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CONDITION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
_____________________________________________ University of the Philippines Visayas Cebu College Lahug, Cebu City ____________________________________________ A Research Paper submitted to the Social Sciences Division In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Political Science 175 ____________________________________________ Researchers: Ferrer, Euvic M. Pescadero, Cris Virgil M. Tumulak, Karla Marie T. ____________________________________________
Adviser: Ms. Mae Claire Jabines 13 March 2009
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Chapter I INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses the foundations of the study. It aims to lay down the problem, what is being asked, the objectives of this study, and the definition of terms. Most importantly, it provides the limitations of this study and the conceptual framework that the researchers followed.
Rationale The distribution of powers in the government, through centralization or decentralization, is determined through the type of government system a state adopts. Centralization of powers refers to a Unitary type of government where power resides with the central government. Among the advantages of a centralized government is the promotion of national unity through articulating the whole interests of the whole nation and the uniformity of laws is carried out to promote mobility. However, a centralized form of government also leads to tendencies of rivalry among peripheries. The presence of oligarchs in the central government, especially through bureaucracy hampers the efficient delivery of basic services. In a unitary system of government, central government possesses all government authority. In terms of policy implementation, the central government controls all policy fields. The central government directly exercises it authority over the people however it can delegate some of its powers to the local governments through the devolution. Despite the powers transferred to the regional or local government entities, the central government retains its exclusive control and supervision over the local units. The extent of the distribution of powers in a unitary system is manifested through the electoral system, party system and the bureaucracy. Likewise, these essential features of the government carry out the characteristics of the unitary system. The researchers chose the comparative study of unitary states since the researchers saw the necessity of relating the complex and various processes in a unitary system vis-à-vis the operations of the electoral system, party system and bureaucracy in United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Philippines. Furthermore, the status quo of these unitary states are included in the study and how the general characteristics of the electoral system, party system and bureaucracy (through the lens of a unitary government) affects the current conditions of United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Philippines.
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Statement of the Problem The main concern of this research is to provide a comparative study on the characteristics of the three unitary western democracies and the Philippines. Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions: 1. What are the general characteristics of a Unitary form of government? 2. What are the characteristics of the Electoral System and its effects on the current conditions of: a. United Kingdom; b. Italy; c. France; d. and the Philippines? 3. What are the characteristics of the Party System and Political Parties and its effects on the current conditions of: a. United Kingdom; b. Italy; c. France; d. and the Philippines? 4. What are the characteristics of the Bureaucracy and its effects on the current conditions of: a. United Kingdom; b. Italy; c. France; d. and the Philippines?
Objectives It aims to provide a qualitative comparative analysis on the characteristics of the Unitary form of government in UK, France, Italy and the Philippines. It also aims to underline the impacts of these characteristics on the current situation of the four Unitary democracies. Specifically, its aims are: To provide the general characteristics of a Unitary form of government in terms of electoral system, party system and bureaucracy. To determine the characteristics of the Electoral System and its effects on the current conditions of United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Philippines.
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To present the characteristics of the Party System and Political Parties and its effects on the current conditions of United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Philippines. To establish the characteristics of the Bureaucracy and its effects on the current conditions of United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Philippines.
Significance of the Study The following will benefit from the study: The British, French, Italian and Philippine Governments They will benefit from the comparative study since it will provide them information of the characteristics of their respective governments. Consequently, this study will highlight the unique characteristics per institution and label each as either advantageous or disadvantageous. Generally, it will serve as an assessment of their own system of government. Students and the Researchers The study is significant to the students for it would provide them adequate knowledge on the characteristics of a Unitary system. Furthermore, this would provide them information regarding the
electoral system, party system and bureaucracy of the three Unitary western democracies and the Philippines.
Scope and Limitations The comparative study is limited to the three Unitary western democracies namely United Kingdom, France, and Italy. The researchers also saw the need to compare the findings to the Philippines. The scope of the study is also limited to the electoral system, party system and bureaucracy in the aforementioned Unitary states. The researchers saw the necessity of focusing on these elements because of the close-knit relationship of these elements. Party systems are integrated in the electoral systems of each state. The centralization/concentration of powers in a unitary system is best manifested through the bureaucracy. Furthermore, the study tackles the impact of these elements to the current conditions of the Unitary states.
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Conceptual Framework Unitary systems of United Kingdom, France, Italy and Philippines are the subjects of comparison. Unitary systems of government are governments whose power is centralized in the national or single unit. This means that local units do not have autonomy and that the central government handles all the decision-making processes of the government. Electoral System, Party System and Bureaucracy are the objects of comparison. The unitary systems possess different types of electoral systems. More so, system of bureaucracy is differentiated in different unitary systems. Party systems in these unitary systems are in a way similar, but differences in political parties dictate a different outcome. As essential features of a political system, electoral systems, party systems and bureaucracy play a role in different aspects of the government and the state. Thus, the researchers look into consideration the effects of these features in the unitary systems of United Kingdom, France, Italy and Philippines. UNITARY GOVERNMENTS
Party System, Electoral System and Bureaucracy
Impact on the Current Condition
Figure 1 Conceptual Framework
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Methodology The researchers sought the guidance of readings from books and electronic sources. Extensive reading and discussion is essential in this qualitative study of the four Unitary states. The researchers followed the conceptual framework above to be able to come up with a sound conclusion from the data that we gathered. At first, the researchers presented a general view of a Unitary government. This was necessary to first see the similarities among the four states. Three elements were put into consideration, namely: the Electoral System, Party System, and the Bureaucracy of the four states. Each electoral system was compared and each was treated in such a way that the researchers were able to extract the contributions of the system to the state. This same procedure and level of analysis was also used for the party system and the bureaucracy. At the end of this paper, the researchers were able to arrive at a conclusion and give recommendations.
Definition of Terms
A system of government where the central government holds the principal power over the administrative units that are virtually agencies of the central government. (Microsoft Encarta Premium Suite 2005)
The system that dictates the manner on how the electorate should vote and how the votes cast are translated into seats in the government.
Party system. Bureaucracy.
It involves the interaction of the different parties within a political system. It deals with the management and structure of an organization pertaining to government administration in matters of government officials and civil service.
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Chapter II PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
This chapter presents the background of the study. It aims to answer the queries mentioned on the preceding section of this paper. Further, this part discusses the findings of the researchers, its implications and its significant contribution to the main aim of this study.
The Unitary Form of Government Unitary system is a form of government by which the central government exercises control and supervision over local governments (Salvilla, 2006). Opposed to federalism by which a constituency has autonomy from the central government over decision-making and policies, unitary systems suggest centralization of all powers in one single body.
“Unitary government is a government system in which all governmental authority is vested in a central government from which regional and local governments derive their powers. Examples are Great Britain and France.” (babylon.com/definition/unitary_government/English. 2008) The Central Government by which all power is concentrated has under it all (1) military and police forces, (2) all tax collection agencies, (3) all fiscal agencies, (4) all health agencies, (5) all prosecution agencies, (6) all social welfare agencies, (7) all natural resources agencies and (8) labor. (Salvilla, 2006) The political power of government in such states may well be transferred to lower levels, to regionally or locally elected assemblies, governors and mayors ("devolved government"), but the central government retains the principal right to recall such delegated power (http://www.spiritustemporis.com/unitary-state/, 2009). In Unitary systems like the Philippines, devolution is a process of transferring the power to the local levels, but a central government still exists for the supervision of such powers. The Unitary system of government, like the federal type, also has its foundation on how to run the political system and the government. Some of these foundations include the electoral system, the party system and political parties, and the bureaucracy.
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On Electoral System The distinction between a federal and unitary type of government falls in the category of to what position will power be concentrated on the basis of territoriality. A Federal type contends that power be decentralized while Unitary form opt a centralized, uniform government. An essential element in a political system is the Electoral process or the system in which the state determines who votes, how they vote, and how are these votes translated into representation. As compared to Federal and Unitary, the electoral system is a specific element that determines to whom, specifically, will power and position be given. Each European state made subject in this study uses a different type of electoral system. The Philippines, however, share the same with the United Kingdom. France follows a Presidential Two Rounds System. There are two elections for the president. A candidate for Presidency should receive a majority of the votes during the first elections to win the post. However, if no clear majority is reached by any of the candidates, a second election, or a run-off, will be conducted to determine a majority-elected President. The two candidates who gained the highest two votes will be proceeding to this run-off. The candidate who garners greater number of votes, or for this case, a clear majority, during the run-off will be elected as President. In other words, the French Two Round System aims to elect a President that garnered majority votes. This system provides a manner in which a state can get a majority-elected candidate even if there is an existence of multiple parties. The Single Member Parliamentary elections of France also follow a Two Round System. However, it does not totally follow the same procedure as the Presidential. If in the first election no candidate receives a clear majority, a run-off is held. The run-off, however, does not guarantee a majority-elected member of the assembly since all candidates who received at least 12.5% of the total votes cast during the first election will proceed. This means that more than two candidates may proceed to the run-off. The candidate who gets the highest number of votes gets elected, not necessarily majority. The type of electoral system that France adheres to opens the possibilities of parties coalescing especially during the run-off. Parties tend to show support to candidates of parties who received an opportunity to candidate for the run-off. Parties do this to (a) make sure that the candidates who win the seat has the same or a nearer ideology to their party and (b) to have leverage and be able to forward their interests in the Parliament. Given the electoral system and the existence of multiple parties in
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France, coalitions between similarly minded parties tend to temporarily exist especially before and during elections and may evaporate after. The Italian electoral system is by far the most complicated among the four countries being subjected to comparison in this study. Partitocrazia, an Italian term that refers to the rule of parties – a condition widely present in Italy. This speaks of how the powers among political parties are distributed and how the party of the government of the day extends its powers. This area tells not of the party system but of an essential factor of the Italian electoral system – the existence of many parties, ergo, the existence of many contenders for public office. It is a duty of every citizen in any democratic state to vote for candidates in their elections. Although the Italian government contends that they do not hold such duty compulsory, every citizen’s membership card show how active one is in electoral participation and how this is used as an incentive especially for people who aim to seek public office employment. Reforms in the electoral process have been put to place from the purely proportional representation to Mixed Member Proportional. According to IDEA International Handbook on Electoral Systems, Italy follows an MMP type of electoral system. As per definition, it is a system where “results of 2 types of elections are linked, with seat allocations at the PR level being dependent on what happens in the Plurality/Majority (or other) district seats and compensating for any disproportional that arises there.” There is dependence because the number of seats won by a party through plurality/majority will dictate the additional number of seats for PR seats so as to constitute the total number of seats that entitled to a certain party based on PR results. As for Italy, 25% of the members of the Senate and Chamber are elected through Proportional Representation while 75% of these representatives are elected through Plurality (First Past The Post). The Proportional Representation system requires the electorate to vote for the party they would want the Chamber and the Senate be made up of. The percentage of votes garnered by parties is translated to approximately the same percentage of the votes they would receive including the seats they garnered through the first-past-the-post system. To wit, it is of the same hybrid system as Germany. Both the United Kingdom and the Philippines follow the same electoral system in electing representatives in the House of Commons and the House of Representatives, respectively. However, differences arise in the manners in which the two states elect their Heads of Government. The British Prime Minister is not elected by the people. Instead, he/she is elected by the House of Commons from the strongest/majority party in the House. The Prime Minister, who acts as head of
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government, is the leader of the majority party of the House of Commons. The Philippine counterpart, the President, is voted at large by the Filipino people and elected through a Plurality System, specifically, the First-Past-the-Post type where the candidate who got the highest number of votes after the elections is proclaimed winner. The British Parliament and the Philippine House of Representatives, according to Blais’ and Massiccote’s diagram (from the Australian National University Compilation of Policy and Governance Program Volume 1) follow the same Plurality in Single-Member Districts system of electing their representatives. This system provides that the candidate who got the highest number of votes in the single member district is elected. Even if both democratic states follow the same process in electing their representatives, these ways have different bearings in their respective societies. In UK, party affiliation remains an important factor as the strength of a party in the Parliament, as measured by the number of representatives sitting in the Parliament from that parry, is indispensable in selecting the Head of Government. The strength of the party system can be derived from this type of electoral system. For the Philippines, however, there is a persistent attachment to personality over party. The contest for district representative and even for presidency is candidate-centered and thus opens a wide avenue for the people’s voting behavior to be, more or less, personality based. This trait may destroy the function of parties of providing better programs because they focus on choosing “appealing” candidates more over looking for sound and necessary solutions for the people. Italy’s complicated electoral system aims to both minimize the drawbacks of the Plurality and the Proportional Representation and maximize the advantages of both.
On Party System A Unitary form of government, as opposed to a federal type, implies centralization of power on its citizenry. However, on the decision-making process whether in unitary or federal form, the existence of political parties suggests a tool for the distribution of power within a government system. An important aspect of a political system, be it unitary or federal, is its party system. Party system, conventionally, refers to the number of political parties within a political system. It also refers to the pattern of relationship of parties in a system.
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Party systems are classified to as One-Party, Two-Party, and Multi-Party system. One Party implies that a state only has one political party. This party system deprives the electorate the choice, and that they are not permitted to have an alternative party (Microsoft Encarta Premium Suite, 2005). An example of a One-Party system that existed in history is Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism in Germany and Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Italy. Two-Party system permits the political system only two political parties. Examples of which is United States’ Republican and Democratic Parties. Multi-Party systems typically have 3 or more parties who play a significant role in political system. The Unitary States of United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany follow a Multi-Party System. This system implies a wide array of effects, depending on the characteristics of the political parties existing within a system. United Kingdom has a number of political parties existing in its system. However, because of the presence of the two dominant political parties (Labour and Conservative), UK is mistakenly regarded to as adoptive of the two-party system. A number of political parties exist in UK, such as the Scottish National Party and the Welsh National Party, who field candidates for the Commons, but not in all constituencies (Sodaro, 2001: 365). Labour and Conservative Party, the two dominant parties of UK, owe its dominance on its institutionalization. Institutionalization means the process by which a practice or organization becomes well-established and widely known (Mainwaring, 1998: 1). Labour and Conservative Parties are institutionalized along with its existence. These parties are also entrenched on the grounds of mass membership and the ideology it adheres to. Party competition is regular, and that the other party becomes the alternative party as it provides the electorate another choice apart from the existing system. UK’s parties have strong roots in the society, as this helps the parties institutionalize (Mainwaring, 1998: 3). Though UK’s party system adheres to Multi-Party System, the dominance of the two major parties provides foundation for a stable political system. As multi-party system permits the existence of other parties, it also performs its duty as to safeguarding the interests of citizens and groups, mobilizing them into the political arena (Powell, 1982: 76). This promotes stability on the government processes. On the other hand, the existence of dominant parties on hand still promotes stability in government and political system because of its institutionalization, as these parties are foundations of the political system itself.
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Contrary to United Kingdom’s institutionalization of two dominant parties, France’s political parties are rather changing. France has a big number of political parties, providing the electorate a wide array of choices. The big number of political parties promotes democracy as it “emphasizes the importance of parties in representing the interests of citizens and groups.” (Powell, 1982: 76). The only institutionalized party in France is the Socialist Party, as it embraced the ideology of Socialism and its membership extends to the citizenry. Other parties, besides the Socialist party, are not consistent. They “assembled, disbanded, and reconstituted under new names of bewildering frequency.” (Sodaro, 2001: 419). There exists two dominant parties in France, the Socialist Party and the Neo-Gaullists, but these parties are less institutionalized compared to the parties of UK. In fact, Neo-Gaullist was created from the principles of the former president Charles de Gaulle. Neo-Gaullist Party is created from the existence of small center right parties. This phenomenon is dictated by the urge of the small parties to gain seats in the assembly, thereby coalescing with other smaller parties of more or less the same ideologies to acquire position in the system. Faction is a common feature of French party system. When parties coalesce to form a new party, a conflict of interest would arise after the coalition. This faction is then limited by the small gaps in ideologies between the coalescing parties. In French political system, only parties with the small gaps in ideologies coalesce. An example of which is the Rally for the Republic which embraced a center-right ideology, which later evolved to a broader grouping of Union for Presidential Majority, and during the 2002 elections, emerged into an enlarged party of Union for a Popular Movement (Sodaro, 2001: 420). On Italy’s party system, proliferation of parties is common. A vast number of parties exist because the system gave seats to parties with as little as 1 per cent of the vote. For example, in 1992, 16 parties won seats, 10 of which had won less than 5 per cent of the overall vote (Keating, 1999: 234). Italy also follows a party-list system. In a party list system, an individual’s chances of gaining seats depend on its position in the party rather than personal characteristics. This further promotes instability in government processes for the selection of representative is based on nepotism and not in meritocracy. Two large parties dominated Italian politics. This includes the Christian Democrat on the centerright wing of the spectrum and the Communists on the left. Other significant parties also exist, such as the four lay parties as they are outside the two big parties. These include the Socialists, Social
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Democrats, Liberal Party and the Republicans. These parties, along with the two large parties, play significant role in the political system. The Multi-Party system can lead to a coalition government, as experienced in Italy for most of the time. However, Italy’s coalition government has not been a success, as many have lasted less than one year (historylearningsite.co.uk, 2000). For example, the coalition government under Prime Minister Romano Prodi was brought down by the Communist Refoundation Party after the senate projected a vote of low confidence, 156 ayes against 161 nays (Braun, 2008). Proliferation of political parties in Italy has brought an unstable government. Coalition governments were failures as conflict of interests among a massive number of parties exist. The Philippine Party System, like UK, France and Italy, embraces the Multi-Party system of government. Unlike its Western Unitary democracies counterparts, Philippine parties are rather nonideological when it comes to its principles. They are rather issue-based, and at most times, party members shift from a party to the other (Rocamora, 1998). The major difference between the Philippine party system from United Kingdom and France is the existence of the Party-List system, separate from the parties in the presidential and congressional race. A PARTY-LIST system is any system of proportional representation in which voters choose among parties rather than among candidates and votes are awarded to parties in proportion to the votes they receive (Abano, 2003). The general characteristic of the Philippine political parties is that they lack political programmes. They also lack ideological bases on the decisions and principles they have. More so, Philippine political parties are parties of the elite (Rocamora, 1998). There are non-elite individuals, but most of them are followers of the elite ones. This further leads to a less stable party membership, in a more common term, “political butterflies,” and less political-definition. In a multi-party system, interests of the citizens and groups are being represented by the parties themselves (Powell, 1982: 76), but with the existence of the elites ruling the political system, the essence of such system is lost. This makes the Philippine political arena unstable. The existence of a multi-party system with the leadership of these parties concentrated in the hands of the elites causes an unfixed government. This is further worsened by the lack of ideology and political programmes that a party would conform to.
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On Bureaucracy “Bureaucracy refers to the administrative machinery of the state: that is, the massed ranks of civil servants and public officials who are charged with the execution of government business.” (Heywood, 2007: 17) An essential feature of a unitary system is its bureaucratic structure. In a unitary type of government, central decision-making rests in the national government and local governments are considered to be subordinate to the national government. Unitary systems deal with the centralization of powers primarily concentrated on the national government. Central bureaucracies outline the concentration of the bureaucratic processes within a unitary system. The flow of governmental processes is shown through the organization of bureaucracies with emphasis on unitary systems. Since bureaucracies are responsible for implementing government policies, hierarchy in policy implementation is streamlined vis-à-vis distribution and centralization of powers in unitary systems. In central bureaucracies, authority is placed under the Minister or head of the department. Departments/ministries are organized in a hierarchy where an individual holds superior authority over the other ministers. The selection of subordinates is usually made by the superior heads. Although British ministers are not free to choose their own subordinates, France and Italy select ministers through their cabinets which mediate between the administration, Parliament, Minister and other groups involved. The selection process of bureaucrats in the Philippines is controlled by the President with the supervision of the Commission on Appointments. In United Kingdom, administration of the government is placed entirely in the hands of the ministers except civil service and all officials are held responsible to their senior ministers. Central administration in United Kingdom is largely concerned with political matters while implementation of government policies falls into the hands of the local governments. In France, French bureaucracy is endowed with broad powers by the French Parliament since the control of administrative process rests mainly on the French elite bureaucrats. The elitist nature of French bureaucracy pervades a wide and extensive scope of administration in the French government. Italian bureaucrats are responsible for implementing of government policies. Devolution is an important feature in unitary systems as unitary governments are faced with the movement towards distribution of powers from the central government to the local government units. Devolution is a powerful instrument in a centralized administrative system. The transfer of powers and responsibilities from the central government to the local governments is a key factor in the
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rationalization of bureaucracy so as to increase efficiency in government services. Albeit, decentralization is a key feature in federal states, however efforts in decentralizing the bureaucracy in unitary states have led to the transfer of powers from the central government to the local governments. Essentially, decentralization in the bureaucracy involves Deconcentration, Devolution and Debureaucratization.
Barangay Figure 2 Local Government Diagram
In France and Italy, local administration is dependent upon central authorities while British local authorities are autonomous; they still remain subordinate under the control of the central Ministers. Local governments in United Kingdom play a huge role in service responsibilities although they relatively play little role in national politics. The British central government can “radically” change the structure, powers and finances possessed by the local government units. This only presents the extensive and broad powers of the central government in United Kingdom. Likewise, local governments in the Philippines remain dependent on the national government, despite the devolution of the bureaucracy. The problem of bureaucratic oversupply in France is a main concern in French bureaucracy. “France has
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more local governments than the rest of the European Union put together” (Keating, 1999: 221). There have been several attempts to rationalize the French bureaucracy but French bureaucracy has remained bloated. In Italy, local governments remain subordinate to the central government. “Centralization has been reinforced by bureaucracy, which has maintained an extensive field administration and by the practice of handing down to local governments rather tightly defined tasks rather than whole blocks of responsibilities.” (Keating, 1999: 287). However, intervention from the central bureaucracy to the local governments has crippled the quality of public administration of the local governments. “Powers were not devolved in coherent blocks but piecemeal, requiring complex mechanisms for coordination between central government and regions.” (Keating, 1999: 285). This setup allows the central government to intervene in detail regarding regional affairs. The interdependence between central and local authorities with regards to the implementation of policies is evident in these four unitary states. Despite the autonomy enjoyed by the local governments, they are still subject under the supervision of the central government which emphasizes the ascendancy of the national government, especially in the implementation of government policies. The degree of autonomy possessed by these devolved bodies range from strict regulation or supervision. The presence of civil service in bureaucracies is an indispensable part of government administration. French bureaucracy is considered to have a stronger bureaucracy compared to British because of its elitist nature of bureaucracy i.e. Ecole Nationale d'Administration (school for administration). Civil servants in Italy gain security of tenure “when their contractual posts are confirmed, without ever having entered any real competition” (Mény & Knapp, 1998: 286). Admission into civil service in the Philippines is though passing the civil service examinations while European countries give importance on particular legal trainings and those who have specialized in the field of public administration. The recruitment and selection process of civil servants are done under the principle of meritocracy. In Western Europe, recruitment in civil service is based upon the merit system, particularly through civil service examinations. In European bureaucracies, “there exists a (variable) balance
between promotion on the grounds of merit and promotion on the grounds of seniority” (Mény & Knapp, 1998: 288). Albeit being recognize d for its “competence, sense of duty and absence of corruption” (Keating, 1999: 116), civil service in the United Kingdom has often been criticized and described as an
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“administration of amateurs” since the top executives in the bureaucracy remain generalists. The same situation happens in the case of Italy where there is lack of technical expertise of top civil servants. French bureaucracy is praised for its extensive and competent selection process of civil servants. Admission into French civil service is based on academic results (meritocracy), rather than political patronage which is eminent in Philippine bureaucracy. French bureaucracy remains today an elitist. In principle, civil service in Italy is “highly formalized and legalistic” i.e. entry into civil service is conducted through competitive examinations, sufficient experience in public administration and promotion is based on the length of service. However, the gap between practice and theory is very large. Generally, Italian bureaucracy is tedious, slow and inefficient. It is tainted with biases, partisan politics and political intervention, eventually shading into corruption. The complexity of bureaucratic regulation has led to its inefficiency. Governmental decisions remains with the central government. The same situation in Italian bureaucracy is evident in the Philippines. The bloated bureaucracy in the Philippines, overlapping functions of the different agencies, and the perennial problem of corruption are issues that continue to plague Philippine bureaucracy. Patronage politics is very common in the Philippines where known supporters during previous elections are given wider opportunities in entering public offices. Red tape, as associated with bureaucracy, is apparent in Philippine bureaucracy. “Appointments were made apparently not on professionalism and public service but for political reasons or on loyalty to the president” (www.bulatlat.com, 2008: 7:3). A main feature in a unitary form of government is the uniformity of services rendered and is thus carried out through the bureaucracy. Since the Philippines is a unitary state, central government i.e. the President with the Commission on Appointments, possesses a great influence and control over the appointment and admission of civil servants.
Summary In a nutshell, the three Unitary European Democracies installed different electoral systems for their government. The multi-party system of France and their translation of votes for both Executive and Legislative seats is being handled by a Two Rounds System (TRS). This TRS’s main aim is to elect representatives who are truly voted by the majority. Also, such type of electoral system enables party politics and coalition among similarly-minded political parties. Italy, on the other hand, has almost the same electoral system as that of Germany. A mixed member proportional system compensates the disproportionality of seats promoted in a totally Plurality set-up. This characteristic also supports the
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existence of multiple parties in a sense that they are given a reasonable avenue to participate and a bigger chance for representation in the legislative body. Even though UK’s party system is normally multi party, only two parties usually gets majority seats in the Parliament. UK has a single member plurality system, same as the Philippines. However, this may have a different bearing in the Philippine legislative. UK’s type of government, where the strongest party in the Parliament determines the Prime Minister would show that the choices made in the elections for Members of Parliament are essential. In the Philippines, on the other hand, the legislative elections do not have any bearing in the election of the Executive. Thus, personality based choices are more rampant in the Philippines than in UK, furthermore, personality based and less party affiliation is rampant in states with Plurality systems than those with proportional systems. Party systems are essential features of the unitary systems of United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Philippines. This identifies the number of parties within a system and how these parties interact with each other. The Unitary European Democracies and the Philippines adopt a MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM. This means that in a political system, there exist a big number of political systems. Some of these unitary democracies, however, have major parties that dominate the political system. In United Kingdom, for instance, Labour and Conservative Parties dominate the political arena. This is because these parties are institutionalized—the means by which a system becomes widely-known and established. This provides stability on UK’s political system. The political arena of France and Italy possess a different feature. Despite the existence of dominant parties, the main characteristic of the French and Italian party systems is that they are not well-established. French political parties are assembled to gain seats in the assembly, and later they break down into different parties. Despite the vast number of political parties in France, the principle by which political parties serve as vehicle for individual and group participation is widely promoted. On the other hand, Italy’s proliferation of parties led to unstable government, as these parties have conflicting interests. Party-List system is also adopted by the Italian and Philippine party system. Party-List system in these democracies are rather personality-based than of merit. Philippine political parties do not have ideological bases. They also lack political programmes that further led to instability of the political system. Party membership is not fixed, and members transfer from a party to the other. Bureaucracy is another important feature in unitary states. The level of distribution of powers of the central government is gauged through the devolution process, ergo highlighting the role of the local government units. The concentration of power in the central government is an eminent characteristic of
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a unitary system. This is presented through the bureaucratic system of these unitary states. The four unitary states operate through their central bureaucracies. Authority is placed under Ministers or department heads who are tasked to facilitate the different operations of their respective departments or agencies. In Italy, France and UK, broad powers are placed on their bureaucracies. The central bureaucracies remain responsible with the implementation of government policies. In the Philippines, bureaucracy is one of the main arms of the government through which governmental services are extended to the public. The devolution process entails the transfer of powers from the central government to the local government units. However, the devolved regional bodies remain subordinate to the central government. The devolved bodies were created for the purpose of increasing efficiency in the delivery of government services. Since the central government remains in control of the local governments, intervention into the regional affairs of the local governments is inevitable. French bureaucracy, despite being praised as elitist in nature, is faced with the problem of a bloated bureaucracy. Local governments in United Kingdom, Italy and the Philippines remain dependent on their central governments. The degree of autonomy possessed by the devolved bodies stays under the strict supervision of the central government. Like other bureaucracies, British and French bureaucracy is confronted with the selection of civil servants on grounds of seniority. Italy is faced with the problems of inefficiency in the bureaucracy while the Philippine bureaucracy is plagued with red tape and the perennial problem of corruption. The concentration of powers in the central government and the complexity of the bureaucracy results to government inefficiency.
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Chapter III CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
After much discussion, the researchers were able to arrive at a conclusion and recommendation. This chapter presents the conclusions and recommendations of the researchers.
Conclusion A unitary form of government is a system by which the power is centralized in one body. Its main features include control and supervision over its local governments and the concentration of functions within that single body. Although devolution—the transfer of power from the national to the local level—is introduced in most unitary systems, the central or the national government still rules over the local government, making it less possible for the local units to practice decision-making processes, and most especially to have autonomy. The electoral system, party system and bureaucracy are important features in a unitary system. The characteristics of the electoral system, party system and bureaucracy varies with the type of system adopted by the state, as such in the case of United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Philippines with a unitary type of government. The four subject countries vary in their electoral system. Their form of government, Unitary, encourages centralization of powers. It provides that power be centralized in the national government. The electoral system, on the other hand, provides basis as to whom power will be distributed. Italy practices proportional representation and France the Two Rounds System in the midst of multiple parties. These types promote stronger party systems in the sense that Italian electoral system gave better avenues for multiple parties, and the French encourages coalition between similarly-minded parties. UK and the Philippines, on the other hand, practice Single Member Plurality. This reduces the functions of parties to looking for “appealing” candidates for office. The difference between the Philippines and UK that is brought about by their electoral system and political system (i.e. Presidential or Parliamentary)is that the winners of the elections for Legislative for the Philippines does not spell the results for the Executive as compared to the Parliament-based election of the Prime Minister. The British, French, Italian and Philippine governments embraced the Multi-Party System. This encouraged proliferation of the different political parties within the political arena. These parties further contribute to the stability of the political system. Whereas United Kingdom and France owed its political
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stability to the institutionalization of the dominant parties and the adoption of the notion that parties represent individuals and groups, Italian and Philippine politics are unstable because of the conflicts of interests and lack of ideological bases within the party. This implies that the effect of party systems and political parties vary depending on the characteristics of the system and most especially of the political parties. The distribution and devolution of powers of the central governments in United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Philippines has brought about great impacts on the field of public administration i.e. elitist bureaucracy in France, extensive British civil service, crippled bureaucracy in Italy, and the overlapping of bureaucratic functions in the Philippines. There have been attempts to address the concerns of bureaucratic inefficiency through rationalization of the bureaucracy. At the end of the discussion, the researchers were able to see that even if the four democratic states exhibit a Unitary form of government, still, variations occur because of home-bound or local characteristics for each state. Moreover, the researchers conclude that the system may not totally dictate how a state would turn out to be but how the system is being implemented by the people in power.
Recommendations In a comparison between countries that have the same form of government, one can see the similarities clearly over the differences. This research study was conducted to see the similarities and differences of the four subject countries, with a specific interest at its differences and underscoring these to paint a picture of each specific state. As far as the researchers are concerned, book and internet sources, secondary sources, were sensed as limitations to the study. Having said that, the researchers recommend that political and social scientists, who in the future would want to dig deeper into the difference between unitary countries, not to rely in secondary sources alone. Instead, ground themselves in newspapers, testimonials and even online communications stating how states live their life. Moreover, there are a lot of unitary countries that have exhibited interesting features. It is but fitting that these scientist put these countries into consideration to totally see the variety.
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