A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

In the United States, Congress is the government

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 19, 2009

Sometimes I love Naharnet.

Here is its take on the Lebanese Parliament’s voting to lower the national voting age to 18 (sadly, not until 2010, for the same lame procedural reasons that are slowing down absentee voting):

Parliament threw the ball into the government’s court on Thursday after it unanimously approved a draft law to lower the voting age to 18 effective in the 2010 municipal elections. Legislators voted in favor of amending article 28 of the constitution to lower the age of voting from 21 to 18.

I know that Lebanon has two types of laws: legislated laws and decrees.

But how is the Lebanese Parliament considered separate from the Lebanese government?


6 Responses to “In the United States, Congress is the government”

  1. when they mention lebanese government in lebanon, they mean hookoome, which is just the council of ministers. so any reference to the government means the prime minister and his ministers.

    • aha – thank you! now I understand the article. As you know, we consider the legislative and executive branches of government all part of “the government”, rather than distinct entities, since they together bring laws into being.

      anyway great news on the new voting age!

  2. Qifa Nabki said

    Actually in most parliamentary systems, the term “government” refers to the cabinet or the administration formed by the PM.

  3. QN, thank you for the explanation! chalk this up as one more indicator of how provincial an American education can be 😀

  4. Qifa Nabki said

    D, I often find myself doing a double-take as well.

  5. kp said

    well, to be really picky, when we say the Congress is the “government” it’s a synecdoche (or metonym), no? A part for the whole, the whole of which is *also* “the government.” So “the gov’t” is any single branch of government, as you say, as well as its collectivity. So your post title, “in the US, Congress is the gov’t,” is really more accurately discussed in your post: Congress is part of the gov’t and Congress is only THE gov’t when we refer to its legislating activities (“today the gov’t passed a law requiring 90% taxes on bonuses”; though I think usually we’d normally be more specific and refer to the individual body, “today Congress passed a law…”).

    Sorry for the pickiness, but the exchange got me thinking… 🙂

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