Political Science 105 Review Legislatures
?? What are the fundamental differences between presidential (separation of powers)
and parliamentary (fusion of powers) democracies?
?? Which is more responsive to majorities? Which is more responsive to
minorities? Which better reflects the principles of pluralist democracy? Why?
?? What are the basic principles of presidential government?
o Why are presidential systems also referred to as "separation of powers"
o What does it mean to say that policy is elusive in presidential systems?
?? What are the key characteristics of the U.S. Congress as a presidential legislature? ?? What are the major differences between the U.S. House of Representatives and
the Senate? Why do these differences exist?
?? What is the major function of a presidential legislature? How is this function
o What are the characteristics of the committee system in a presidential
legislature? What are the consequences of these characteristics? How do these characteristics relate to the major function of presidential legislatures? Why are legislatures in presidential systems referred to as "strong" legislatures?
o What is the nature of committee membership in the U.S. Congress? What
are the consequences of this for citizens? For members of Congress? For policy? For democracy?
?? Is Congress a body designed to facilitate or inhibit legislation? How and why?
How does this serve the principles of democracy?
?? How and why do parliamentary and presidential systems differ in legislative-
?? How does the role of political parties differ in presidential and parliamentary
?? What are the advantages and disadvantages of presidential and parliamentary
?? Where does responsibility for policy lie in presidential systems? What
?? Why is policy making more difficult in presidential systems than in parliamentary
?? How do presidential and parliamentary systems differ in how they hold the
executive accountable? What consequences does this have?
?? What are the basic principles of parliamentary government?
o Why are parliamentary systems also called "fusion of powers" systems?
?? What is the role of the Member of Parliament in Britain? How effectively do they
perform this role? Why?
?? Where in a parliamentary legislature is the law-making function performed? How
?? What is the major function of a parliamentary legislature? How is this function
o What is the role of the legislative majority in a parliamentary legislature?
What is the importance of the Prime Minister's relationship to her party in parliamentary systems?
o What is a vote of confidence? Why is a parliamentary executive concerned
o How does a parliamentary executive maintain the support of a majority?
o What is the role of opposition (minority) parties in a parliamentary
o How does this serve the principles of democracy? Explain.
?? What are the advantages of parliamentary government? ?? Why can parliamentary systems respond more quickly to changing
?? Why do parliamentary systems have clearer lines of responsibility for policy?
?? What are the disadvantages of parliamentary government? ?? How and why do parliamentary systems offer fewer protections for minorities? ?? Where is policy made in parliamentary systems?
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