Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Where does the money go?

Cleavages appear in many guises.

North Got Lion's Share Of World Bank Projects Under Buhari, Documents Show
Contrary to President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim on Friday that his discussion with the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, was twisted, a huge chunk of the financial institution-backed projects in partnership with the Federal Government is based in the North, SUNDAY PUNCH can report.

The President has always been accused by his critics of favoring the northern part of the country…

The latest criticism took place when Kim, divulged that Buhari had asked the bank to concentrate on northern Nigeria.

The Presidency, however, said what the President asked for was “rebuilding of the beleaguered North-East.”…

SUNDAY PUNCH’s findings [from] the World Bank website… showed that out of the 14 World Bank-sponsored projects in the country, seven are exclusively for the North, while six others are meant for the whole nation (South-West, South-South, South-East, North-West, North-East, North Central and North West)…

The World Bank documents did not contain any programme or project specifically designed for the South-East, South-South and the Middle Belt regions since Buhari got into power…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

What You Need to Know 7th edition is ready to help.


Order the book HERE
Amazon's customers gave this book a 4-star rating.








Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

China as a multi party state

Did you know that there are non-Communist political parties in China?

Xi calls for increased cooperation between CPC, non-Communist parties
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, called for increased cooperation between the CPC and the country's non-Communist political parties to jointly strive for achieving the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Xi made the remarks at a meeting held by the CPC Central Committee to solicit opinions from members of non-Communist political parties on a draft report for the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress…

After hearing the opinions of the participants, Xi said it has been a long-held practice for the CPC to solicit opinions from the central committees of non-Communist parties, leading figures of the All China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and those with no party affiliation, on major policies and decisions of the CPC and the country…

He said the CPC Central Committee will carefully study the opinions raised by the participants and fully incorporate them into the revisions of the draft report…

Representatives of non-Communist parties and those without party affiliation acknowledged the major achievements made by the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

Just The Facts! 2nd edition is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.


Just The Facts! is available. Order HERE.

Amazon's customers gave this book a 5-star rating.







Labels: ,

Monday, October 16, 2017

Let the Party go on

The Communist Party, that is.

Delegates to CPC national congress arrive in Beijing
Delegates of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) arrive at Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 15, 2017. The congress will start on Oct. 18.


Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

What You Need to Know 7th edition is ready to help.


Order the book HERE
Amazon's customers gave this book a 4-star rating.








Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Constitution of the UK

The trick question is "Where is the constitution of the UK?"

Sometimes the answer is, "It's unwritten." More accurately, the answer is it's written all over history as precedents to be followed.

How about the sixteenth century "Henry VIII powers," now called Statutory Instruments? Would you think to look there for the constitution?

"The Government sometimes adds this provision to a Bill to enable the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament…

"Such provisions are known as Henry VIII clauses, so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation." -Parliament Web Site

I don't offer this information because I think you need to know about Henry VIII powers. I point out how diverse and ancient the constitutional provisions of the UK's government are. The generalization is more important than the specific trivia.

Theresa May expected to make concessions over 'Henry VIII' powers
Theresa May is likely to agree to a new parliamentary committee to help weed out excessive use of Henry VIII powers after Brexit as she seeks to head off a rebellion, according to Tory MPs pushing for the change…

The purpose of the EU withdrawal bill is to transpose legislation from Brussels into British law to ensure a smooth exit process.

However, May is facing a rebellion over so-called Henry VIII powers that would allow ministers to tweak secondary legislation as it is transposed…

Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general who tabled the key amendment, told the procedure committee on Wednesday that the bill represented the “most extraordinary arrogation of powers” by the executive that he had seen during 20 years in parliament.

He said there needed to be an exceptional mechanism for dealing with secondary legislation, where MPs would sift through statutory instruments to decide whether they needed full parliamentary debate or not…

Further note:
Statutory instruments are not quite the archaic devices they are being portrayed… They are regularly used to make adjustments to the law. Around 3,500 of them are created in a normal year. Parliament can debate and reject them, although it is admittedly a rather cumbersome process.

But whatever legislation is created, whether by act of parliament or SI, can later be amended or repealed by parliament. This in contrast to the vast amount of EU legislation currently under scrutiny, which entered our laws from the EU without parliament being involved, and which not cannot be amended or repealed while we remain members…

J Cameron Smith
Dunoon, Argyll and Bute

-letter to The Guardian


Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

Just The Facts! 2nd edition is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.


Just The Facts! is available. Order HERE.

Amazon's customers gave this book a 5-star rating.







Labels: , , ,

Embarrassing

Part of the north-south cleavage in Nigeria is educational. Christian missionaries (and their schools) had greater successes in the south than in the mostly Muslim north. This imbalance had a role in causing the civil war since colonial and (after independence) Nigerian bureaucrats were mostly southerners.

Echos of that historic situation show up in this embarrassing example of misgovernment.

Kaduna primary teachers fail pupils' exam
Kaduna
Thousands of primary school teachers in Nigeria's northern Kaduna
state are to be sacked after failing the exams they set for their six-year-old pupils.

State governor Nasir El-Rufai said 21,780 teachers, two-thirds of the total, had failed to score 75% or higher on assessments given to pupils.

He said 25,000 new teachers would be recruited to replace them…

"The hiring of teachers in the past was politicised and we intend to change that by bringing in young and qualified primary school teachers to restore the dignity of education in the state," he was quoted as saying by Nigeria's Daily Trust newspaper…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

What You Need to Know 7th edition is ready to help.


Order the book HERE
Amazon's customers gave this book a 4-star rating.








Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

PLA reform

In China, the PLA has served many roles: employment of last resort during recessions, workforce during natural disasters, entrepreneurs, enrichment opportunity for corrupt officers, and police to prevent protests. Oh, yes, and a defensive military force.

After the Cultural Revolution, the government began offering the generals modern weaponry, a role on China's space program, and opportunities for respect as a modern military in exchange for accepting civilian control.

That transition continues.

China congress: Military facelift a sign of bigger changes
Of the many noteworthy developments that have characterised Chinese President Xi Jinping's first five-year term, none stands out as much as military reform, and this reveals a great deal about the coming political trajectory in China, writes political analyst Cheng Li.

Xi Jinping did not shy from the bold and broad undertaking of military reform and it has resulted in profound changes to the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Even beyond the monumental purges of top generals, whose shameless corruption extended to practices like selling military titles, Mr Xi has worked with single-minded purpose to organise and modernise China's military…

He… transformed China's military operations from a Russian-style, army-centric system toward what analysts call a "Western-style joint command"; and swiftly promoted "young guards" to top positions in the officer corps…

Judging from the list of military and police delegates to the forthcoming congress where China's future leaders are to be unveiled, the largest turnover of senior officers in the history of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is set to occur.

An extraordinary 90% of the 300 military delegates will be first-time attendees.

At most, only 17% (seven of 41) of the military representatives with full membership on the 18th Central Committee will retain their seats…

Gen Li Zuocheng
The new top military leadership will most likely consist of Mr Xi's long-time friends Gen Zhang Youxia, Gen Li Zuocheng, and Adm Miao Hua, along with the newly promoted commanders of the PLA army, navy, air force, and strategic support force.

In addition to their perceived loyalty to Xi Jinping, these generals are known for their extended military service, combat experience, and professional knowledge of modern warfare…

With firm control over the military, Mr Xi has set the stage for a massive turnover in the party leadership at the 19th Party Congress…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

What You Need to Know 7th edition is ready to help.


Order the book HERE
Amazon's customers gave this book a 4-star rating.








Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Political guessing game

Can you figure out what is meant by "withdrawing the whip" from the reporting? (The answer comes after the article.) By the way, do you know what an MEP is?

Whip withdrawn from Tory MEPs who voted to block Brexit progress
Two rebel Conservative MEPs who voted to block moves towards trade talks between the UK and European Union have been stripped of the party whip…

The decision to remove the whip was backed by Downing Street in a sign that Theresa May is preparing to get tough with her party over Brexit as the talks move into a crucial phase…

The whip was removed from the two senior MEPs after consultation between the party’s European parliament chief whip, Dan Dalton, and Downing Street…

In his letter to the pair, [party spokesman] Dalton said: “The Brexit negotiations are the most important negotiations our country faces and reaching a new partnership with the European Union is in the interests of both the UK and the EU.

“The resolution by the European parliament sought to delay progress in the negotiations between the UK and the EU by holding back talks on the future relationship. It also proposed that one part of the UK, Northern Ireland, could remain in the single market and customs union, while the rest of the UK departs – which is not acceptable.

“Given the seriousness of this issue, and your failure to discuss your intention to vote against the agreed position of the Conservative delegation in advance, I am therefore writing to inform you that I am suspending the Conservative whip from you until further notice.”…

What does it mean to withdraw the whip?

The whip is a parliamentary term dating back to 1742. ... In modern usage, whips are parliamentary enforcers who provide inducements and punishments to MPs who do not "toe the party line", and in the extreme case of expelling an MP from a party, the party withdraws the whip.  Sep 20, 2013

The Whip in British Politics


Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

Just The Facts! 2nd edition is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.


Just The Facts! is available. Order HERE.

Amazon's customers gave this book a 5-star rating.







Labels: , ,

Monday, October 09, 2017

Electing the Standing Committee

The Communist Party of China trumpets the elections that choose its leaders. How would you classify these elections?

Communist Party congress: How China picks its leaders
Every five years, the eyes of the world turn to China as the ruling Communist Party holds its congress.

The event determines who will lead the Party. Those people will go on to lead the 1.3 billion people of China - most of whom don't get a say…

The 19th congress will begin on 18 October and while significant leadership changes are expected current Party leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping is widely expected to stay in the top job.

In mid-October, Communist Party of China (CPC) delegates from across China will meet at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The party has 2,300 delegates…

Behind closed doors, those CPC delegates will elect the powerful Central Committee, which has about 200 members.

This committee in turn elects the Politburo and from that, the Politburo Standing Committee is chosen.

Introduction of the Standing Committee
Those are China's real decision-making bodies. The Politburo currently has 24 members, while the Standing Committee has seven, although these numbers have varied over the years.


While there is a vote, in reality many of these people have already been handpicked by the current leadership, and the committee just approves their edict.

The Central Committee also elects the Party's top leader - the general secretary - who becomes the country's president. That is, and will most likely continue to be, Xi Jinping.

The 19th Congress will be closely watched for two main things.

First, Mr Xi will deliver a lengthy report that will be scrutinised by analysts for signs on China's political policy direction for the next five years.

Secondly, the Politburo Standing Committee is expected to be nearly completely refreshed…

We would normally expect to see a new line-up of future leaders presented to the public at the congress - including a possible eventual successor to Mr Xi - who would take over in five years' time.

However, there is some speculation Mr Xi might break with tradition this time round and delay this step…

It's likely there'll be a further overall consolidation of power by Mr Xi.

He has assumed an unprecedented number of positions since coming to power in 2012, including the title of a "core" leader of China, which puts him on par with past political giants like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

There are likely to be more of his allies placed in leadership positions at the congress, and we may see the enshrining of his policies, known as "Xi Jinping Thought", in the party charter…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

What You Need to Know 7th edition is ready to help.


Order the book HERE
Amazon's customers gave this book a 4-star rating.








Labels: , , ,