American Local Government
The California form of government is different from other forms of government in that it is a direct form of government, whereas the other states have a representative form of government. The system of California government entails the people of California having direct influence on the government’s decisions and actions. In this form of government, the public makes the decisions, which they want the government to implement. They do not rely on politicians to make decisions for them. Their system is purely democratic in that when making a decision the majority vote carries the day. This system empowers people to make laws. It also allows the election and dismissal of officials. These are major differences in government from other states, which have representative forms of governments.
In direct form of government, political parties do not have influence on the decisions made by the political leaders. Rather decision-making involves the public who decide by way of majority vote (Schmidt, Shelly, & Bardes, 2010). In other states, the decision-making is a function mainly for the elected officials who may be influenced by their political parties. In other states, government officials are not subject to a public vote. The public does not necessarily vote on the significant issues, which they face but leave those tasks to their representatives.
The California system of government influences the provision of services by public votes on the best ways in which to provide services. This system has established councils, which deliberate on the society’s needs. These councils deliberate on the lack of services and its availability. Once they identify what services are needed most and where they are needed, the relevant authority responsible for the provision of the services is notified. This system of government allows the public to determine where and when services are most needed and the best ways of service delivery. Service provision being a primary function of the government is subject to continuous monitoring by the people. If at any time, there is laxity in service provision the public takes the necessary corrective measures.
The legislature in California has no absolute power in the government. In this form of government, power lies with the people. This is the case because the public decides on which laws to pass and which laws require amending. The legislature does not act on its own accord, but it consults with the people before they can take any decisive action. The people have power over the legislature since they have the capacity to vote them into office and to remove them from office if the need arises. The legislature is merely a tool by which the public conducts its official affairs.
Provision and allocations of funds is subject to a public vote. This system of government allows the public to make decisions on the best way to appropriate and allocate funds. Usually committees and councils are formed to decide on the best ways to allocate funds. The most urgent needs are identified and funds allocated accordingly. In most cases, people are asked to vote on the projects they feel need more funds and vice versa.
The advantage of direct democracy is that leaders are fully accountable to the public and to their actions. The people make the significant decisions on matters that influence them directly or indirectly. The disadvantage of this system is that decisions and votes are subject to manipulations by the most influential members of the society. This may be the case in the voting process where prominent members may intimidate other members to vote in their favor or in the manner they wish to see the vote go.
Louisiana state government has been influenced by the French forms of governance making it different from other states. The significant difference is the subdivision of the state into administrative regions referred to as counties. The counties in the French governance system are known as parishes. These counties have an administrator in each county for ease of governance and allocation of resources.
The difference of the Louisiana government from other government is in its structure and conduct of elections. The Louisiana state elections are conducted in such a way that they are nonpartisan. The running candidates do not categorize themselves in the form of parties, but they run on the basis of a blanket system (Sabato, 2006). In this system, all the candidates in the local or state elections run at the same time with the most popular candidates winning despite their party affiliations. In other states, primary elections are necessary to determine who is going to represent their party in the elections. Once the primary elections are complete then they proceed to the general election, where each party has a representative of its own (Sid low & Henchmen, 2010).
Another major difference of the Louisiana state government is its subscription to civil law, which is a system practiced by the French. The application of civil law practices differs from the other states, which apply the common law system. The difference here is that in common law judgment is given according to the precedent rule, whereas in civil law judgment it is based on the case at hand in relation to the law. The common laws require a previous decision by the court to base the judgment of a current case.
The system of government in Louisiana enables service delivery to be equitable across the state. The subdivision of the state into counties makes it to be easier for the government to deliver its services to the people effectively. These counties enable services to be delivered to the public as they bring the government closer to the people. The management of service delivery is simplified by the formation of counties. The county administrations are forms of delegation of duties and responsibilities from the central government. The public find it easy to get feedback from the government through the county’s administrators.
In the system of governance practiced in Louisiana, the governor and the legislature have more power in the affairs of the state. Since they represent their electorate in decision-making, they do not necessarily consult with the public when it comes to making decisions. The legislature once elected can take action or implement decisions without informing the public. In most cases, the actions of the legislature appear to be autonomous from the public. In the event of significant decisions affecting the public, a referendum may be called to allow the public to vote on the issues.
The government system of Louisiana allows distribution of funds through its counties (Mclean, Hurd, & Rogers, 2007). The distribution of the available funds is carried out according to the needs of each county. Population distribution and density in each county contributes to the size of the funds to be distributed. A larger county with a large population density will require more funds allocated to it. Another factor that determines the amount of funds to distribute to a county is the urgency of the funds in implementation of priority projects.
The advantage of this system of government is that partisan politics do not influence the activities of the government. Cases are judged according to their merit and not based on precedents, which may not be applicable and are ambiguous in the interpretation of the current case. The disadvantage is that the public does not have direct control of decision-making, and they rely on their representatives to make the right decisions for them (Sabatom & Ernst, 2006).
The New York City government is unique and complex in its structure. It differs from any other form of government in the sense that it is governed by a mayor who is the elected official in charge of all the city functions. The significant decisions are made by the city council, which comprises of members from each district in the city. In other forms of government, the representative elected by the public in the legislature makes the decisions. In this system, the public is represented by borough presidents who are elected by the public (Silverman, Chauvin & Goodman, 2011). These borough presidents represent the problems faced by the public and advice the mayor on the action needed to be taken. The decision to take action does not lie with the borough presidents but with the city council members and the mayor.
The city council on making decisions subjects them to votes, which on passing are left for the mayor to sign. In the event the mayor does not agree the council’s decision, the council may override his decision not to sign a bill and with a third-majority vote make the decision to stand. An elected comptroller who oversees the city finances and budget allocations manages the resources of the city.
The structure of the New York City government enables efficient and prompt service delivery to the people. The New York City government is divided into departments (Silverman, Chauvin & Goodman, 2011). Each department has an appointed head who is responsible for the functions of that department. These departments enable efficient service delivery to the public. When the public require a specific service, they only need to engage the respective department directly for services. When one needs services, they do not have to worry about the numerous processes involved in central government’s service delivery.
The New York City uses the city council structure form of governance. The city council is the central governing body of the city. The significant decisions are made by the city council as well as making of city laws. The public representation used is the borough system where each borough elects a president to represent them and their affairs to the mayor (Silverman 2011).
The city comptroller, who oversees the government, directs the finances of the city allocation of funds to the substructures of the city government. Allocation of finances is done by way of finance committees, which deliberate on the needs of funds, by each department. The budget committee allocates funds to departments according to their priority and needs. This system makes some departments have financial constraints since they are of low priority.
The advantages of the New York City government structure are its efficiency in service delivery. The subdivision into departments enables equitable allocation of available resources. The disadvantage of the city government is its complex structure, which makes it difficult to implement decisions and follow the hierarchy of command.
The key factors to a successful government are efficient management of public finance and direct interaction with public forums in an effort to understand the needs of the public. The implementation of service delivery structures is essential. The public should feel secure and protected from any form of threats. Instituting governance protocols, which will enable effective handling of problems.
When implementing a sound government structure a clear legislative structure would be established. A competent judicial system would be necessary in maintaining the rule of law. The executive would be selected on qualifications and merit. The government structures would be at arm’s length to prevent interference of one arm of the government with the other.
Given the three forms of governments, the optimal form of government is the direct form of governance. This is because the public influence their own decisions and the government actions are reflections of the public wishes. Resources are allocated where they are most needed and not according to the wishes of political leaders who allocate resources where it suits them most. This system is more reliable since their political parties will not influence the leaders. Leaders are directly accountable to the public and incompetent leaders are removed at any given time.