Parliamentary and presidential goverment using The United States and Italy as an example. A parliamentary government is one in which a prime minister or premier holds office as long as he or she commands a majority in the parliament, which is the primary legislative body concerned with public affairs. The presidential system refers to the chief executive of a government, which has no prime minister. One major difference between a parliamentary system and a presidential form of government concerns the elections process.
In a presidential government, the president and members of Congress are chosen in separate elections while in a parliamentary process, one size fits all, so to speak. Also in a parliamentary system the parliament can vote a governing body out of office, while the United States Congress, except in extreme cases of impeachment, cannot. Indirectly, this signifies a weak position for the chief executive in a presidential system of government. The president is unable to dissolve government and order a new election, which a British Prime Minister is well within his or her rights to do.
Another very big difference is that in presidential type of government both the executive and legislature are independent of each other and each having certain checks on the power of other and in parliamentary type of government both the legislature and executive are unified and controlled by the same person. Parliamentary government is always democratic although a presidential system is never parliamentary. Within the parliamentary system, both the legislature and the chief executive must be in agreement on policy, and if they aren’t, they must work at it until they are.
A nation’s type of government refers to how that state’s executive, legislative, and judicial organs are organized. All nations need some sort of government to avoid anarchy. Democratic governments are those that permit the nation’s citizens to manage their government either directly or through elected representatives. This is opposed to authoritarian governments that limit or prohibit the direct participation of its citizens. Two of the most popular types of democratic governments are the presidential and parliamentary systems. The office of President characterizes the presidential system.
The President is both the chief executive and the head of state. The President is unique in that he or she is elected independently of the legislature. The powers invested in the President are usually balanced against those vested in the legislature. In the American presidential system, the legislature must debate and pass various bills. The President has the power to veto the bill, preventing its adoption. However, the legislature may override the President’s veto if they can muster enough votes. The American President’s broadest powers rest in foreign affairs.
The President has the right to deploy the military in most situations, but does not have the right to officially declare war. More recently the American President requested the right to approve treaties without the consent of the legislature. The American Congress denied this bill and was able to override the President’s veto. In parliamentary governments the head of state and the chief executive are two separate offices. Many times the head of state functions in a primarily ceremonial role, while the chief executive is the head of the nation’s legislature.
The most striking difference between presidential and parliamentary systems is in the election of the chief executive. In parliament systems, the chief executive is not chosen by the people but by the legislature. Typically the majority party in the parliament chooses the chief executive, known as the Prime Minister. However, in some parliaments there are so many parties represented that none hold a majority. Parliament members must decide among themselves whom to elect as Prime Minister. The fusion of the legislative and executive branches in the parliamentary system tends to lead to more discipline among political party members.
Party members in parliaments almost always vote strictly along party lines. Presidential systems, on the contrary, are less disciplined and legislators are free to vote their conscious with fewer repercussions from their party. Debate styles also differ between the two systems. Presidential system legislators make use of a filibuster, or the right to prolong speeches to delay legislative action. Parliamentary systems will call for cloture, or an end to debate so voting can begin. In a Presidential system, there is a strong executive branch that is directly elected by the people.
We have a presidential system in the US. A parliamentary system has a congressional election, whereby the citizens vote for the political party, not the individual. When a party receives, say 30% of the vote, that party receives 30% of the congressional seats. Any party that receives more than 50% of the vote, or can join with another party to get 50%, they get to appoint a Prime Minister to act as the executive. I believe our system is more efficient because the President has a definite term of four years, and doesn’t have to worry about more frequent elections or a coalition of parties that can dissolve at any time.
In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister can call for early elections at any time as well, for example, if he/she thinks they are popular enough to win, their party can get them a new full term. Our elections are every four years according to the Constitution, period. I do like that in a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister has to address Parliament regularly and answer direct questions from the opposition without a script. It’s much more genuine and entertaining debate that way, but not necessarily more efficient.
The description of the system already given is fine; I would only comment on efficiency. The Parliamentary system seems more tolerant of 3rd parties. Sometimes, when no party has more than half the seats, coalitions must be created to give the Prime Minister the authority that he needs. But sometimes, when there are many different “parties” involved in the coalition, it is almost impossible to get anything done. Our system may have the same problem when the executive and all/part of the legistlative branches are from different parties.
Since the parties seem to believe that they can latch on to power “forever,” they do not always act in the interest of the people, especially when the minority party’s only interest seems getting power “back” again. Our recent experience with the Health Care proposals indicate how our system can be ground to a halt. I think this all may be good. The old “Act in haste, repent at leisure” may have a great deal of truth in it. I’m not sure how you are using the word “efficient,” but I think the important thing for a government is to do the correct thing for the people, even if it seem “inefficient” in doing so.
Both forms of government have been around for a long time, and both seem to get the job done, so they may be equally efficient just “different. ” What I like about the parliamentary system is the fact that people can know who to blame when things go wrong. Here in the US, the Democrats get voted into office but they can’t do what they want because the Republicans can stop them through the filibuster. So if things don’t get done, whose fault is it? The Dems for not compromising? The GOP for not compromising? In England, if things go bad, you know that Labour is the only party to blame.
The Tories have no real power, so it’s clear who is in charge. It would be nice to have that kind of clarity. A Parliamentary system has a Prime Minister, his or her party, and loyal opposition. The Executive and Legislative functions are a bit merged. A Branch system, on the other hand, further segregates governmental powers and has an Executive Office, Legislature, and Judiciary. “Efficiency” and “government” are akin to water and oil. They have nothing to do with each other. What is the benefit of government being efficient?
Ramming through social agendas to the dismay of the ousted opposition? Finding quicker ways to enact burdensome laws? Crafting a method to bailout immediately failed industries with taxpayer money? The function of government is not to be efficient; the function of government is to safeguard rights. Similarly, Presidents and Prime Ministers are oil and water. Prime ministers may lead the party in power and promote agendas; Presidents, by Constitutional standards, have no such authority since that is the function of the legislature.
A president is not supposed to lead a political party, but merely be a member of one. Regarding political parties, we were never supposed to be limited to two. That has evolved simply because Congress has enacted bylaws to keep 3rd parties restricted. However, without new parties with new people with new ideas, elitist representation evolves; no wonder people are tired of demipulicans and republicrats. Real change has no chance. It’s even worse than that. Not only has Congress restricted the number of parties, it has restricted the number of seats in representation.
By so doing, congressional districts become odd amalgams of discontiguous voting blocs and true representation, along with true debate, is further diminished. Having removed those restrictions, Congress would be much more viable, debate would be fruitful, representation would be accurate, and the legislative branch would start doing its job. The Executive Office (President) would return to figurehead status, and as far as legislation’s concerned, would only enact or veto acts of Congress, like that office was supposed to.
A Branch system, when operating as designed, would be more effective than a Parliamentary system, if only because Executive and Legislative power is not concentrated in one organ of government. Separating powers and maintaining the system of checks and balances is the best way to safeguard individual rights, which is the function of government. One of the key features of any political system is the relationship between the assembly and the government, that is, the relationship between legislative and executive authority.
In exceptional cases, a form of assembly government may develop in which executive and legislative power is vested in the assembly, there being no separate executive body. Such a system, for example, briefly emerged under the radical democracy of Rousseau during the French Revolution. In other cases, such as communist regimes, both the legislative and executive bodies have been subordinate to the unchallengeable authority of a ‘ruling’ party. However, assembly – executive relations more commonly conform to one of two institutional arrangements.
Parliamentary and Presidential systems of government. Most liberal democracies have adopted some form of parliamentary government. These are often based on the model of the UK parliament (Westminster Parliament. ) Often portrayed as the ‘mother of parliaments’, the origins of the Westminster model can be traced back to the 13th Century, when knights were incorporated into the king’s court. During the 14th Century, separate chambers, the Lords and the Commons, were built to represent the knights on the one hand, and the barons and churchmen on the other.
Parliaments supremacy over the king was not established until the revolution of 1688, and its capacity to call government to account not recognised until the gradual emergence of a democratic franchise during the 19th Century. Similar parliamentary systems came into existence in states like Germany, Sweden, India, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. The central feature of these systems is a fusion of legislative and executive power, that government is parliamentary in that it is drawn from the assembly or parliament. The strength of this system is that it supposedly delivers effective but responsible government.
Government is effective because it rests on the confidence of the assembly and so can, in most cases, ensure that its legislative programme is passed. In short, government can get things done. However, responsible government is maintained because the government can only govern as long as it retains the confidence of the assembly. In theory, the assembly has the upper hand because it has the ultimate power, which is the ability to remove the government. Unfortunately, however, parliamentary systems often fail to live up to these high expectations.
Certainly, there are examples such as Sweden in which the assembly (the Riksdag) exerts a strong policy influence without threatening to immobilise the workings of government. However, parliamentary government is often associated with the problem of executive domination. This is the case in the UK, where a combination of strict party discipline and a disproportional electoral system normally allows government to control Parliament through a cohesive and reliable majority in the House of Commons (HOC. ) The UK has therefore repeatedly been called an ‘elected dictatorship.
’ Parliamentary systems have also been linked with week government and political instability. This usually occurs when the party system is fractured, and it is often associated with highly proportional electoral systems. For example, in France between 1945-58, 25 governments came and went. Similar problems have afflicted post World War 2 Italian politics. A polarised multiparty system led to the establishment of no less than 52 governments between 1945-96. The principal alternative to a parliamentary system is a presidential system of government.
Presidential systems are based on the strict application of the doctrine of the separation of powers. This ensures that assemblies and executives are formally independent from one another and separately elected. The classic example of this is found in the USA, where the so-called ‘founding fathers’ were particularly anxious to prevent the emergence of an over-strong executive, fearing that presidency might assume the mantle of the British monarchy. The resulting system therefore incorporated a network of checks and balances.
Congress, the US presidency and the Supreme Court are separate institutions, in the sense that no overlap of personnel is permitted, but nevertheless poses the ability to constrain one another’s power. Thus, while Congress has the ability to make law, the president can veto it, but congress can, in turn, override this veto with a two-thirds majority in both houses. In the same way, although the president has the power to make senior executive and judicial appointments, these are subject to confirmation by the upper house, the Senate.
Outside the USA, US-style presidential systems have largely been confined to Latin America. However, a semi-presidential system was established in France in this last half century. In this system, there is a ‘duel executive’ in which a separately elected president works in conjunction with a prime minister and cabinet drawn from and responsible to the National Assembly. How such a system works in practice depends on the delicate balance between, on the one hand, the personal authority and popularity of the president and, on the other, the political complexion of the National Assembly.
The principal goal of presidential systems is that, by separating legislative power from executive power, they create internal tensions that help to protect rights and liberties. As shown in the USA where the danger of executive domination is protected against by the powers vested in the Congress. For instance, Congress has the right to declare war and raise taxes, the Senate must ratify treaties and confirm presidential appointments, and the to houses can combine to charge and impeach the president. Such fragmentation, however, may also have drawbacks.
In particular, presidential systems may be ineffective and cumbersome because they offer an ‘invitation to struggle’ to executive and legislative branches of government. It has been argued, that since the US system allows the president to propose and Congress to dispose, it is nothing more than a mixture for institutional deadlock. This might be more likely when the White House and Capitol Hill are controlled by rival parties, but can also occur, as the Carter administration of 1977-81 demonstrated, when the same party controls both branches.
Presidential System A presidential system, also called a congressional system, is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides (hence the term) separately from the legislature, to which it is not accountable and which cannot in normal circumstances dismiss it It owes its origins to the medieval monarchies of France, England and Scotland in which executive authority was vested in the Crown, not in meetings of the estates of the realm (ie. parliament): the Estates-General of France, the Parliament of England or the Estates of Scotland.
The concept of separate spheres of influence of the executive and legislature was copied in the Constitution of the United States, with the creation of the office of President of the United States. Perhaps ironically, in England and Scotland (since 1707 as the Kingdom of Great Britain, and since 1801 as the United Kingdom) the power of a separate executive waned to a ceremonial role and a new executive, answerable to parliament, evolved while the power of the United States’s separated executive increased.
This has given rise to criticism of the United States presidency as an “imperial presidency” though some analysts dispute the existence of an absolute separation, referring to the concept of “separate institutions sharing power”. Although not exclusive to republics, and applied in the case of absolute monarchies, the term is often associated with republican systems in the Americas Parliamentary System parliamentary system, also known as parliamentarianism (and parliamentarism in U. S. English), is distinguished by the executive branch of government being dependent on the direct or indirect support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence.
Hence, there is no clear-cut separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, leading to a differing set of checks and balances compared to those found in a presidential republic.
Parliamentary systems usually have a clear differentiation between the head of government and the head of state, with the head of government being the prime minister or premier, and the head of state often being an elected (either popularly or through parliament) president or hereditary monarch. Though in Parliamentary systems the prime minister and cabinet will exercise executive power on a day-to-day basis, actual authority will usually be bestowed in the head of state, giving them many codified or uncodified reserve powers, providing some balance to these systems.
The term parliamentary system does not mean that a country is ruled by different parties in coalition with each other. Such multi-party arrangements are usually the product of an electoral system known as proportional representation. Parliamentary countries that use “first past the post” voting usually have governments composed of one party. However, parliamentary systems in continental Europe do use proportional representation, and tend to produce election results in which no single party has a majority of seats.
Parliamentarianism may also be for governance in local governments. An example is the city of Oslo, which has an executive council as a part of the parliamentary system. The council-manager system of municipal government used in some U. S. cities bears many similarities to a parliamentary system. Both systems have their merits and downfalls. I can’t answer your second question – I am Australian and have only known one system Parliamentary.