-10

In Revenge of the Sith, when Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar and Saesee Tin arrest Palpatine in his office. The script is as follows:

Mace Windu: In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor.

Supreme Chancellor: Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?

Mace Windu: The senate will decide your fate.

Supreme Chancellor: I AM the senate!

Mace Windu: NOT YET.

Since Palpatine is the Chancellor of the Republic, and retorted by Mace Windu that he is not the Senate. Does that mean that a Senate is more of a higher authority than the Chancellor? Palpatine can order the Clones in any matter.The Chancellor is the just like the President of a country. In this sense, Palpatine is the president of the republic. In real life terms, A President has higher authority than a Senator.

  • 2
    Being the Senate is different than being a Senator. In the US, there are 100 Senators, someone saying they are the Senate implies that they have more power than all 100 of those Senators. – DaaaahWhoosh Jul 27 '17 at 16:11
  • 1
    he means he effectively controls the Senate - just as if somebody like <insert US senator here> were to say the same thing. It doesn't imply they have more legal power according to rules, but that they wield effective power over the others in the body and can get their way. Additionally, does the US President have more "power" than Congress? Yes and no - the authority they wield is over different aspects of government. if we were to again extend the metaphor, it can be assumed there is a system of check and balance that Palp has effectively usurped – NKCampbell Jul 27 '17 at 16:13
  • 1
    Hey Senate is the rootword for Senator. – The Witch King of Angmar Jul 27 '17 at 16:14
  • Why the downvotes – The Witch King of Angmar Jul 28 '17 at 5:24
  • I didn't down vote, but a few reasons that come to mind include the assumption that the executive inherently has more power than a legislature. There are times when the legislature as a whole is superior. Alternatively they could have separate powers, but neither is objectively superior. That and a least a few could have been specifically about the original wording, which suggested 'the Senate' was a single person. – suchiuomizu Jul 28 '17 at 22:16
5

Does one Senator have more authority than Palpatine? No.

Does the entire Senate have more authority than Palpatine? Initially, yes. That's the entire point of a parliamentary system: to keep the head of government in check.

Of course, by Attack of the Clones, Palpatine has influenced and corrupted the Senate to the point that he more or less controls it entirely, as Dooku tells Obi-Wan:

COUNT DOOKU: What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of the Dark Lords of the Sith?

OBI-WAN: No, that's not possible. The Jedi would be aware of it.

COUNT DOOKU: The dark side of the Force has clouded their vision, my friend. Hundreds of Senators are now under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious.

Technically speaking, the Senate still has more authority than Palpatine, but since Palpatine controls the Senate, he can wield that authority as if it were his own. So when he says, "I am the Senate", he's not wrong.

Eventually, Palpatine is granted a set of emergency powers that allow him to overrule the Senate. By that point, Palpatine has more authority than the Senate.

2

The Supreme Chancellor is a position elected by the Senate to act as their leader.

From The Phantom Menace:

CAPT. PANAKA : Your Highness, Senator Palpatine has been nominated to succeed Valorum as Supreme Chancellor.

PALPATINE : A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. I promise, Your Majesty, if I am elected, I will bring democracy back to the Republic. I will put an end to corruption. The Trade Fedreation will lose its influenceover the bureaucrats, and our people will be freed.

 

AMIDALA : Congratulations on your election, Chancellor. It is so good to see you again.

PALPATINE : It's good to be home. Your boldness has saved our people, Your Majesty. It is you who should be congratulated. Together we shall bring peace and prosperity to the Republic.

It must be noted, though, that as an elected position, the Senate has the power to remove the Chancellor from his position - as they did with Supreme Chancellor Valorum earlier in the movie, so the Supreme Chancellor does not typically have supreme power over the senate.

However, the Senate has granted the Supreme Chancellor "Emergency Powers", effectively making him a dictator. From Attack of the Clones

MAS AMEDDA: This is a crisis! If the Senate votes the Chancellor emergency powers, he could approve the use of the army in a minute.

PALPATINE: Please, please, I don't wish to have emergency powers. That's too extreme a solution. It's akin to a dictatorship. We must rely on the Jedi. Master Yoda, how many are available to go to Geonosis?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.