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All countries require leadership in some form. These governmental powers provide leadership, make decisions, and maintain order for that nation. How they come into power and enforce their control determines the type of government that is established. Throughout the world, there are five main forms of Government: Totalitarian, Authoritarian, Parliamentarian, Monarchy, and Unitary. All five of these are prevalent today and have different characteristics that distinguish them form one another.
Totalitarian societies involve total domination, limited neither by received laws or codes nor even the boundaries of governmental functions, since they obliterate the distinction between state and society . Totalitarian is limited only by the need large numbers of people in a state of constant activity controlled by the elite. (Understanding Politics) Two countries that practice this form of government are Cuba and Romania.
Cuba an island located in the Caribbean established their independence on January 1, 1959. Religions such as Protestantism, Judaism, and Santeria were prevalent until Castro s establishment of power, in which Catholicism was made the primary religion. Cuba s primary source of income is in the exportation of sugar and nickel, due to recent decline in earnings though, tourism has become a significant resource of income. On February 24, 1976, Castro abolished the office of Prime Minister and named himself the President of the Council of Ministries and President of the Council of the State. As President, Castro created a single party system, Partido Comunisto Cubano, to ensure reelection, and sanctioned powers of the PCC in the constitution. This insured his dictatorship of Cuba.
South Vietnam is another example of a communist regime. A very poor country, they have never fully recovered the devastating effects of war and the loss of financial backing of the old U.S.S.R. The leader s main goal of maintaining power continues to hurt their economic situation. The fear of outside influence and intervention slows progress and discourages outside investors. A highly diversified, country religious groups such as Buddhist, Catholic, Islam, and Protestant are very prevalent. Elections for the legislative house, who are voted for by the people, are held very five years and only members of the Communist Party of Vietnam and a select few of non-members, who rarely receive more than 8% of the vote, are allowed to run. The National Assembly though, votes on the Election of the President of Vietnam who must be a member of the CPV to ensure that no one outside the party ever gains power.
Authoritarian Governments are similar to the ideologies of a Totalitarian society except that their singular goal is power. Iraq, located in the Middle East, is one of the main oil distributors in the world. Recently due to over $100 billion lost in the war with Iran the United Nations made the oil-for-goods deal, which insured Iraq desperately needed supplies such as food and medicine in exchange for $200 billion worth of oil. Saddam Husayn, a member of the Central Party, was elected President in 1979. In the most recent election, he received 99% of the vote. He established complete control over the Republic of Iraq, by giving himself the power to elect 30 of the 250 seats of the legislative branch. He also created the Revolutionary Command Council in which he was self appointed Chairman.
Algeria is another form of an Authoritarian Society. They have the fifth largest reserve of natural gas in the world. Hydrocarbon supplies 57% of the government s revenue and virtually all of export earnings. In 1986 the collapse of oil prices lead the government to reform policies that lead to turmoil among the people and a revolution. In 1992, Algeria became a revolutionary Arab-Islamic socialist republic with the National Libertarian Front (FLN) as the only legal political power. (WorldRover) In 1994 the president, Liamine Zeroual of the new party was elected. After being elected, Liamine focused his efforts on the decentralization administration within the country. He divided each province into a municipality called a dayrat and appointed a provisional governor with an elected assistant to aid in the maintenance of order. A Supreme Court system was also established as both the highest appellate court and as the council of state.
A Unitary System of Government is a Democratic form of government in which the central government may choose to turn over many affairs to local government but is not required to do so. (WorldRover) Israel and Peru are two primary examples of the unitary form of Government. Israel s legal system primarily based on English Common Law and British Mandate regulations. They have no formal constitution but rely mainly on both the Declaration of Establishment and the Israeli citizenship law. Israel is a technologically advanced market economy that depends primarily on the imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. The Israeli government is highly involved in the growth of the economy by encouraging the immigration of Jews from the former USSR within the past ten years, which brought both scientific and professional expertise to the country. Within the Israeli Government, there are several parties such as the Likud Party, party of the Prime Minister, National Religious Party, and Untied Jewish Torah. All members of both the Executive branch and Legislative branch are decided by popular vote.
Peru has become a thriving market-oriented economy through mining, electricity, and telecommunications industries within the last ten years. On December 31, 1993, a Constitution was written and approved by the people, to reassure the balance of power and political freedom. One of the laws written reaffirms the creation of regions, stated in the previous constitution of 1979, but limits their authority; while also restating the roles of the departmental and municipal governments. There are over eight official political parties and of those eight, four are present in one of the political offices. As in Israel, offices in both the Executive and Legislative braches are elected through popular vote.
A monarchy is a nation or state that is governed by a ruler that comes into to power through bloodline or birth. The Untied Kingdom and Saudi Arabia are two examples of monarchy rule. The UK is one of the largest market economies in Western Europe and is one of the great trading powers and financial centers. It produces close to 60% of all food need within the nation. Compared to European standards the UK is highly efficient and while continuing to drop its current unemployment rate. Since February 6,1952, Queen Elizabeth has been the reigning monarch holding the title as Chief of State. Elections do not exist in this form of government; the queen is a hereditary monarch; the prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons and must have the consent of the monarch . (WorldRover) Many different political parties exist in the UK and virtually all are represented in parliament.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates back to 1747 and its monarchial rule is virtually unchanged. Today it is a wealthy oil-based economy with complete governmental control over all major economic activities. With the largest reserve of petroleum and the leading exporter, Saudi Arabia plays a major role in OPEC. The Chief of State, King and Prime Minister FAHD bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud took the throne on June 13, 1982. To maintain power and control the King appoints all members of the Council of Ministries (within Executive Branch), the Consultative Council (within Legislative Branch, and the Supreme Council of Justice (within the Judicial Branch). The King rules through Islamic law and handles disputes through his specially appointed committees within the branches of government.
The Parliamentary system is one in which the legislative branch, which is elected by the people, elect the chief executive or prime minister. Canada and Czech Republic practice parliamentary government. The Czech Republic was known as one of the most reliable and successful of all the post-communist states until its financial and political crisis in 1997. The slow progress in the restructuring its enterprises and failure to build a capital market were key to it s economic troubles. They are gradually restructuring the economy and lowering inflation to re-encourage outside investors. The head of government, Prime Minister Josef Tosovsky, was elected on December 16, 1997. The Parliament consists of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, which hold staggered terms of two, four, and six years and are elected by popular vote. The President not only elects the Prime Minister, but also is responsible for electing the chairman, the deputy chairman, and the members of the Supreme Court for life long terms. All seven parties have elected members within government for equal representation.
Canada is a highly affluent, high-tech industrial society, which closely resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. (WorldRover) The abundance of natural resources, skilled labor, and modern capital plant will ensure greater economic success in the future. Queen Elizabeth II is the chief of state and is represented in Canada by Governor General Romeo LeBlanc. Unlike a monarchy The Prime Minister, Jean Chretein, has a say in who is appointed governor general. Though the Queen appoints the governor general, the prime minister has the right to advise her on her decision. The Legislative Branch is split into two parts: the Senate and the House of Commons. In the Senate, members are appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Prime Minister and serve to the age of 75, while the members of the House of Commons are elected by direct popular vote and serve a five-year term. Just as in Czech Republic, all four political parties have members elected to government for equal representation.
Despite the differences between the political systems, they all supply the essential leadership and control needed for a country to exist. The way in which they are achieved and used are the distinguishing factors between them.
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