What are presidentialism and parliamentarism? What are their virtues and vices? Which system is more suitable to new democracies, and why? Any universal answer for all countries?
Word count: 1856
FOK Man Kin Ken
The University of Hong Kong
The emergence of new democracies has stirred up scholars’ concern about the maintenance of political stability (Horowitz, 1990) (Linz, 1990) (Shugart, 2003). Although there are many factors contributing to political stability, it is agreed that electoral design is on the top of the list. (Linz, 1990) Therefore, this essay will focus on presidentialism and parliamentarism to discuss the suitability of each political system in new democracies.
The author presents the argument that parliamentarism together with proportional representation is more suitable than presidentialism. It at first provides the features and example of the two political systems, and thus the virtues and vices of the two. Moreover, it will discuss how can parliamentarism with proportional representation fit into the existing new democracies with concrete examples. Lastly, the author reckons there is no universal answer for every country because of the uniqueness and foreseeable obstacles.
What is the composition of Presidentialism?
In countries under presidentialism, elections will be held separately for legislatures and executives. The president, as on the side of executives, is authorized to choose his or her own cabinet members. It is important to note that there is no overlap of personnel in the two branches, and the president is elected for a fixed term in which he or she cannot be discharged by the Confidence Vote in the parliament. (Heffernan, 2005)
In Brazil, the presidential election is held every four year by absolute majority vote, and the Chamber of Deputies holds election every four year by proportional representation, and the Federal Senates is
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