The Plural Executive System in Texas

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Texas Governor and the Plural Executive System

Texas Governor has a relative weakness when compared to other governors in the United States when considering the historic conditions prior to the Texas Constitution of 1876. The constitution imposed a lot of restriction on the power of Texas governor which was previously misused to oppress the subjects on both economic and political fronts. The new constitution dispersed the powers of the governor over the legal system, education, budget, transport and public utilities to other elected officials who include the Attorney General, Educational Board Members, Lieutenant Governor and finally the land commissioner. The Governor has no direct influence over these areas (Calabresi, Steven, and Kevin).

The Powers of a Texas Governor

The form of Government in Texas is called plural executive, when compared, the powers of a Governor is less when compared to that of the Speaker or the Lieutenant Governor. In addition to the separation of powers discussed, there two other officials who wield a lot of power in Texas: the heads of Texas Senate and the House of Representatives. They have power such as the appointment of the legislative committee and the power to appoint the committee gives them control over public policy, which indirectly gives them political power. Another weakness of a Texas governor is his inability to suspend capital murder penalty. Instead, he can make recommendations, and the decision relies on the Pardons and Paroles Committees.

The Plural Executive System in Texas

Plural executive system fragments power over many offices, one example is the Texas plural executive system where a chief executive officer has limited power because the power is shared among many offices, typically under the control of a governor, occupied by officers who are directly elected by Texas voters. In Texas, top offices like Attorney General and the Lieutenant Governor are all elected posts as opposed to other counties where the governor directly appoints the occupants of the offices.

The Single Executive Model

The single executive model is where a single person who occupies the executive office has powers to control the entire executive. Another definition of a single executive model is where power is concentrated on the hands of individuals who have the same rank.

Arguments for and Against a Plural Executive

One of the arguments for the plurals executive system is its success in preventing the abuse of power. Power can be misused by the executive is ensuring that only friends or relatives are appointed to powerful offices (Holtham 15-18). Again, the more the people involved in the decision-making process, the more cautious decisions are made therefore ensuring that there are quality policies for the public. Disadvantages of a plural executive are the time it takes to collaborate on divergent issues especially when a governor and other officials such as Lieutenant Governor are elected on different tickets. Service delivery would be delayed due to the difference in opinion. Since the people elect the officers, swing votes may lead to an election of unqualified individuals to a sensitive position.

Plural System and Democracy

Definition of democracy is a system of government by eligible members of a state through elected representatives, democracy also gives room for tolerance of other people's opinion and bring more people into the governing structure. As opposed to a single executive who is prone to dictatorial tendencies, plural executive allows governance through the contribution of many arms of the government.

Efficiency and Accountability of the Plural Executive

Given that the plural executive limits the powers of the state officers, it makes them more accountable to the public and their fellow officers. On efficiency, on the face value, the plural executive may be efficient because of the many people involved in the decision making. One disadvantage of the plural executive is that since the officers are independently elected, there may be competition which may lead to inefficiency, the competition may be as a result of different ambitions of the office holders (Pratt).

Increasing the Power of the Governor

The Texas power of a governor should be increased to cover more sections of the economy which are currently under the Lieutenant Governor, and the lieutenant governor should act as an overseer to the governor. When the power of a governor is increased, there will be more efficiency in service delivery and decision making would be faster because there would be no conflict of interest.

Works Cited

Calabresi, Steven G., and Kevin H. Rhodes. "Structural Constitution: Unitary Executive, Plural Judiciary, The."Harv. L. Rev. 105 (1991): 1153.

Holtham, Clive. "Flexibility In Control System And Accountable Management."Local Government Studies 7.2 (1981): 15-18. Web.

Pratt, Jordan E. "Disregard Of Unconstitutional Laws In The Plural State Executive."SSRN Electronic Journal (2016): n. pag. Web.

November 24, 2023



Political Science

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