Executive (government)

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The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding responsibility for the governance of a state. The executive executes and enforces law.

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In political systems based on the principle of separation of powers, authority is distributed among several branches (executive, legislative, judicial)—an attempt to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a single group of people. In such a system, the executive does not pass laws (the role of the legislature) or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). Instead, the executive enforces the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judiciary. The executive can be the source of certain types of law, such as a decree or executive order. Executive bureaucracies are commonly the source of regulations.

Ministers

In parliamentary systems, the executive is responsible to the elected legislature, i.e. must maintain the confidence of the legislature (or one part of it, if bicameral). The legislature can, in certain circumstances (varying by state), express its lack of confidence in the executive, which causes either a change in governing party or group of parties or a general election. Parliamentary systems have a head of government (who leads the executive, often called ministers) normally distinct from the head of state (who continues through governmental and electoral changes). In the Westminster type of parliamentary system, the principle of separation of powers is not as entrenched as in some others. Members of the executive (ministers), are also members of the legislature, and hence play an important part in both the writing and enforcing of law.

In this context, the executive consists of a leader(s) of an office or multiple offices. Specifically, the top leadership roles of the executive branch may include:

Presidents

In a presidential system, the leader of the executive is both the head of state and head of government. [1]

In a parliamentary system, a cabinet minister responsible to the legislature is the head of government, while the head of state is usually a largely ceremonial monarch or president. [2]

See also

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The separation of powers is a representation for the governance of a state. Under this model, a state's government is divided into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities so that powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches. The typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary, which is the trias politica model. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, where the executive and legislative branches overlap.

Westminster system Democratic parliamentary system of government

The Westminster system or Westminster model is a parliamentary system—a series of procedures for operating a legislature—that was developed in England, which is now a constituent country within the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament. It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former colonies of the British Empire upon gaining self-government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890. It is the form of government bequeathed to New Zealand, and to British Hong Kong. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system or a hybrid system as their form of government.

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The Government of Colombia is a republic with separation of powers into executive, judicial and legislative branches. Its legislature has a congress, its judiciary has a supreme court, and its executive branch has a president.

Parliamentary system Form of government

A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

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A presidential system is a democratic and republican government in which a head of government leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch. This head of government is in most cases also the head of state, which is called president.

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Fusion of powers is a feature of some parliamentary forms of government, especially those following the Westminster system, where the executive and legislative branches of government are intermingled. It is contrasted with the European separation of powers found in presidential and semi-presidential forms of government where the legislative and executive powers are in origin separated by popular vote. Fusion of powers exists in many, if not a majority of, parliamentary democracies, and does so by design. However, in all modern democratic polities the judicial branch of government is independent of the legislative and executive branches.

Constitution of Armenia constitution of Armenia

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Politics of Denmark

The politics of Denmark take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state in which the monarch of Denmark, Queen Margrethe II, is the head of state. Denmark is described as a nation state. Danish politics and governance are characterized by a common striving for broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole.

Cabinet (government) Group of high ranking officials, usually representing the executive branch of government

A cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.

The conception of the separation of powers has been applied to the United Kingdom and the nature of its executive, judicial and legislative functions. Historically, the apparent merger of the executive and the legislature, with a powerful Prime Minister drawn from the largest party in parliament and usually with a safe majority, led theorists to contend that the separation of powers is not applicable to the United Kingdom. However, in recent years it does seem to have been adopted as a necessary part of the UK constitution.

Separation of powers in Singapore

Separation of powers in Singapore is founded on the concept of constitutionalism, which is itself primarily based upon distrust of power and thus the desirability of limited government. To achieve this, the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore splits the power to govern the country between three branches of government – the legislature, which makes laws; the executive, which executes them; and the judiciary, which enforces them. Each branch, while wielding legitimate power and being protected from external influences, is subjected to a system of checks and balances by the other branches to prevent abuse of power. This Westminster constitutional model was inherited from the British during Singapore's colonial years.

References

  1. "The Executive Branch". The White House. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  2. "Executive Branch of Government in Canada". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 4 July 2015.