[EM] Electing Cabinets

David Catchpole s349436 at student.uq.edu.au
Wed Aug 25 21:43:13 PDT 1999

On Thu, 26 Aug 1999, Blake Cretney wrote:

> David Catchpole wrote:

> > > * Condorcet methods
> > > 
> > > * Elections for Ministers, Prime Minister
> > > 
> > > If cabinet positions, including Prime Minister are elected by the
> > > legislature, it is not necessary to rely on coalitions to form
> > > governments
> > [whoah, Nelly- how do you mean?]
> If cabinet is elected by the legislature, then the positions will be
> filled regardless of what parties and coalitions exist.  In the same
> way, it is not necessary for voters to form coalitions to determine
> their MP's.  The existence of MP's is guaranteed by the electoral
> process.  I was referring to cabinet as "the government", which may be
> misleading for the kind of government I describe.

Maybe you've never been involved in student politics... as a hanger on
to one of the factions of the (A)NUS Tom Round described recently, I know
quite well that the direct election by an assembly of an executive,
whether they be members of the assembly or no, involves ****-loads
(there's that non-existent footnote again) of deals and plots to-

- agree on the balance of political representation in the executive
- agree on the policies and the plans of the executive
- work out where the hell preferences are going to head and try to either
head them off at the pass or coalesce with other factions to ensure you
don't get an executive you don't like.

One might say that voters at large do not form coalitions but sure as hell
in preferential elections ["How to vote" and preference deals] and in
parliamentary systems the parties they vote for do... and it's not a bad

Another comment is that with parliamentary government (with the exception
of Israel?), if it doesn't actually involve the election of the executive
by a house of parliament then it does through a kind of "phantom
election-" if an election (vote of confidence?) were held today would the
government win? It's clear to see that more often than not coalition
building is the hallmark of a parliamentary, rather than a presidential

I hope all this illustrates why I think "election by assembly equals
coalitions are not a key feature" is such an absurd equation. 

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