Hamilton: Ambition should counteract ambitionBut tyranny in parliamentary democracies?Too much power in hands of president? Russia? Too easy to fall into authoritarianism?

Dimensions for evaluating institutionsDecisiveness, especially under stress.Dimensions for evaluating institutionsDecisiveness, especially under stress.Some issues:Madison and Hamilton again: Good to have one individual rather than collegial executiveCant a PM be decisive?What about presidents without legislative backing?

Dimensions for evaluating institutionsCredibility of commitments, policy stabilityDimensions for evaluating institutionsCredibility of commitments, policy stabilitySome issues:Uncertainty about coalitionsDecree authorityGridlockDimensions for evaluating institutionsStability of democracy.What did you learn in the readings?Dimensions for evaluating institutionsStability of democracy.What did you learn in the readings?Why do presidential democracies fail?Gridlock, divided governmentWhy do presidential systems end up with divided government?

Dimensions for evaluating institutionsStability of democracy.What did you learn in the readings?Why do presidential democracies fail?Gridlock, divided governmentWhy do presidential systems end up with divided government?GeographyBalancing

Why are presidential systems so fragmented?The disciplining role of the no-confidence procedureWhat incentives do individual members of the legislature face?Presidentialism and gridlockIs there a problem with presidential democracy, or perhaps a problem with multi-party presidential democracy?

How do presidents get things done?In the United States?In a multi-party presidential system like Brazil?Dimensions for evaluating institutionsRent-seeking and corruption?

Dimensions for evaluating institutionsRent-seeking and corruption?Some issues:Parliamentarism: Politicians can collude, less oversight because of lacking division of powerBut what about the problem of decree authority under presidentialism?

Dimensions for evaluating institutionsPork versus national collective goodsDimensions for evaluating institutionsThe quality of democracyWhat did Bagehot say?AccountabilityResponsivenessEndogenous institutionsWhat kinds of countries choose presidentialism?Endogenous institutionsWhat kinds of countries choose presidentialism?Moments when demands for strong leadership are overwhelming.Constitutions written by strongmen (De Gaul, Yeltsin).History of military involvement in politics.Large and diverse countries?