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Single vs.

Plural Executive

Executive branch is one of the three branches in a government. The role of

an executive branch is to carry out the law. There are two types of executive
branch based on the power distribution, single executive and plural executive.
Those two kinds of executive often debated by politicians, which one is the best
for the government. This essay will examine about the pro and cons of each
executive type, and what is the best executive type for a good government.
Single executive is when all of the executive powers are in one leader. The
example of single executive is the President of the United States. In the US, this
system of executive can be called as Unitary Executive theory. The single
executive in the US is based on Article II of the US Constitution, which state The
executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.
The single executive system gives efficiency in making a decision and it also
gives sufficient powers for the leader (Sarmah, 2009). However, single executive
system may give the opportunity to abusing authority. During the administration
of President Bush, the lawyer for the President Bush administration claims that
president could do whatever he wanted in case of emergency and it was not
reviewable by courts, although it could harm human rights. They believed that
their claim was supported bt the unitary executive theory. Pierce (2010) in his
article said that their claim was not related to the unitary executive theory. More
importantly, he added that
The real unitary executive theory does not imply that the President has
powers greater than the powers of Congress or the Judiciary.
The high possibility misunderstanding of the single executive make people
afraid that it could becoming tyrannical in its functioning (Sarmah, 2009).
The other type of executive is plural executive. The plural executive is
when the executive consists of more than one individual (Sarmah, 2009). Those
individuals were elected through popular election and independence from
governor. Texas and some other states have plural executives. This executive
system will limit the power of governor and distributed among many elected
political leaders (Henson, 2016). The elected political leaders are the Governor,
The Lieutenant Governor, The Attorney General, Comptroller of Public Accounts,
Commissioner of The Land Office, Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Boards
and Commissions. The only executive member who appointed by the Governor is
the Secretary of State (Henson, 2016). Plural executive likely to be wiser
compared to a single man, no matter his/her intelligence (Sarmah, 2009). Then,
it could give control over governor power, so the possibility of committing
mistakes is very low. The problem that could be happen from the plural
executive is about unity. The unity in the executive, especially when deciding in
an urgent situation is hard to achieve. Because of many individuals get same
power, they tend to pursuit their own goals. Lack of responsibility could be
happened in the plural executive when the government get a problem relating to
carry out the law.
Therefore, the problems in the plural executive are the problem about
communication and leadership. It can be prevented before the officials were

elected, including the governor. Since people can vote the executive members,
they should pick the best nominee that can work together in the government
with best leadership skill. Comparing to the single executive, people have more
power in plural executive, because they can decide more who will be in the
executive branch. In single executive, people only vote for the single leader, and
if the leader make a mistake, there is no control in the executive branch.
In conclusion, having plural executive system gives more benefit to the
people and the government itself. However, the leadership and communication
between each branch should be in good condition.

Henson, J. R. (2016). Texas politics. Asheville, NC: Soomo Learning. Available
Pierce, R. J., Jr. (2010). Saving the Unitary Executive Theory from Those Who
Would Distort and Abuse it: A Review of the Unitary Executive by Steven G.
Calabresi and Chistopher S. Yoo. Journal of Constitutional Law, 12(2), 593613. Retrieved from
Sarmah, D. (2009). Political Science (Vol. 2). New Delhi, Delhi: New Age