Comparative Politics of the French and Mexican Governments

Topics: United States, Separation of powers, President of the United States Pages: 5 (1915 words) Published: November 9, 2005
Political Science 113 Prof. Laremont Ronald Summers The political systems of today's world vary tremendously as you span the world. Each of these systems has gone through an evolution based on mistakes of the past and the needs of a stable and equal government. Most nations throughout the world observe political means through either Unitary or Federal legislation. The Federal government of Mexico and the unitary government of France are perfect examples of the differences and similarities of unicameral and bicameral legislature. When looking at the political systems we must first understand the ideologies behind it. The main ideology that has help to define the French political system is that of bicameral legislation. In bicameral legislation the power of making laws is vested into two chambers, both, which must approve a bill before it officially becomes a law. In French politics these two chambers are part of the parliament. One chamber of parliament is the National assembly, which is elected directly by the people, and the second chamber is the senate, in which the Electoral College indirectly elected the members. A bicameral system can be either unitary or federal. The French government is unitary which means that laws give virtually all authority to the central government. The central government may delegate duties to cities or other administrative units, but it retains final authority and can retract any tasks it has delegated. The central government in a unitary system is much more powerful than the central government in a federal system. The reason a central government is more powerful in a system is because unitary governments exercise one level of government unlike that of a federal government which relies on both the central and local governments. France's political system consist of both a president and a prime minister. The president is elected for a seven-year term by direct popular vote. The presidential powers preside over the Council of Ministers, the High Council of the Judiciary, and as the commander of the armed forces. The president selects the prime minister and appoints cabinet ministers. The prime minister and the Council of Ministers are responsible only to the National Assembly. The prime minister power is minute when compared to that of the president. The president can also elect a new prime minister if he feels the current is not doing his/her job. The French Parliament has two chambers, with supreme legislative authority abided in the National Assembly. The 321 members of the senate serve 9-year terms and are indirectly elected by an electoral college. The Senate has the right to examine and render opinions on legislation. The senate also examines policies initiated by the National Assembly and has the power to delay the passage of legislation. If the two chambers disagree on a bill the final decision rests with the National Assembly. The National Assembly gives 5-year terms to its 577 deputies, since they are chosen directly by the people. The national assembly also has the power to censure the president and prime minister. Members of National Assembly are elected through single member district plurality, while notables elect the senate through indirect elections. France enjoys both the benefits of a single member district polarity and proportional representation. Single member district elections are used when choosing the president and the national assembly since they are both chosen by popular vote. Proportional representation takes effect for the senate based on the percentage of vote's a party receives as a whole through the notables. Both of these systems are extremely efficient in that the serve there purpose. Just as described in France, Mexico has a bicameral government. The Mexican political system has a lot in common with that of the United States. Mexico has both central and local government, which are divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. However, in...
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