President System vs Parliament System

Topics: Presidential system, Parliamentary system, Separation of powers Pages: 8 (2794 words) Published: May 24, 2008
Presidential Government VS Parliamentary Government

Canada and the U.S. are ruled under two different political systems of government which are parliamentary government and presidential government. These two government systems are the most fundamental and dominant government methods in the world. The main issue and debate that has been concerned is that which form of government is more superior to the other. It will provide on the characteristics of parliamentary system and also characteristics of the presidential system. Moreover, comparison of main elements of these two systems will be examined as well. Contemporary examples from both the Canadian and the U.S system will be illustrated to strengthen main differences. This paper will argue on the debate between presidential and parliamentary system, and will prove that form of presidential government is more superior to the parliamentary system. The supportive statements will be provided throughout this essay. There are certain features on parliamentary government and presidential government. Parliamentary system, according to Warwick, “[is] also known as parliamentarianism, is equated with Westminster variant, which, in its pure form, envisages a single, highly disciplined party in firm control of both the executive and the legislative branches of government” (Warwick, 2006, p.1). The origin of parliamentary government can be dated back to the government that started in kingdom of Great Britain during the 17th and 18th century. Several countries gradually adopted and reformed the system to best align with their political background (Dyck, 2006). The parliament usually consists of two chambers which are elected lower house and upper house. The representatives in the lower house are elected directly by the public as their political representatives, but the senate in the upper house are appointed or elected by using different methods from the lower house (“UNDP’s WWW Governance”.n.d.). The prime minister, the head of government is nominated from the majority party in the parliament. He/she is not directly elected by public in the election process. Also in event of dismissal by vote of no confidence in parliament, the public is not directly related in this matter. Therefore new election can be held by political parties in parliament to appoint new prime minister and his/her cabinet (Reestman, 2006 & Dyck, 2006). The prime minister has a power that can dismiss the parliament when the prime minister perceives a low influence in the parliament, only under agreement with the head of state. The power given to the prime minister can be very influential, because he/she can select the election date that brings the best chance of winning the election for its party. Therefore he/she can maintain its authority and power over the parliament and executive (Bradshaw, 1981). The dual executive is one of characteristics in parliamentary system. The head of government is given to the prime minister, but the head of state is awarded by the monarch or president. In Canada, the head of government is the prime minister, but the head of state (governor general) is appointed by the monarch of Great Britain. It is important to distinguish the roles of the head of government and the head of state. The prime minister, the head of government, has the power and authority to make and execute political decisions. On the other hand, the monarch or president, the head of state, is a symbolical figure of the state and has ceremonial power (Dyck, 2006 & Reestman, 2006). It seems that the prime minister in the parliamentary system only conducts political work. However, the main role of the monarch or president is to be a symbolical figure to the public. This appears to be an inefficient way of splitting of roles because the prime minister can hardly be identified as political leader by public, but it can alleviate the prime minister’s national responsibility and burden. The fusion of power between the...
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