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Summary of Comparitve Politics

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Gavin Iddings

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of Summary of Comparitve Politics

Summary of Comparative Politics
Marginal States
Islamic States
Less-Developed States
Liberal Democracies
Standard of Living
New Democracies
Communist + Post-Communist Countries
Executive Branch
Legislative Branches
Elections + Parties
Executive Branch
Legislative Branches
Elections + Parties
Executive Branches
Legislative Branches
Elections and Parties
An Overview
Executive Branch
Made itself a republic with a nonexecutive pres. and elected parliament

System later became like the American system (4 year term with Direct vote). Renewable once

Governs with a cabinet called Government of the Federation”

Cabinet can be changed without senate approval

Vice pres must be from different part of country than pres.

Goodluck Jonathan is current pres. (his wife’s name is patience)
Legislative Branch
Elections and Political Parties
People's Democratic Party (Centrist; took 70% of the vote in 2007 election)
All Nigeria's People Party (moderately conservative)

Parliamentary democracy with constitutional monarchy

Unitary Administration

Prime Minister and Cabinet

Bicameral Houses of Parliament (House of Lords + House of Commons)

Dominant Party = Labour and Conservative Parties
Bicameral Diet (House of Councilors + House of Representative

Dominant Party = Liberal Democrat Party
Republic with dual executive

Administration- Federal


Bicameral Federal Assembly (Federation Council + State Duma)

Multiparty- United Russia currently dominates
Socialist Republic


President + Premier

Unicameral National People's Congress (with Standing Committee)

Dominated by Chinese Communist Party
Independence of Ireland
British empire starts to unravel
Japanese Surrender
Democratization and demilitarization of Japan
Liberal Democratic Party victory
Laid groundwork to become global economic power
Margaret Thatcher victory
Privatization and free market reforms (Thatcherism)
Bill of Rights (Britain)
Confirmed supremacy of Parliament over the monarch
Meiji Restoration
Marked new era of modernization
Communist Revolution in China
Beginning of communist era
Sputnik Launch
Fueled competition with U.S.
Deng Xiaopong takes power
(Economic) Reformers take charge
Dissolution of Soviet Union
Emergence of the “new” Russia
Nationalist Revolution
End of imperial dynasties and European domination
Russian Revolutions
Dismantled tsarist autocracy
Turning Points in History
Turning Points in History
PM Powers
1. Appoint members of cabinet and other senior members of government
2. Power of appointment (cabinet + can reorganize gov. departments)
1. Power to call elections to the House of Commons (at least once every 5 years)
3. Also sets national political agenda, oversees military, appoints ambassadors, manages crises, and leads his/her party.
Japan's PM- Shinzo Abe
Britain's PM- David Cameron
Executive Powers
Presidential Powers (Vladimir Putin)
1. Issue decrees
2. Power of appointment
3. Call elections
4. Power of veto (can be overturned with 2/3 vote in Duma)
5. Martial law and state of emergency (needs approval of Federation Council)
*State Council, Executive Office, Security Council, and Russian Federation, and PM aid executive branch
Presidential Powers (Xi Jiping)
1. Power to appoint (State Council, departmental ministers, chairs of legislative committees, and China's foreign ambassadors)

2. Power to declare state of emergency

3. Power to declare war
Priemer (Currently Li Keqiang)
2nd most important person in China after leader of the party.

Always a member of Politburo

1982 decision to limit premiers to two consecutive 5-year terms.
House of Lords
600 Life peers, religious leaders (2 archbishops + 24 bishops), 92 hereditary peers.

Main powers include: introducing legislation, and approving bills going through Parliament.
House of Commons
Contains 650 Members of Parliament and a shadow cabinet.

5 Major Roles – to represent, to make laws, to keep the PM accountable, to be a forum for national debate, and to act as a recruitment pool for members of government.
House of Councillors
242 members serving fixed six-year terms

Most it can do is to delay the passage of legislation.
House of Representatives
Chooses the PM, passes laws, passes the budget, makes treaties, and can override an upper house veto with a 2/3 majority.

Meets only 5 months per year.
Federation Council
Must approve changes to internal borders of Russian subjects

Must approve decisions by president to declare martial law or a state of emergency

Schedules presidential elections and has power to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president

Confirms presidential nominations to the Constitutional and Supreme Court
State Duma
450 members elected for maximum five-year terms

Must confirm president’s choice for PM, approve all gov. ministers, and can introduce motions of no confidence in government.
National People's Congress
Members are elected for five-year terms

Discuss and endorse decisions already made by the party

Meets only for on session of 2-3 weeks each year

Delegates are only indirectly elected by the people (voters elect local congresses, which elect county congresses, which elect provincial congresses, which elects the NPC)
Standing Committee
Elected by NPC, Committee meets twice per month and consists of about 150 members, including a chairman (considered 3rd most important person in the Chinese political system).
Powers include:
Power to declare/enforce martial law, and oversee NPC elections
Appoint/remove members of the State Council
Serve as the interim NPC when Congress is not in session
Supervise the work of the State Council and Supreme People’s Court.
Russian Federal Assembly
China's Legislative Branch
Britain's Elections
Multi-party with Labour party, and Conservative/Tories party. Liberal Democrats = small, moderate center party.
Local Elections
Scottish and Welsh use combination of winner-take-all (single-member plurality system) and PR.

Northern Ireland uses a type of PR known as single transferable vote.
European Parliament Election
Proportional representation (adopted in 1991)
General Election
Single-member plurality system
Japan's Elections
No primaries; official election campaigns are restricted to 30 days

Multi-party with Liberal Democratic Party dominant since 1955 (Democratic Party of Japan broke away from LDP in 1992-1993)
House of Councillors
146 members elected by single-member plurality system, 96 by PR.
House of Representatives
180 members elected using PR and 300 by the single-member system.
Russia's Elections
No primaries; the candidate who wins more than 50% of the vote is declared elected
State Duma
Originally, half the members were elected using single-member plurality, while the other half were elected using PR based on party lists.
Now PR has been used since 2005.
Multi-party with 4 major groups of parties-
Left-Wing Anti-Reformist Parties (Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF).
Left-Wing Reformist Parties (Russia’s Choice, Fair Russia)
Centrist Parties (United Russia (Putin’s party))
Nationalist Parties (Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), which—despite its name—is a neo-fascist party)
Political Parties
Local Elections
Putin appoints top regional leaders, who would then be confirmed locally (2005).
China's Party System
“Multi-Party” system in theory. Dominant party = Chinese Communist Party. Falun Gong over 70 million followers in China.
Chinese directly vote ONLY in the election of delegates to county and district congresses
National Congress
Meets once every 5 years, and confirms elected members to Central Committee.
Central Committee
Must approve the policies of the leadership, and confirm members of the Politburo and of the Standing Committee of the Politburo.
Central Secretariat
Appointed by Standing Committee of Politburo, members meet twice weekly

Key role in developing policies, and evaluate choices for appointments to senior party, state, and military positions.
Consists of key members of the State Council, selected local party chiefs, and senior members of the party

Ultimate party power in China (initiates and discusses party policy).
Standing Committee of the Politburo
Meets at least weekly, and constitute the most powerful and senior group of individuals in the Chinese political system.
National Party (CCP) 5 Major Bodies

Bicameral Legislature

Presidential Republic

President (single 6 yr term)
Parliamentary republic

Prime minister and cabinet
India Independence and Partition
New constitution
PRI Loses Presidential Election
The end of PRI dominance
Mexican-American War
Mexico loses half its territory to U.S.
Mexican Revolution
A new constitutional order emerges
Can appoint cabinet members, leadership of Congress, and heads of state-owned banks and industrial enterprises
Controls party nominations for Congress + state governors
Can introduce bills to Congress and decide how a law passed by Congress is enforced
Power to use armed forces for security, and to assume emergency powers
Can regulate foreign investment in Mexico, as well as the supply of newsprint to the press, and the revision of primary school textbooks
Council of Ministers
Pretty much just confirms everything the PM does
Prime Minister
Rajya Sabha (Council of States)
Upper house of legislature

Fixed terms
Lok Sabha (House of the People)
Five year terms
Cannot serve more than one term at a time
Chamber of Deputies
Consecutive terms in either chamber are forbidden and both rely heavily on the executive branch for information and policy ideas
Presidential Election
Straight winner-take-all contest

One of the longest lame duck periods in the world
Federal Congressional Elections
Party majority in states and Federal District of Mexico City wins 2 seats from each electoral district
2nd Party wins the third seat
Remaining 32 Senators are elected through PR
State and Local Elections
Held for nearly 2,500 municipal governments
3 Main Sets of Elections
Chamber of Deputies
300 seats decided on basis of winner-take-all single-member districts
200 decided by PR
Political Parties
National Action Party (PAN): Pro-clerical, pro-American, and pro-business

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI): Much like the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party

Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD): Grew out of mergers involving small left-wing parties (Mexican Communist Party + Mexican Worker's Party)
General Election: Uses single-member districts in elections to lower house (Lok Sabha)

State Election: 5-year intervals and contested by national and regional parties
Political Party Phases
Congress Dominant (1947-1967): Revolved around the Indian National Congress (similar to Japanese Liberal Democrats)

Congress Divided (1967-1977)

The Janata Coalition (1977-1980)

The Gandhis Return (1980-1989)

Congress in Opposition (1989-1991)

Congress and the BJP Take Turns (1991-)
Presidential Republic

Federal Administration

Bicameral National Assembly (House of Representatives and Senate)

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