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Chapter 22 Comparative Political Systems


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Title: Chapter 22 Comparative Political Systems

Chapter 22 Comparative Political Systems
Section 1Great Britain
  • Objectives
  • Examine the elements that make up Britains
    unwritten constitution.
  • Identify the role of the British monarchy.
  • Explain the role of Parliament.
  • Analyze recent changes in regional and local
    government in Britain.
  • Describe the British court system.

Section 1Great Britain
  • Why It Matters
  • Unlike the United States, Great Britain has a
    unitary government that is based on an unwritten
    constitution. Britains monarch is the head of
    state who reigns, but does not rule. Instead,
    Parliament holds the legislative and executive

Section 1Great Britain
  • Political Dictionary
  • Monarchy
  • By-election
  • Coalition
  • Minister
  • Shadow cabinet
  • Devolution

Section 1Great Britain
  • Unwritten Constitution
  • Parts are written
  • Charters, acts of Parliament, court decisions
  • Unwritten part comes from customs and usages over
  • The Law of the Constitution
  • Magna Carta1215
  • Petition of Right1628
  • English Bill of Rights--1689

Section 1Great Britain
  • The Law of the Constitution (cont)
  • Acts of Parliament
  • Court decisions---make up common law
  • The Conventions of the Constitution
  • Annual meeting of Parliament
  • Extremely flexiblehasty actions are possible

Section 1Great Britain
  • The Monarchy
  • Figureheads
  • Acts are performed in the name of the monarch
    but are really those of the prime minister and
  • The monarch reigns but does not rule

Section 1Great Britain
  • Parliament
  • Holds both legislative and executive powers
  • Is bicameralbut the House of Commons is much
    more powerful than the House of Lords

Section 1Great Britain
  • Parliament (cont)
  • The House of Lords
  • Traditionally hereditary
  • Some members were appointed for life by the
    monarchselected for achievements
  • Being reformed to be more representative
  • Limited legislative powercan delay
  • A court function as a court of appeals

Section 1Great Britain
  • Parliament (cont)
  • The House of Commons
  • 659 membersMPs (529 in England, 72 in Scotland,
    40 in Wales, and 18 in Northern Ireland)
  • Selected in a general election which takes place
    at least every 5 years.
  • A by-election fills vacancies

Section 1Great Britain
  • The House of Commons (cont)
  • House chamber holds 350
  • Long rows of benches
  • Leaders sit in frontbackbenchers are junior
  • Ten standing committees
  • The Prime Minister
  • Leader of his party
  • Sometimes forms a coalition (1940-1945)

Section 1Great Britain
  • The Cabinet
  • Members of the House (some in Lords)
  • Leaders of government---administer departments
  • A shadow-cabinet is formed by the
    oppositionready to govern if the government

Section 1Great Britain
  • Calling Elections
  • At least every 5 years
  • When the government fails a vote of
    confidenceloss of support
  • Parliament is dissolved by the monarch.
  • No system of checks and balances
  • Political Parties
  • Labour
  • ConservativesTories
  • Liberal Party

Section 1Great Britain
  • Regional and Local Government
  • Unitary government
  • Devolutionto Scotland and Wales
  • Local Government470 units
  • The Courts
  • Different courts in Scotland and Wales
  • No judicial review like the U.S.

Section 2--Japan
  • Objectives
  • Examine early Japanese government and the
    Japanese constitution.
  • Summarize the structure and functions of the
    National Diet.
  • Explain how the prime minister and cabinet
    perform the nations executive functions.
  • Examine the Japanese bureaucracy, political
    parties, and courts.
  • Understand regional and local government in Japan.

Section 2--Japan
  • Why It Matters
  • Like Great Britain, Japan is a parliamentary
    democracy. The emperor serves as a symbol of the
    state but has no power to govern. Instead, the
    bicameral parliamentthe National Dietis the
    highest institution of state power. The Diets
    powerful House of Representatives chooses the
    countrys prime minister and cabinet.

Section 2--Japan
  • Political Dictionary
  • Consensus
  • Dissolution
  • Prefecture

Section 2--Japan
  • Early Japanese Government
  • Mostly evolved after 4th Century
  • Largely isolated throughout history
  • Mikado was ruler by divine right
  • Power was really in a Shogunmilitary might
  • Also a number of noble familiesdaimyo
  • Supported by warrior servantssamurai
  • Dutch and Portuguese had some contact but the
    real opening came in 1853 when U. S. Admiral
    Perry visited.

Section 2--Japan
  • Early Japanese Government (cont)
  • Japan rapidly modernizedbecoming an aggressor in
    World War II
  • The U. S. occupied Japan after WW II
  • Administered by General Douglas MacArthur.
  • Far reaching democratic system was established
    after World War II

Section 2--Japan
  • The Constitution1947
  • The emperor is a symbol
  • Bill of rights
  • Anti-military provisionsbut broadly interpreted

Section 2--Japan
  • The National Diet
  • House of Councillors252 members who sit for 6
  • Has prestige and is advisory
  • House of Representatives480 seats
  • 300 single member180 from 11 larger areas
  • Can vote no confidencemake treatiesraise
    fundsappropriate money
  • Consensus politics is important in sedate Japan

Section 2--Japan
  • Executive Functions
  • Prime Minister chosen by majority in the House of
  • Prime Minister appoints cabinet from the House
    and bureaucracy
  • Prime Minister can dissolve the House and call
    for new elections.
  • Dissolution

Section 2--Japan
  • The Bureaucracy
  • Civil Servicetechnocrats
  • Very powerful and influential
  • Political Parties
  • Liberal Democrats who are conservative and
    historically the dominant party.
  • Democratic Party of Japan is the chief rival

Section 2--Japan
  • The Courts
  • Similar to the United States, they do have
    judicial review but seldom use it.
  • Regional and Local Government
  • 47 prefectureseach with an elected governor.
  • Funded by national government
  • Japan is a unitary state
  • 3,200 municipalities

Section 3--Mexico
  • Objectives
  • Summarize Mexicos early political history.
  • Examine Mexicos three branches of government.
  • Describe recent changes in Mexicos national
  • Explain how Mexicos regional and local
    government is structured.

Section 3--Mexico
  • Why It Matters
  • In form, Mexicos political system is similar to
    that of the United States in that it has three
    independent branches of government. In
    operation, however, the Mexican political system
    is the product of Mexicos unique culture and

Section 3--Mexico
  • Political Dictionary
  • Mestizo
  • Nationalization
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Section 3--Mexico
  • Early Political History
  • Aztecs15th and 16th Centuries
  • Spanish dominance for the next three
    centuriesconstant border conflict.
  • Independence from Spain1821
  • Mestizo populationboth European and native.
  • 2 year emperorthen Santa Anna and the 1824
  • Not democratic.
  • 100 years of chaosdictatorships and reforms

Section 3--Mexico
  • Early Political History (cont)
  • The Constitution of 1917
  • Sparked by a revolution
  • A more democratic constitution
  • Three Branches of Government
  • The President
  • Single 6 year termquite powerful
  • The General Congress
  • 64 senators and 500 Chamber of Deputies
  • The Court Systemsimilar to the U. S.

Section 3--Mexico
  • National Politics
  • The PRI (Institutional Revolutionary
    Party)controlled government for 70 years
  • In 1938 nationalization of the oil industry.
  • North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA)
  • 2000 election saw power go to PAN Party of
    Vicente Fox.
  • Regional and Local Government
  • 31 states with governors and legislatures and one
    federal district
  • Most funding comes from the national government.

Section 4--Russia
  • Objectives
  • Summarize Russias political history after the
    Bolshevik Revolution.
  • Outline the structure of the Soviet government.
  • Describe Mikhail Gorbachevs reforms.
  • Identify events leading to the fall of the Soviet
  • Examine the structure of the Russian government.

Section 4--Russia
  • Why It Matters
  • The Soviet dictatorship controlled Russia for
    more than 70 years. It began to undergo broad
    changes when Mikhail Gorbachev gained power in
    1985. In 1991, the once-mighty Soviet Union
    dissolved. Today the Russian people are still
    struggling to organize and run democratic

Section 4--Russia
  • Political Dictionary
  • Purge
  • Soviets
  • Peresroika
  • Glasnost

Section 4--Russia
  • Political History
  • Modern Russia emerged under Peter the Great in
  • Czarist Russia lost the Russo-Japanese War in
    1904-05 and collapsed after World War I in 1917
  • The Bolshevik Revolution1917
  • Led by Lenin
  • Stalin assumed power in 1924
  • Numerous purges
  • Staggering losses in World War II
  • Cold War from the 1940s to early 1990s

Section 4--Russia
  • Soviet Government Structure
  • 15 republicslargely nationalistic groups
  • Elected sovietsbut highly centralized
  • The Soviet Constitutiondid not contain
    fundamental law or guarantee basic rights.
  • The Legislaturerubber stamp.
  • The Communist Partyspecially chosen people9 of
    the adult population.
  • Controlled by the Politburo and general secretary.

Section 4--Russia
  • Gorbachevs Reforms
  • Perestroikarestructuring of political and
    economic life.
  • Glasnostpolicy of opennesstoleration of
  • 2,250 member legislature
  • President with broad powers
  • Reduction in the power of the Party
  • More important to be head of state instead of
    head of party.

Section 4--Russia
  • Fall of the Soviet Union
  • Democratization swept across Soviets
  • Attempted coup to oust Gorbachevfailed in
  • 14 of the 15 republics became independent.

Section 4--Russia
  • Russian Government Today
  • The Constitution of 1993
  • Guarantees basic rights.
  • Political Partiesmulti-party system
  • The Executive Branch
  • President who appoints a prime minister
  • Directly elected for two four year terms
  • Must be 35 and 10 years a citizen

Section 4--Russia
  • Russian Government Today (cont)
  • The Legislature
  • Council of the Federation178 members
  • Lower houseDuma450 deputies
  • Constitutional Court
  • 19 membersjudicial review
  • Regional and Local Governments
  • 49 Oblasts (provinces) and 6 large territories
  • 21 republicsethnic, non-Russian
  • Some are independence seeking (Chechnya)

Section 5--China
  • Objectives
  • Examine Chinas political background.
  • Describe Chinas government today.

Section 5--China
  • Why It Matters
  • The Peoples Republic of China is controlled by
    the Chinese Communist Party, the largest
    political party in the world. Although the
    Chinese government is pursuing economic reform,
    it continues to repress political dissent.

Section 5--China
  • Political Dictionary
  • Cultural Revolution
  • Autonomous

Section 5--China
  • Political Background
  • 5,000 year old culturebut current government
    dates to 1949 after a long civil war.
  • China Under Mao
  • Nationalists fled to Taiwan
  • Mao embarked on a series of five-year plans
  • Cultural Revolution began in 1966
  • Purge four olds thought, culture, customs,
    and habits.

Section 5--China
  • Political Background (cont)
  • Reform and Repression
  • Crushing of Tiananmen Square protest in 1989.
  • China Today
  • The Constitutionfrequently changed
  • Does not guarantee basic rights.
  • Chinas Communist Party58m members
  • 1,900 in National Party Congress
  • 20 Politburo members actually rule
  • Secretariat does day to day ruling.

Section 5--China
  • China Today (cont)
  • The National Government
  • National Peoples Congress3,000 deputies
  • Elected for 5 year terms
  • On paper very powerfulbut under Communist Party
  • State Council
  • Headed by the premierwho is chosen by the
    communist party (the CCP)
  • Standing Committee is a major decision making

Section 5--China
  • China Today (cont)
  • The Judicial System
  • Few guarantees of a fair trial
  • Capital punishment is frequent
  • Local Political Divisions
  • China is unitary
  • 22 provincesmostly ethnic minorities.
  • Hong Kong is a special administrative region
  • Taiwan
  • Chiang Kai-shek fled there with Nationalists
  • China asserts right to rule as a
    provincerejected by the Taiwanese

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Section 5--China
Section 5--China