Mostly ceremonial: German presidential veto

By way of DW, here is a good example of the “mostly” in the phrase I use from time to time to describe presidencies in parliamentary democracies as “mostly ceremonial”: German President Horst Köhler exercised his first presidential veto on Tuesday, quashing a law that would have partially privatized air traffic control in Germany. But […]

Turkish election, 2015

Turkey is holding general elections on 7 June. It is an unusually important election, coming as it is after the first direct presidential election. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking parliamentary support to amend the constitution to make the presidency far more powerful–currently it is mostly ceremonial. For that he needs either his Justice and […]

Italian presidential selection and PD split

The Italian electoral college (made up of members of parliament and regional representatives) selected Giorgio Napolitano for a second term in the “mostly ceremonial” post of president. Via (and originally from Corriera della Sera): Napolitano was elected on April 20 with the votes of the Democratic Party (PD), Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party […]

Judiciary prevails

A recent “tug-of-war,” as the Hindustan Times puts it, over judicial appointments in India reveals the superiority of nomination/appointment processes that put the executive second, rather than as initiator, in the process. For India’s Supreme Court–one of the most active constitutional review bodies among the world’s high courts1: Appointments and promotions of judges are done […]