A2 Key Terms Government & Politics Unit 4a, Topic 3 (The Executive) AQA

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Presidential System
System of gov't in which exec. branch exists and presides separately from the legislature. Separate electoral mandates and a separation of powers
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Parliamentary System
Exec. branch is drawn from/accountable to the legislative branch. Characterised by fusion of powers
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Imperial Presidency
Book in 1973 by Arthur Schelsinger,refers to a presidency characterised by misuse and abuse of power. Referred to specifically excessive secrecy (esp. in foreign policy) and high-handedness with Congress. Embodied by Nixon.
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Watergate Affair
Illegal activities conducted by snr members of Nixon Admin. - then the attempted cover-up. These illegal activities led to Nixon's resignation in Aug 1974, and included illegal use of CIA and other gov't agencies
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Imperilled Presidency
Put forward by Gerald Ford, opposes Imperial Presidency and suggests that the president is unable to complete even his/her constitutional roles
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Power to persuade
Theory associated with Richard Neustadt -- most important power of US Pres. is his/her ability to persuade other political actos of his/her view through a process of bargaining and negotiation (seen in Clinton and Obama)
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State of the Union Address
Annual speech made by the Pres. usually in late Jan. Joint session of Congress meeting in the House. Pres lays out proposed legislative programme for following year. Name comes from Art. II, Sec III
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Presidential Veto
Power vested in pres by Article II of Constitution. May return a bill to Congress unsigned, along with reasons for objection. Congress can override a veto by a 2/3 vote in both houses. Line Item Veto (1997) briefly w/ Clinton - can veto certain parts
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Formal accusation of a federal official by a simple maj. vote of the House. Impeachment first step in two: followed by a trial by Senate, 2/3 maj. needed for conviction
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Balanced ticket
Tactic used by pres. candidate selecting the VP candidate in an attempt to increase voter appeal for their 'ticket'
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Advisory group selected by the Pres to aid him/her in making decisions + coordinating work of federal gov't, membership of hich determined by tradition and pres. discretion
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Top staff agencies in White House give Pres help and advice in carrying out major duties of office. Primary functions are co-ordination, advice-giving and personnel management
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Largest office in EXOP, exists to assist the Pres in overseeing preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its admin. in Exec. branch agencies
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Federal Bureaucracy
Unelected, admin. part of exec. branch of fed. gov't. Made up of departments, agencies and commissions that carry out policy on a day-to-day basis. Word 'bureaucracy' has overtones of 'red tape'-dedicated to routine-resistant to change/inefficiency
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Spoils system
System by which gov't jobs are awarded to political supporters/friends instead of by merit. Term derives from 'to the victor belong the spoils'
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Buddy system
System of political appointment within fed. bureaucracy on what is known as 'name request job'. Individuals learn of job through someone already in a post.
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Iron Triangle
Strong relationship between pressure groups, congressional committees and federal agencies in a given policy area for the mutual benefit of all three parties
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Going native
Situation in which political appointees cease to be advocates for the politician who appointed them - in this case, the president - and instead become advocates for the bureaucracies and special interests associated with their policy area
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Card 2


Parliamentary System


Exec. branch is drawn from/accountable to the legislative branch. Characterised by fusion of powers

Card 3


Imperial Presidency


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Card 4


Watergate Affair


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Card 5


Imperilled Presidency


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