Political Institution

Political Institution

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A political institution is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the law system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems. It is different from them, and can be generally defined on a spectrum from left, i.e. communism and socialism to the right, i.e. fascism. Linz’s argument is on the description of Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes, which brings the main and important argument of explaining both Presidential and Parliamentary systems. Another important author whose thoughts were referred to political institutions is Seymour Martin Lipset. His argument emphasizes on political cultural-cultural factors rather than political systems. The last individual whose main arguments refer to politics and political institutions is Donald Horowitz. He describes that Linz claims are not sustainable because it is regionally skewed and highly selective sample.
According to all three professors Seymour Martin Lipset, Juan Linz, Donald Horowitz, they are strongly suggesting their main politically argument based on the concept of presidential and parliamentary system. The stability of presidential system is that two-candidate races in multiparty systems produce coalitions including extremist parties. The balance between branches varies and with fixed term in office comes the risk of ‘vouloir conclure’. The parliamentary system’s stability describes that it has superior historical performance to presidential system. This is especially in societies with political cleavages-multiple parties. The continuity of this party is power and there is duration of coalition.
The articles point out the adaptability between the two systems and how they differ from each other. The presidential system is a fixed term in office that does not allow for some political adjustments to require some events. In this system, there is no democratic principle existing to solve dispute between executive-legislative branches. There is also less inclined to consensus building because compromises look negative to others. In parliamentary system, the adaptability for the system is that the cabinet crises are easily solved.
The last criterion on the differences between these two systems is the checks and balances between the two systems. The presidential system winner-takes-all politics makes politics a zero-sum game where the fixed mandate identifies losers and winners for the entire period. There is no moderating power involved and the presidents avoid coalitions with opponents because it could weaken them. The president has unlimited independent power, which they can appeal directly to the people and might think he/she represents the society as a whole even if he/she can be elected by a minority of people, which is the heavy reliance on personal qualities.

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On the other hand, the checks and balances of parliamentary system is that prime minister is a part of a larger body and is more on an equal foot with ministers. Unlike the presidential, in this system the opposition leader has a role and they are more debate within cabinets because dismissed ministers can still hold their seats.
Seymour Martin Lipset, who brings the strongest argument on behalf of him explaining the concept of presidential vs. parliamentary systems is that he has emphasized on political cultural-cultural factors rather than political systems, and has mentioned the long-term democracies are to be found in wealthier Protestant nations and Catholics who have not always been supporters of democracy; they are authoritarian in spiritual matters. He describes the notion that almost all Islamic nations have been authoritarian with monarchical or presidential systems. This is the reason that Islamic faith makes Western style democracies difficult to apply because political and religious realms are not separated. He argues that almost all postwar nations that have become democracies are former of British colonies and cultural factors compared to political institutions are harder to manipulate. In Lipset’s article, his argument given the results to Linz’ problem, which him saying that there are some examples of stable and democratic presidential systems. He gives important comment on Linz’s checks and balances argument that a prime minister with a majority of parliamentarians behind him has much more authority than an American President.
In presidential systems, party discipline is weaker and the local interests are better represented. When coalition cabinets are formed, parliamentary cabinets may be weak, which this makes US system look more stable since Canada has experienced a lot of important third parties that caused by party discipline.
Most of the arguments repeat the main points presented by Linz, that presidentialism is essentially inferior to parliamentarism. The supporters suggest that the empirical evidence for Linz's argument is that he demonstrates that few presidential systems have maintained stable democracy. The focus of the article is political stability, which Linz says is endangered by the so-called dual democratic legitimacy of presidential systems. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is selected by the legislature and can be dismissed by a legislative vote of no confidence. There is no equivalent means of breaking an executive-legislative impasse in a presidential system, in which the head of government emerges out of a separate electoral process. Thus parliamentarism is "flexible"; presidentialism, "rigid." Linz and his fellow contributors argue that this rigidity may tempt the military to assume the role of "moderating power."
The political scientist Juan Linz provides an unparalleled study of the nature of non-democratic regimes. Linz's seminal analysis develops the fundamental distinction between totalitarian and authoritarian systems. It also presents a path-breaking discussion on the personalistic, lawless, non-ideological type of authoritarian rule that he calls the 'sultanistic regime'. The sultanistic regime can be defined primarily in terms of the power of personal rulership, but the power of the ruler and the loyalty towards the person derives not from the ideology or special charismatic qualities, but by a mixture of fear and rewards to loyalists.
Donald Horowitz, whose arguments has come down to him saying that Linz claims are not sustainable. This is because according to him, it is regionally skewed and highly selective sample, which in Asia and Africa, the parliamentary systems were not really stable because of mechanistic-caricatured view of presidency and the assumption about this particular system is the election of president. The ignorance of this function is that a president can perform for a divided society in example, in Nigeria, presidential system mitigated social divisions.
Donald Horowitz describes the critic of Linz’s oversimplification that political success has to speak for many parents that leads to political failures, which is the presidency. There can be coalition that gets in parliamentary regimes and opposition and government may cooperate in the legislative process but it is also true for presidential systems that it outcomes equally possible in presidential systems. In presidential systems, if both rooms are controlled by two different parties, it does not allow for a winner-take-all result but for a balance of power one. To overcome problems related to divided societies, presidents should be elected by a system that ensures broadly distributed support for the president and this comes down to the point that the winner-take-all is a function of electoral systems but not of institutions.
In conclusion, according to Seymour Martin Lipset’s “The Centrality of Political Culture”, his arguments sit on top of the other colleagues explaining the concept of Presidential and Parliamentary systems. He discusses both Juan Linz and Donald Horowitz to be highly praised for stimulating the discussion of the relationship between constitutional systems, which is presidential or parliamentary and the conditions that make for stable democracy. Linz, supporting himself largely on the Latin American experience, notes that most presidential systems have repeatedly broken down. Horowitz, a student of Asia and Africa, emphasizes that most parliamentary systems, mainly those challenged in almost all African countries and some of the new nations of post-war Asian, have also failed. Although democracy is commonly considered to be flourishing in America, it is in reality shallow and less stable than is understood. Most of the democratic regimes in Central and South America have yet to accomplish the deep and widespread legitimation at the best and gathering levels, and the behavioral agreement on the rules and constraints of democracy, that indicate independent consolidation.
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