Parliamentary and Presidential systems of Government

There are essentially 2 varieties of democratic government structures – Presidential and Parliamentary. India follows a parliamentary form of presidency modelled on Britain’s. Our founding fathers had sturdy motives for adopting this, in place of the presidential machine. In this article, we evaluate each structures for the polity and governance sections of the USA syllabus. Apart from the parliamentary and presidential structures, there also can be a hybrid system incorporating functions of each structures. The leader distinction among those structures is the quantity of electricity separation among the legislative, the govt and the judiciary. Another primary distinction among the presidential and parliamentary structures is the responsibility of the govt to the legislature. First, we can speak each varieties of government structures enumerating their deserves and disadvantages after which do a assessment of each the structures.


Presidential System of Government


In a presidential system, the head of the government leads an executive, that is distinct from the legislature. Here, the head of the government and the head of the state are one and the same. Also, a key feature is that the executive is not responsible to the legislature.


Features of the Presidential System


  1. The executive (President) can veto acts by the legislature.
  2. The President has a fixed tenure and cannot be removed by a vote of no-confidence in the legislature.
  3. Generally, the President has the power to pardon or commute judicial sentences awarded to criminals.
  4. The President is elected directly by the people or by an electoral college.

Advantages of Presidential System


The advantages of the presidential system are given below:

  • Separation of powers: Efficiency of administration is greatly enhanced since the three arms of the government are independent of each other.
  • Expert government: Since the executive need not be legislators, the President can choose experts in various fields to head relevant departments or ministries. This will make sure that people who are capable and knowledgeable form part of the government.
  • Stability: This type of government is stable. Since the term of the president is fixed and not subject to majority support in the legislative, he need not worry about losing the government. There is no danger of a sudden fall of the government. There is no political pressure on the president to make decisions.
  • Less influence of the party system: Political parties do not attempt to dislodge the government since the tenure is fixed.


Disadvantages of Presidential System


The disadvantages of the presidential system are given below:

  • Less responsible executive: Since the legislature has no hold over the executive and the president, the head of the government can turn authoritarian.
  • Deadlocks between executive and legislature: Since there is a more strict separation of powers here, there can be frequent tussles between both arms of the government, especially if the legislature is not dominated by the president’s political party. This can lead to an erosion in efficiency because of wastage of time.
  • Rigid government: Presidential systems are often accused of being rigid. It lacks flexibility.
  • Spoils system: The system gives the president sweeping powers of patronage. Here, he can choose executives as per his will. This gives rise to the spoils system where people close to the president (relatives, business associates, etc.) get roles in the government.


Parliamentary System of Government


India selected a parliamentary form of presidency on the whole due to the fact the constitution-makers had been substantially inspired with the aid of using the gadget in England. Another cause the founding fathers noticed turned into that the parliamentary version could most effective paintings to deal with the various and various corporations inside our population. Also, the stern separation of powers withinside the presidential gadget could purpose conflicts among the 2 branches, the govt and the legislature, which our newly-unbiased united states of america should ill-afford. There are extra parliamentary types of authorities withinside the international than there are presidencies. In this gadget, the parliament is typically ultimate and the govt is accountable to the legislature. It is likewise called the Cabinet shape of presidency, and also ‘Responsible Government’.

Advantages of Parliamentary System


The advantages of the parliamentary system are as follows:

  • Better coordination between the executive and the legislature: Since the executive is a part of the legislature, and generally the majority of the legislature support the government, it is easier to pass laws and implement them.
  • Prevents authoritarianism: Since the executive is responsible to the legislature, and can vote it out in a motion of no confidence, there is no authoritarianism. Also, unlike the presidential system, power is not concentrated in one hand.
  • Responsible government: The members of the legislature can ask questions and discuss matters of public interest and put pressure on the government. The parliament can check the activities of the executive.
  • Representing diverse groups: In this system, the parliament offers representation to diverse groups of the country. This is especially important for a country like India.
  • Flexibility: There is flexibility in the system as the PM can be changed easily if needed. During the Second World War, the British PM Neville Chamberlain was replaced by Winston Churchill. This is unlike the presidential system where he/she can be replaced only after the entire term or in case of impeachment/incapacity.


Disadvantages of Parliamentary System


The disadvantages of the parliamentary system are as follows:

  • No separation of powers: Since there is no genuine separation of powers, the legislature cannot always hold the executive responsible. This is especially true if the government has a good majority in the house. Also, because of anti-defection rules, legislators cannot exercise their free will and vote as per their understanding and opinions. They have to follow the party whip.
  • Unqualified legislators: The system creates legislators whose intention is to enter the executive only. They are largely unqualified to legislate.
  • Instability: Since the governments sustain only as long as they can prove a majority in the house, there is instability if there is no single-largest party after the elections. Coalition governments are generally quite unstable and short-lived. Because of this, the executive has to focus on how to stay in power rather than worry about the state of affairs/welfare of the people.
  • Ministers: The executive should belong to the ruling party. This rules out the hiring of industry experts for the job.
  • Failure to take a prompt decision: Since there is no fixed tenure enjoyed by the Council of Ministers, it often hesitates from taking bold and long-term policy decisions.
  • Party politics: Party politics is more evident in the parliamentary system where partisan interests drive politicians more than national interests.
  • Control by the bureaucracy: Civil servants exercise a lot of power. They advise the ministers on various matters and are also not responsible to the legislature.


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