Holding office as governor of Texas essentially means that the said individual would, at any given point, have weaker powers in comparison to their counterparts in other states. The primary reason for this state of affairs has more to do with the tumultuous political history of the state of Texas during the Reconstruction period (Champagne et al.). The war between the secessionists and the unionists had greatly divided individuals residing in this state. Political intrigues played well into the highest office in the state with the appointment of unionist, Edmund Davis in 1869, as governor (May 195). Most Texans worried that the far-reaching powers in this office would impede the fidelity of their state’s politics and opted to weaken the State Government in 1876 with a new constitution.
A plural executive involves the use of officials strategically put in various dockets to make critical decisions affecting the state. These individuals act in unison as state officers tasked with the arduous task of ensuring that they give orders on actions that need to be set in motion. In reality, they perform functions that would ordinarily be performed by a single official (Ferguson 67). On the other hand, the single executive model that places all power in the hands of the President. In such a scenario, the executive branch is therefore firmly under the Presidents hold. In comparison, plural executives starkly differ from the single executive mode since the state governor has no power to appoint executive officers.
Proponents of the plural executive laud it for fostering diversity in the political and administrative sphere. The governor has no powers, whatsoever, to appoint officials serving in the state government. As a result, elected officials appointed to serve in various capacities such as the comptroller, lieutenant governor and attorney general may be from different parties (Jillson 56). Detractors of the plural executive system point to the governor’s weakness as the main reason why the system is not viable in the long run. A majority of the offices and boards are occupied by individuals elected by the citizens as opposed to appointments by the governor. The result is a much-weakened governor who ostensibly plays a ceremonial role.
On the flipside, the plural executive is a more democratic as compared to the single executive model since power is not concentrated on one individual. The tenets that serve as building blocks for democracy hold the distribution of power and equal representation as a key to its function. For instance, the Texas Executive Branch is not under a single individual but a conglomerate of individuals working autonomously to decide for the greater good of the citizenry.
There is a heightened state of accountability in a plural executive since there is most officials are independently elected. Moreover, powers vested in these officials are substantially limited to ensure that the approach matters with a utilitarian approach. Executive officials, for instance, have powers that are greatly reduced as a measure in fostering accountability and most importantly, to ensure that all officials holding public office are accountable to the general public.
I opine that the power of the governor should be increased to enable them to serve the people effectively while carrying out their constitutional mandate. The move by the 1876 Constitutional Caucus was initially viewed as a move for the greater good (Maxwell, et al.). Nevertheless, this state of affairs creates a weakened governor who plays a somewhat ceremonial role, which may lead to stalemates in the event an important decision is to be made, and officials fail to reach an agreement. A governor with far-reaching powers will, therefore, have the ability to make these decisions swiftly and avoid wasting valuable time that could be spent discussing more pressing issues.
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