Study Cards on government, executive, assembly

What are the three essential features of parliamentary executives?
1. A separate head of state is required to fulfill ceremonial duties (the executive is closely linked to party politics).
2. The political executive is drawn from the assembly (no separation between legislature and executive).
3. The executive is directly linked to the assembly. It survives in government only as long as it retains the confidence of the assembly.
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What are the two key sets of prime-ministerial relationship?
1. With the cabinet, individual ministers, and government departments.
2.  With his or her party and, through it, the assembly and the public.
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What are two key features of prime-ministerial government?
1. The office of prime ministers is the central link between the legislative and executive branches of government, its holder being drawn from and accountable to the assembly, and also serving as chief executive and head of the bureaucracy?
2. Prime-ministerial government reflects the centralization of executive power in the hands of the prime minister and the effective subordination of both the cabinet and departmental ministers. In this, it parallels presidentialism.
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How has prime ministerial government been critisized?
- It strengthens centralization by weakening the constraints formerly exerted by the cabinet and government departments.
-It narrows policy debate and weakens scrutiny by excluding criticisms and alternative viewpoints.
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How can prime ministerial government be defended?
- It reflects the personal mandate that prime ministers acquire in general elections.
- it gives government policy clearer direction by checking the centrifugal pressures embodied in departmentalism (strengthen the identity of individual departments and agencies. Agencies are thus able to pursue their own separate interests, and resist both political control and broader administrative disciplines) and the 'nudge and fudge' of collective decision-making.
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