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Introduction to Politics

Seminar Presentation Topic : Republic of Latvia; Member : [Group 5] Cherrie, Vela, Ckwan, Panda; Year : 2012 - 2013

Chi-ying, Cherrie CHIU

on 10 June 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Politics

Seminar Presentation: Introduction to Politics Group 5 Finally... CHIU Chi Ying, Cherrie Part I Political Development
in the Republic of Latvia Part II The Composition of Government
in the Republic of Latvia Part III Discussion!!! Republic of Latvia 12110405D LAW Hei To, Vela YIM Kit Yu, Panda LEUNG Wing Yan, Ida 12107463D 12107518D 12109572D Part I Introduction to
the Republic of Latvia Part IV Part V Part VI composition of the government
composition of the legislature
stability of government Civil Society
in the Republic of Latvia the role of the civil society in the country
whether the civil society participate in influencing the government policies and their obstacles Republic of Latvia
in International Organization relationship between Republic of Latvia and the international organization
the political issues arose from the relationship Controversial Issue(s)
in the Republic of Latvia controversial issue that concern the government, the legislature and society
the political consideration or constraints involved Part III Minister for Education and Science
Minister for Culture
Minister for Welfare
Minister for Transport
Minister for Justice
Minister for Health
Minister for Agriculture The Composition of
Government in the Republic of Latvia Part II Political Development
in the Republic of Latvia Part IV Civil Society
in the Republic of Latvia Part VI Part V Republic of Latvia
in International Organization Discussion Reference Reference Controversial Issue(s)
in the Republic of Latvia Location Ethnic
Composition Population Territory Visitlatvia. (2011). 64 589 km 2 2 million
41 thousands The Latvian Institute. (2012). Economy Latvia: €9800 per capita
EU-27 average: €25200 per capita GDP (2011) Latvia: 39.1% of GDP
EU-27: €6200 billion
49.1 % of GDP General government expenditure
(2011) Eurostat. (2013). Introduction to
the Republic of Latvia location
ethnic composition
economy political development
type of governmental system at the present
type of political system at the present Timeline of
Political Development
in Latvia The Constitution of Latvia (Satversme)
--> fundamental law
"Latvia is a parliamentary republic in which the sovereign power belongs to the people." Type of
Governmental System Parliamentary Republic Roskin, Cord,
Medeiros and Jones. (1997). voters elect legislature
legislature elects an executive forms of state: ‘good’ (?) ‘democratic’ (?)
head of state -> (presidents)
representing their nations
some of whom are little more than figure heads
head of government -> (prime minister)
real working executive Satversme:
''Latvia is a democratic republic.'' Type of
Political System Democracy today is ... 'a political system which supplies regular constitutional opportunities for changing the governing officials and a social mechanism which permits the largest possible part of the population to influence major decisions by choosing among contenders for
political office.’ Mosca, G. (1939, p. 50). Government 100 deputies.
full rights of citizenship + > 21 years old
has the right to amend the Constitution
decides national budget annually
Vote for the national budget Executive Branch President Prime Minster signs laws
invites the Prime Minister
implements the decisions of the Saeima concerning the ratification of international agreements
be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
appoints a Supreme Commander
has the right to initiate legislation Head of State Head of Government performs representative functions:
represents the State in international relations
appoints the diplomatic representatives of Latvia
receives diplomatic representatives of other states leads the Cabinet of Ministers
responsible before the Saeima: Saeima
proposed government activity plan Legislative Branch Unicameral
Legislature Saeima Judicial Branch The Latvian Institute. (2012). The Latvian Institute. (2012). The Latvian Institute. (2012). The Latvian Institute. (2012). Latvijas Republikas Saeima. (2013). = vote of confidence Courts Supreme Court Constitutional Court A three-tiered court system:
supreme court
regional courts
district (city) courts Judicial appointments -> Saeima

Remove judges:
decision of Judicial Disciplinary Board
judgment of Court in criminal case Supreme Court 28 June 1996
7 judges --> 10 years
Saeima approves the judges by secret ballot
at least fifty-one members
reviews cases: laws <--> Constitution
declare laws Draft laws: President of Latvia > one-tenth of the electorate > Five MPs Saeima standing committees Cabinet of Ministers Latvijas Republikas Saeima. (2013). The Political System Saeima President enjoy full rights of citizenship
18 years old how members of the legislature and executive
are elected ? All citizens of Latvia proportional
elections for a four-year period elect 4 years term
> 8 years Prime Minister invites responsible
submits the list of
government ministers
& proposed plan confidence vote The Political System how those
in position
loses their power ? The President Prime Minister The Saeima Propose: half of members
Remove the President from office:
2/3 of members in closed session vote The If the Saeima expresses ...
no confidence in the Prime Minister
--> the entire Cabinet resigns
no confidence in a particular minister
--> only the minister in question resigns The President
propose the dissolution of the Saeima
-> a national referendum shall be held
If ...
more than half of the votes dissolution
--> dissolved
more than half of the votes dissolution
--> President will be removed from office, Central
Government The
Cabinet of Ministers Ministers Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Defense
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister for Economics
Minister for Finance
Minister for the Interior
Minister for Environmental Protection and
Regional Development Prime Minister Before 1918
(Before and during WWI) Latvia was ...
part of the Russian Empire
occupied by Germany in WWI 17 Nov 1918
(After WWI) 1920 - 1922 The First Era of Independence (1920 - 1934) O’Connor, K.:
‘Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia and Lithium) were among the most democratic in the world:
parliamentary held the upper hand in state politics,
national institutions were built,
national minorities held civil rights and participated in public life.’ Woman were given the vote ruled by the Soviet Union

occupied by Nazi Germany

ruled by the Soviet Union 1940 -1941 1941 - 1945
(WWII) 1945-1991
(Cold War) The Second Era of Independence
(1991 - present) 21 Aug 1991 2004 1999 1998 1993 The People’s Council was established
Jānis Čakste
was elected as chairman
became first president of Latvia later
Kārlis Ulmanis
chosen to be the prime minister
of the provisional government Constituent assemblies convened
--> Constitutional Assembly
Work completed in 1922 --> Saeima Influenced by the German Weimar constitution,
French Third Republic
direct democracy of Switzerland
power vested in the representatives of the people: the legislative assemblies
presidents were elected by the parliaments and given only symbolic powers Unstable government:
the Saeima in 1925 and 1928
no fewer than 27 parties were represented
12 years of parliamentary democracy
produced 14 different cabinets Local
Government Districts self-government The Composition
of Government The
Legislative Branch Saeima No. of NGOs
in Latvia Ministers Around Stability
Latvian Government continuously increasing include cultural, professional, business, social, charitable organizations Example:
the right of minority in Latvia
importing agriculture from European Union Civil Society Definition: association in society represent the interests and views of society Role of civil Society: #2 Help promoting freedom of information, advocating transparency 13 Ministers 26 Example:
Latvia raise the public awareness on the right of Freedom of Information. SHARE Role of Civil Society: #3 Monitor the
effectiveness of government 750 Members
of parliament Presidium Speaker 2 Debuty Speakers Secretary Debuty Secretary Member of Parliament - Human Centre (31)
- Zatlers' Reform Party (22)
- Unity (20)
- National Alliance (14)
- Union of Greens and Farmers (13) Kasekamp, A. (2010).
Latvijas Republikas Saeima. (2013).
O’Connor, K. (2006). Saeima Election five multi-member constituencies Voters of Constituency  Proportional Representation The Cabinet of Ministers of
the Republic of Latvia. 7 Republican cities Edvins (2005) Marcin (2011) Latvijas Republikas Saeima. Seats in Saeima Can
Civil Society in Latvia influence
government policies? Corruption in Latvia inadequate abilities in well-organizing activities >50% NGOs lack of
management & organizational skills small proportions of NGOs are truly active Latvia's civil society remains Government
lacks of transparency Poor administration
in Latvia judiciary Freedom of Information Act (1990) Right to access information from State Administrative / government institutions The right was not protected Difficult to monitor government works courts as dishonest Injustice Marcin Z. (2011) Marcin (2011) Definition of
"Stability'' Conrad & Golder (2009) 1. Duration of Government Duration Government 2. Crisis Percentage Crisis Percentage 3. Performance index Performance index *the average percentage of
potential term in office
that governments actually fulfill e.g. government is in office next legislative election 200 days 250 days away Performance Index = 80% Performance Index Duration of Government Short High Crisis Percentage Low Performance Index Conclusion: Unstable Short Low Lack strong executives
provide effective counterbalance
-->fractious parliaments
Political paralysis Academia Comments Presidium O’Connor (2006). Conrad & Golder (2009), p.10 Conrad & Golder (2009) Conrad & Golder (2009), p.10 Direct Proportional Focus the attention of leaders on emerging problems Role of Civil Society: #1 weak Latvia declared the restoration of its de facto independence and joined the United Nation

Latvia emphasised continuity with the pre-war republic

Guntis Ulmanis,
symbolised continuity with the pre-war state
was elected as the president
Latvia joined the WTO
Vaira Vike-Freiberga
(Iron Lady of Baltic States)

first woman president
of East Central Europe
Latvia became a member of the
European Union and NATO International
Organization Intergovernmental Organization Nongovernmental Organization States choose to organize them collectively for certain What
international organizations
does Latvia join? Major

International Monetary Fund (IMF) subcommittees: UN Economic and Social Council... Regional Organization North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
European Union (EU)
Council of Europe
Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe Organization in
Baltic Sea Region the Baltic Assembly
the Baltic Council of Ministers
Baltic and Nordic cooperation fora
the Council of the Baltic Sea States
the Northern Dimension
the Baltic Development Forum
E-Pine The Relationship
Latvia and
the International Organization Inter-dependent International organizations' roles
for Latvia Provision of security and defensive power practiced by separate states Within
International Organization, High Corruption
in Latvia Baltic States federalism's view Promotes human right development Conrad & Golder (2009), p.8 Duration The same prime minister continuously in office The same party or parties in government The same legislative period Conrad & Golder (2009) Crisis Percentage * percentage of time spent without duly-mandated governments e.g. Crisis Percentage= 414 / 6219 X 100% without a duly-mandated government = 414 days total period of 6,219 days (23 Dec 1991 - 31 Dec 2008) Conrad & Golder (2009) = 6.7% Result Lower threat of
international military conflict external crisis
or internal disruption Discussion on To what extent can this measurement reveal
the stability of Latvian Government? Duration Crisis Percentage Performance Index Orientation
Western democracy Common
Values Striving
welfare Democracy Is there any other factors should be included
in the measurement? Why? Discussion on Which one help to build stable government? Strong civil society or weak civil society? How to improve the stability of a government? Discussion on Pros & Cons Possibility Efficiency Who? Enhancement of economic development South
America North America Asia Africa Europe Stability of a Government Stability of a Government Stability of a Government Discussion on Discussion on Discussion on Democracy in Latvia Democracy in Latvia Democracy in Latvia To what extent you would agree to the definition of ‘democracy’ that given by Mosca? constitutional opportunities for changing the governing officials
permits the largest possible part of the population to influence major decisions by choosing among contenders for political office Is this enough?
What else can you think of? To what extent you would agree that Latvia is a country with high level of democracy? Why? common goals International Organization United Nations (UN) World Trade Organization (WTO) distinct from state Democracy in Latvia
Stability of a Government Russian as the
second official language
in Republic of Latvia Background of
the Issue Russian was the largest minority
-> around 25% Latvia's
pro-Russian lobby 2 Russian as the official language nd to eliminate the long discrimination
providing Russian equal constitutional status to Latvian referendum was organised Viewpoint Viewpoint Politicial
Considerations Russian Latvian More convenient to their daily life
Help promoting equality
Strengthen Russian connection to Latvia
Enhance Russians opportunities to hold Latvian citizenship Do not respect Latvia culture
Contradicts the basics of the Constitution, the symbol of independence
A denial of Latvian identity Mobilizing Russian-speaking voters, try to gain their support Continue to keep the Russian electorate WAR sovereignty Kamyshev, A. (2012).
Mailliet, A. (2012).
Valatka, R. (2012). states' sovereignties federal body Kamyshev, A. (2012).
Mailliet, A. (2012).
Valatka, R. (2012). Kamyshev, A. (2012).
Mailliet, A. (2012).
Valatka, R. (2012). root cause of WAR Q & A The Baltic Times. (2012) President Andris Berzins:
"Latvia ... find its own path in Europe to accelerate ... development, since its stability is no longer an issue ... Latvia could reach EU’s standard of living in 20 years" on international organization Latvia’s roles Implementation of aims
agreed by the organization e.g.
against terrorism with NATO Cooperation with member countries Legitimation of foreign policy enhance integration Relationships source of unity of power financial support security of her sovereignty society stability Political Issues Arose Switch from Lats to Euro Lats Background All states of EU
(except UK and Denmark)
Required to adopt the euro
join the euro area 5 convergence criteria: Price stability
Sound public finances
Sustainable public finances
Durability of convergence
Exchange rate stability Current Situation 01.01.2014 target of joining Euro BUT only 35% of Latvians want single $ asked for referendum DENIAL by Finance
Minister SUPPORTIVE voice OPPONENT voice 59% disagree!! reinforcing European identity +
national security part of the Western values get out of recession symbol of statehood OR
identity of Latvian initiative to adopt to
economic fluctuation vulnerability of failure of
single economy Summary Euro issue Source of Main Objection:
loss of national identity HOWEVER Economic Benefit Is Overwhelming % of agreeing Euro Plan Summary Latvia's security In 2011 President Valdis Zatlers Because ... Result ... backed the dismissal 94.7% Memebers of parliament blocked an
anti-corruption investigation into top lawmakers and businessmen uses constitutional power to trigger the referendum towards dissolution of the Saeima NATO EU constraints constraints no standing army Corruption Russian citizenship
problem at least 15 days for deployment requires regular premiums
from members potential influence of change
in security expenses DANGER on relying
on NATO and EU Economic threat Political worry Chief Justice of Supreme Court President VS Prime Minister The Satversme:
"Political responsibility for the fulfilment of presidential duties shall not be borne by the President. All orders of the President shall be jointly signed by the Prime Minister or by the appropriate Minister, who shall thereby assume full responsibility'' Compare Two Cabinet Present Cabinet vs. Last Cabinet Union of Greens and
Farmers (President) Unity (Prime Minister) Coalition government Last Cabinet Present Cabinet National Alliance Reform Party Unity (Prime Minister) Union of Green and Farmer
a lot in Saeima election 13 seats (the least) Member of Cabinet
(Ministers) Saeima The Change in Saeima The Change in Cabinet support The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia. Government Civil Society lose “If one ... does not offer a bribe, it is not certain that one’s case will be reviewed on time and according to the law." "Trials can be delayed or
penalties can be weakened
by offering bribe ... ..." More stable Latvia
against Russia's influence weak strong stable unstable Which one help to build stable government?
Strong civil society or weak civil society? --> people more likely to challenge government Strong civil society or --> people have strong NGO to help them achieve needs (NGO back up government) weak civil society-->stable government? Strong civil society strong civil society --> stable government? Kurtz, L. (2008) p.18 Karatnycky, A., Motyl, A., & Schnetzer, A. (2002) Karatnycky, A., Motyl, A., & Schnetzer, A. (2002) Karatnycky, A., Motyl, A., & Schnetzer, A. (2002) Karatnycky, A., Motyl, A., & Schnetzer, A. (2002) Voika, I.(2002). Voika, I.(2002). Rusu, A.,(2010). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. (2013) Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Republic of Latvia. (2013) Mingst K. A. (2008) Mingst, K. A. (2008) Mingst, K. A. (2008) Mingst, K. A. (2008) NATO (1999) The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia. (2011) Mingst, K. A. (2008) European Commission (2013) AFP (2012)
The Wall Street Journal (2013)
The Baltic Course (2012) The Baltic Times (2013) The Wall Street Journal (2013) The Baltic Times. (2013) RISK of
economic and
political shocks exchange cost,
investment and exports show sense of trust Euro to Switch from ☻
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