POG 100: Introduction to Politics and Governance, Section 1/2/3/4 Fall 2007

October 30 2007

October 30 2007
• Dimensions of Governance • Sub-National government • The Modern State and the infrastructure of governance
– – – – Constitutions Legislature Executive branch and Bureaucracy Judiciary

• Film: Canadians in the Global Economy

Sub-National Government
Under a federal system you have a level of government between the local government and the national government. This model is often referred to as the mixed system of government and involves a division of jurisdictional powers - Canada a good example as is the United States of America • Provinces • States • Territories

Sub-National or regional governments
• State Power or authority is decentralized into smaller units of government • Derive power from the constitution - confederation (1867) • Parliamentary government under West Minister model • Elected Premiers and appointed Lieutenant Governors representing the Crown • Provincial Assemblies • Members of provincial parliaments (MPPs) or members of legislative Assemblies (MLAs) • Members of National Assembly (MNA) in Quebec

The Modern State

• Key functions:
– Sovereign authority - the central political authority, the arena of politics and source of Identity – Institution responsible for organizing decision-making and its implementation – Guarantor of security for the people within – Social protection and social cohesion

Origins of the Modern State

Types of states

Federal and Unitary Systems

Division of Powers

Why Federalism?

Constitutional orders
rule of law


Constitutional reform
flexible amending formula

Functions of Modern States
Four key functions and the related institutions • Legislative - Parliament / Representative assembly • Executive - President or Chancellor or Prime Minister • Administrative - Civil (Public) Service or Bureaucracy • Judicial - Judiciary

Legislatives (Indirect Democracy)
House of Commons/Legislature Senate Bicameral (two legislative bodies) or Unicameral (one House)

Question period

Ministerial Responsibility

Civil Service (Bureaucracy)
Public Administration regulatory


Some key questions
• Which system is better, the parliamentary or presidential system and why? • Are today’s legislatures simply rubber stamps for the decisions made by the heads of governments and their Cabinets? • Are representative institutions truly represent the ideological, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual diversity of the population? • Is the bureaucracy the real power behind the throne? • Why has there been so much debate about a democratic deficit?

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