Is Parliamentarism Conducive to Better Political Outcomes Than Presidential Systems?

Topics: Presidential system, Parliamentary system, Prime minister Pages: 6 (2257 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Is Parliamentarism conducive to better political outcomes than Presidential systems? My interpretation of the question leads me to believe if parliamentary systems are better than presidential systems in deriving better political outcomes. By better political outcomes this implies not only ease of making political decisions but also the manner in which the two systems function and which is better, and whether or not this leads to favourable political outcomes. Issues that I am going to discuss in this essay are going to include the functionality of both systems, the differences between the two systems and whether or not the system provides and facilitates good political outcomes. According to Bagehot “a Presidential system endows the incumbent with both the ceremonial functions of a head of state and the effective functions of a chief executive.”(Bagehot) In a Presidential system the executive branch exists and resides outside of the legislature. The executive branch does not purpose legislature but have the power to veto them. “The president has a fixed term in government and it is usually a difficult process trying to eliminate the president.”(Verney) The executive branch controls their cabinet and does not members of the cabinet serve at their will, this means the President can hire or fire anyone from the cabinet. According to Verney “Parliamentary system, consists of the head of government that are dependent on the confidence of the legislature and can be dismissed by a legislative vote of no confidence.”(Verney) There are two main types of parliamentary democracy which consist of the ‘Westminster system’ and the ‘Consensus system’ but there is also a hybrid of the presidential and parliamentary system which is called the semi-presidential system. The Westminster system derives from the UK and can be found in many of Britain’s ex-colonies such as India and Canada. The Westminster system tends to be a more adversarial style of debating. The consensus system can be found in Germany and Spain and tends to be more consensus style of debating system. Firstly, legislation is always a key factor to answering the question as to which of the following systems is conducive to better political outcomes. Linz argues that “in a Presidential system both Legislature and the executive can claim legitimacy since both drive their power from the votes of the people in free competition among well-defined alternatives, a conflict is always possible.”(Linz)This occurs because a Presidential system adopts the separation of powers format. Presidential systems usually but not exclusively reside in Federal countries. This allows for a separation of powers between the legislature and executive. This separation can be looked at in different forms, some advantageous and hinders to political outcomes. For example an advantage of having the separation of powers in the Presidential system is that it does not create a dictatorship type of government. The separation of powers means that in the Presidential system the executive as well as the legislature are can both claim legitimacy, which in turn means that they can both cancel each other out. Presidents cannot impose laws and legislature cannot interfere with presidential powers. In the United States there is a supreme court that decides whether or not the legislature or the President are acting unconstitutional and thus act as a referee in the debating between the two factions of government. The presidential system is seen to be more democratic because of the conflict between the two factions of government. The congress in the US represent the different views of the people in different states and the president represents the US as a whole thus a conflict between the two bodies shows a more democratic process. The Presidential system also has fixed term elections, this is a key argument used by pro-presidential academics, and Horowitz argues that fixed term elections leads to better democratic...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Is the Presidential System of Government Better Than Parliamentary System in Case of New Democracies? Essay
  • Presidential Systems Essay
  • compare and contrast parliamentary and presidential system in the Caribbean Essay
  • Political system Essay
  • The State of Two Political Systems Essay
  • The Parliamentary system vs. The Presidential system Essay
  • A Mixture of Presidential and Prime Ministerial System Essay
  • Difference Between Presidential and Parlimentry System Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free