Advantages and Disadvantages of the Parliamentary System.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of the Parliamentary System.

By | April 2013
Page 1 of 6
aThe parliamentary system is one of three most widely used democratic forms of government. It is mainly used by European countries and Commonwealth nations. The former subscribe to the West German model while the latter uses the Westminster model. It is a system whereby the Executive branch is supported either directly or indirectly by the legislative. The head of government, who leads day to day affairs of government, is separate with the head of state that has a ceremonious function. Some parliamentary nations merge the role of the president and prime minister such as South Africa where the president is also a member of parliament. Like all forms of government, there are advantages and disadvantages which shall be discussed below. As mentioned above, this system has many advantages. Firstly and most importantly, it is easier and faster to pass legislation compared to the presidential system which leads to a smoother governance. Usually a bill becomes law within a single session of parliament. In a presidential system specifically in the United States of America (US), the time taken to pass a bill can be anywhere from a few weeks to many years. Many bills though do not get pass. The ease in legislation is due to the structure of this system whereby the majority grouping in the lower house i.e. the direct representatives of the people forms the executive. Thus the executive have the majority support and votes to pass legislation. This is important as it usually prevents legislative gridlock especially in passing the government budget and provides quick response in national emergencies. For example due to opposing parties between houses of Congress, the US had not pass a budget in four years where as Japan’s Diet passed a reconstruction bill within a month after the 2011 tsunami. Secondly, government policies are based more on consensus. Executive power is more spread out among Cabinet ministers unlike in the presidential system where power is focused in the...