[EM] Possibly more stable consensus government

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Dec 4 08:17:11 PST 2012

On 4.12.2012, at 15.35, Raph Frank wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Juho Laatu <juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>> In Finland the political system has resembled this approach in the recent years although there are no specific supermajority requirements to form or to break governmnets. Having such rules could strengthen similar behaviour even more. Looking at the rules from a Finnish perspective, the supermajority rule to replace the current government could be too strong since it could make the "maybe too stable" system even more stable.
> Fundamentally, consensus by rules is different than consensus voluntarily.

Yes, e.g. in a country with two alternating 51% government alternatives these rules would make a dramatical difference.

> In the case you have, the lager parties benefit from having the
> smaller parties involved, but it isn't mandatory.  Making the smaller
> parties required would boost their negotiating power.

In Finland the governments typically have more than one small party. That means that no single small party is critical when forming the new government, nor after the government has been formed.

If there is a supermajority requirement for breaking the government, that could reduce the power of the small parties (inside the already formed government).

> This may lead to fragmentation of the larger parties.

I'm not sure since a large party would still have more power than its fragments. At least in Finland I'd expect large parties to agree and form the core of the government also if the supermajority rules would be in place.

>> Maybe in some other countries, but in Finland the party discipline or "governmnet discipline" tends to be quite strong.
> I think the parliamentary system, where being a minister requires
> loyalty to the party, discipline is easier.
> If you changed it so that members of the legislature couldn't be
> appointed to cabinet (or better couldn't stand for election to the
> legislature for the next election), then discipline would probably
> fall.

Such rules would seem to expand Montesquieu's separation of powers rules to new areas. In the current political system in Finland (and probably also in most other places) the politicians are very interested in becoming and staying as ministers. In the politics of the EU countries politics also ablity to influence in the EU machinery is a possible career target for the politicians. If those interests are too high, the political targets may become secondary targets. Even before proposing separation of the parliament and the government I might propose separation of political roles and business roles, separation from administration (e.g. reward jobs for the politicians), and setting stricter rules on how the political parties re funded. I believe most political systems would probably benefit of various additional separations of power.


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