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Erik Moberg ã:
A Theory of Democratic Politics
 
 

19 - PRESIDENTIAL CONSTITUTIONS WITH PROPORTIONAL ELECTIONS: THE MAIN ACTORS' INTERACTIONS

Here, as in the other systems we are studying, the main actors will try to further their ambitions by forming, or by just supporting, various decisive or blocking sets. In the presidential systems - this one as well as the majoritarian variety - the president has a particularly important role in these interactions. This is due to the following three aspects of the presidential power.

  1. The inclusion of the president is often required for making a set decisive. Sometimes that requirement is dropped, but if so the requirements for a decisive set composed only of legislators is usually sharper. Some kind of qualified majority of legislators may for example be required.
  2. The president is usually equipped with special, legal procedural power for making proposals.
  3. The president may command resources of various kinds which may be used for giving favors, or compensations, to legislators in order to make them support a presidential proposal.
In the presidential, proportional system discussed here there may, as I have already mentioned (part 7), be some party main actors. Even so, however, there will also in all likelihood be quite a number individual main actors. The total number of main actors will therefore be rather great, and the conditions for coordination (see part 8) are consequently not the best. The main actor interaction is therefore likely to be characterized by a lot of uncoordinated behavior. Furthermore, and from the legislators' point of view, coordination, to the extent that it is possible at all, will be considerably easier when it aims at creating blocking sets rather than decisive sets. In particular this is so if there are two houses in the legislature (see part 2.1).

Now, taking all of this into account, the following hypothetical conclusions can be drawn about the main actor interaction in proportional, presidential systems: