Parliamentary System vs Presidential System

parliament

Background :-

  • In general, there are two types of government. They are ‘parliamentary form of government’ and ‘presidential form of government’.
  • To understand these types of government, first of all you need to know about three main organs of the government.
    • Legislature :- It is an assembly, which makes laws for the country.
    • Executive :- This organ of the government has the authority and responsibility to enforce laws.
    • Judiciary :- It is the system of courts, which applies law on behalf of the state.

1)Parliamentary System :-

  • The head of the state and the the head of the government are different persons. ‘President’ is the head of the state and ‘Prime Minister’ is the head of the government.
  • In the parliamentary system, power is assigned to different government bodies, i.e. power is decentralized.
  • Executive branch is accountable to legislature.
  • India, UK, Australia are some of the countries, which follow parliamentary form of government.

Merits :-

  • Power decentralization helps to keep the power in check.
  • Decisions are always taken by the group of representatives. This helps to take every one’s point of view in consideration instead of ignoring it. It may take more time but decisions are made after deep and detailed discussion over each aspect of the subject.
  • This kind of government is more democratic in nature.
  • Executive and legislative branches are linked together to work as a single body.
  • As people from different religions or regions can be representatives and part of the government, they can raise their voice against any kind of partiality. Also, they have the authority to raise their voice against the misuse of power by any governing body.
  • People also have equal opportunity to take part in the government. No one can be a boss in the parliamentary system.
  • Government have to take approval of the parliament before making any decision.
  • People can challenge the rules & decisions made by the government.
  • The elections can be called and held at any time, if the need arises.

Demerits :-

  • In the parliamentary system, we don’t always get quality leaders. In India, many leaders have some kind of criminal background. Some of them also have charges against the serious crimes like murder, rape, kidnapping etc.
  • The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister depends on their respective parties for the selection of the ministers, which is generally made by the party head and other influential members of the party. They also mostly depend on their parties for the support to the decisions they take. This limits their power.
  • Every single decision is made after a lot of discussion which makes the whole process of the decision making a very slow and time consuming procedure.
  • More the distribution of the power, more the misuse. Due to this, corruption has spread it’s roots deep down in the system. 
  • If one party is in the majority, it can easily implement and approve of the bills and decisions it wants to be implemented.

2)Presidential system :-

  • The head of the state and the head of the government are the same person, i.e., president. He holds the power over both of them.
  • The presidential government is generally centralized system where the president has the ultimate power.
  • President leads executive branch, which is separate from the legislature.
  • USA, Brazil, South Korea are some of the countries, which follow presidential form of government.
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Merits :-

  • In a presidential system, the entire country can vote to directly choose their president.
  • The elections are held on the strict decided schedules that doesn’t change unless very important.
  • Under  the presidential system, the president is free to choose his cabinet of ministers from outside the members of the legislature. He is not tied to the legislature.
  • As the president is solely responsible for taking the decisions, procedure can be really faster than that of the parliamentary system. This saves the time and money of the country because the shorter delay means less expenses.
  • Presidential system of government provides stability of the government.
  • The president is free from the influence of the party in his daily routine as compared to the parliamentary system. His ministers are neither political in nature nor he leads any political party in the  legislature. This ensures that he has freedom to carry out his policies without any political pressure.

Demerits :-

  • President is not responsible or answerable to anybody except the voters. This can be risky situation in the democratic governments.
  • Conflicts and deadlocks are created in the presidential government when the executive makes the policies without consultation with the legislature or vice versa. Separation of the powers between the executive and legislature makes it nearly impossible for either of them to overrule each other.
  • Deadlock also happens if the executive and the legislature in such a system include the members from different political parties.
  • Minority votes are suppressed, i.e., the minority groups and positions are marginalized.
  • It is considered a wasted vote if a vote is given to the third minority party, whereas in parliamentary system, minority parties can also influence the government.
  • The rigidity of the presidential system office term can create a profound suspicion of the personalization of power. A president may become a dictator by the help of legislatures in the parliament.

Conclusion :-

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Both forms of the governments have their own merits and demerits. But India is a large country and is a home to many religions, regions, different cultures and several languages. It is not practical to implement the presidential system of government in India.

Every community should be able to participate in the government and must feel that they are also a part of the government and have an important role to play. This can be achieved only through the parliamentary system. Thus the parliamentary form of government is better for our country.

Afterwords :- What is your opinion on this topic. Express your thoughts in the comment section below.

Photo Credits : Nimrod Bar


This article is written by Vaishali Chaudhari. Reproduction of this article is prohibited. All rights reserved @ Group Discussion Ideas.