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Elections

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  • Martin Votruba
    ... Let me try to pare it down to the barest minimum for Slovakia, RU. A confusing moment in much of the info are phrases like the Cabinet appointed by the
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 29 5:57 PM
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      > I still have a way to go when it comes to understanding
      > the parliamentary form of government.

      Let me try to pare it down to the barest minimum for Slovakia, RU.

      A confusing moment in much of the info are phrases like "the Cabinet
      appointed by the President..." True in the formal sense, it's
      irrelevant for most practical purposes since the President cannot but
      do what he is required to by the law. What he does is essentially
      ceremonial, not executive. In the following, I'll leave the
      president out to avoid the confusion. I'll also simplify some of the
      nuances.

      The Prime Minister (also called Premier = chief of the executive)
      must launch elections by the 4-year deadline, but can do so sooner.

      1) Election. Each party publishes an _ordered_ list of their
      candidates. People _nation-wide_ vote for a party (not for a local
      representative, no "our Congressman"), for its program.

      2) The votes from the whole country are counted. Every party that
      gets 5% and more of the valid vote enters Parliament, the others are
      not represented. There is no House/Senate division.

      3) Typically 5-7 parties enter the 150-seat parliament. Their
      relative percentages are recalculated.
      Example -- If only four parties passed the 5% threshold (it never
      happens), this is how it would work: Say, party A had 20% of the
      vote, party B 20%, party C 10%, party D 10%, a multitude of other
      parties got less than 5% each. The mutual ratio of party A to party
      B to party C to party D is 2:2:1:1, so party A gets 2/6ths of the
      seats (50), party B gets 2/6ths of the seats (50), party C 1/6th
      (25), party D 1/6th (25). End of example.

      4) Based on the recalculation, the top X candidates from each party's
      _ordered_ list become Members of Parliament (that's why the lists
      must be ordered).

      5) The 5-7 parties represented in Parliament begin to negotiate the
      formation of the next Cabinet. The Cabinet will have to be approved
      by a simple majority in Parliament (minimum 76 seats/votes), so the
      goal is to form a coalition of parties representing enough votes to
      guarantee it. Typically, a party wants to have a Minister/Ministers
      in the Cabinet (US: Secretary of a Department) in return for its
      Parliamentary support (but occasionally, a party may promise initial
      support without it).

      6) Those of the former candidates, now Members of Parliament, who
      join the Cabinet are replaced in Parliament by the next candidates
      from their respective parties on the ordered lists. The negotiations
      about the number of Ministers for each party, their posts, etc., can
      take just days, a week or two, or over a month.

      7) A Cabinet is formed, the Chairman of the largest party in it
      typically becomes Prime Minister (= chief of the executive).

      8) Parliament votes for the Cabinet, and no big surprise, the Cabinet
      gets a majority of the votes.

      9) Slovakia has a new government (Cabinet).

      The current Cabinet has 16 members: Prime Minister, Deputy Prime
      Minister, and 14 Ministers (each with a Ministry/Department).

      The election takes place every 4 years, unless a Cabinet falls apart,
      loses its majority in and is voted out by Parliament.


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
    • sandman6294
      ... Martin, thanks for the pared down version of Slovakia s election process. It answers a few questions I had regarding timing of elections and the fall of a
      Message 2 of 2 , May 1, 2005
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        --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Martin Votruba <votrubam@y...>
        wrote:


        > Let me try to pare it down to the barest minimum for Slovakia, RU.

        Martin, thanks for the pared down version of Slovakia's election
        process. It answers a few questions I had regarding timing of
        elections and the fall of a government. The Czechs are currently
        going through the process as the result of charges of corruption
        against their former Prime Minister, Stanislav Gross and the English
        are currently in the process also.

        My curiosity was piqued by the seeming complexity of the
        parliamentary system and it got me to thinking about party and
        campaign financing. I found an interesting article that covers this
        subject for several Eastern European nations. It is titled "Party
        and Campaign Funding in Eastern Europe: A Study of 18 Member
        Countries of the ACEEEO" The Article is located at:
        http://www.upd.oas.org/lab/Documents/fiapp/ld_cf_10_01_eng.pdf

        In the summary table there are only two countries with a ban on paid
        political advertising; Slovakia and Bosnia H. The paper goes back to
        2001. Is this true currently? On paper it appears that they control
        campaign financing fairly well. Do they still exclude private media
        from being used in campaigning?

        RU
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