Fri. Jun 18th, 2021

In summary

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive orders are an experiment in parliamentary government that will be decided by courts and voters.

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The three-branch system of government is not unique to the United States, but most of the world’s democracies are governed by the parliamentary system.

In Great Britain, Canada, Japan and other nations with parliamentary governments, the party or coalition that holds a majority of legislative seats automatically wields executive authority, rather than having a separately elected president. The parliamentary system’s prime minister governs by decree as long as the legislative majority continues.

This very brief excursion into political theory underpins what’s been happening in California during the last 14 months — an accidental experiment in quasi-parliamentary government, beginning with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s declaration of an emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic.