Explain the Difference Between Parliamentary and Presidential Forms of Government. What Is the Advantage of Each? Discuss

Topics: Presidential system, Parliamentary system, Legislature Pages: 6 (1994 words) Published: October 10, 2012
Explain the difference between parliamentary and presidential forms of government. What is the advantage of each? Discuss

My essay today will be focusing on the differences between the parliamentary and presidential forms of government. I will be looking at the characteristics of each. I will also be looking at the key differences between the two government systems and lastly the advantages of each system.

Characteristics of a Parliamentary Government

There are certain factors that are common to and define a parliamentary government. The source of parliamentary government is the British system which as it expanded its reach around the world, implanted its forms of government in various countries around the world.. I will be analyzing what the overall parliamentary key factors are. Douglas V. Verney illustrates the elements of a parliamentary system of government. I will also be using the work of Roland Young and John Carey and to further my discussion.

The most basic elements of a parliamentary system are that the assembly selects the executive and that the executive is subject to legislative confidence. (Carey)

A Parliamentary government is the majorly adopted type of government system. There are two main types of parliamentarian in practice currently in the world. These are the British parliamentary government and the continental parliamentary government. I will be focusing on the practices of the British parliamentarism (Verney)

A key factor of a parliamentary system is that it must have a Government that must consist of people elected from the Parliament. These Ministers must adhere to the direction and a degree of control by the parliament when doing their assigned tasks. The Government is responsible for dealing with the administrative tasks of the country. Specifically dealing with public affairs. The relationship between the Government and Parliament is one in which the Government is required to manage and lead and the Parliament is to lend its support to but hold the government responsible for its actions. The Government is unchallenged in certain areas such as public legislation however in other areas the parliament has certain control. The parliament is always able to provide criticism and influence to all government decision. Government should inform parliament first about all changes in policy and that parliament has to provide consent to changes in policy which may culminate in the enactment of new laws, subsidy laws and taxes. In limited causes however, Government may only officially inform Parliament of changes only once the changes have been implemented, thereby asserting a certain extent of authority. In cases that the Parliament response is obvious the process becomes purely ceremonial. (Young)

The first universal characteristic of a parliamentary system is the idea that the parliament is seen as ruler over all aspects of its structure. None of the basic elements of a parliamentary system has control over another of its parts. The structure is set up in such a way that each of the main sectors are dominated by another sector in order to ensure that there is a degree of control. The government itself depends on the assembly for backing and consequently the assembly is at the mercy of the government, which has the option to remove the assembly and request elections if necessary. More often than not the parliamentary systems have not succeeded because either the government or assembly strove to attain too much power over the parliament. Additionally in many ways, parliamentary government applies by general democratic rules. (V. Verney, 33)

Characteristics of a Presidential Government

Arend Lijhart’s study of a parliamentary and presidential government is useful in determining the characteristics that make up a presidential government. This will give an overall view as to how the presidential elements of government work. John Carey ‘s works will also be used in order to...

Bibliography: * Carey, J., (2005). Handbook of New Institutional Economics. Springer: Printed in New Zealand
* Lijphart, A., (1991). Constitutional Choices For New Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press
* Linz, J., (1999). Journal of Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
* Verney, D., (1979). The Analysis of Political Systems. London: Continuum International Publishing
* Young, R., (1962). The British Parliament. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press
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