Pros and Cons of Parliamentary and Presidential System in a New Country
Category : Politics Essays
Pros and Cons of Parliamentary and Presidential
System in a New Country
In order to be recognised as a new and independent country, such nation must be able to determine what system of government should be used. If the new country will choose the democratic form of government, there are two systems to be chosen. These include parliamentary and the presidential system. The main goal of this paper is to determine the pros and cons of parliamentary and presidential system in a new country.
Parliamentary and Presidential System
Parliamentary democracy and
presidential democracy are alike in many
ways when comparisons are drawn from two similarly strong western liberal democratic systems. They both enjoy the same fundamental principles of liberal democracy, with those living under this system enjoying the same rights and freedoms with comparable economic conditions. The real difference between these two systems lies in the division of power (). Parliamentarism has been defined as having the parliament as the only democratically legitimate institution is parliament, whereby the government’s authority is completely dependent upon parliamentary confidence. (). While argues that there are three conditions necessary to declare a system parliamentary: All major government decisions must be taken by people chosen in elections conducted along party lines. Policy must be decided within governing party (parties if coalition). The highest officials (ministers) must be selected within their parties and be responsible to the people through their parties. On the other hand, in presidential systems according to , an executive with considerable constitutional powers - generally including full control of the composition of the cabinet and administration - is directly for a fixed term. The president is also the symbolic Head of State.
Pros and Cons of Parliamentary
The parliamentary type of democratic government has many advantages. One of which is the leader of the parliamentary form of government is noted to become more dynamic and responsive to all the need of its people. Since, the Prime Minister is accountable to all its actions, the people can easily determine if the leader does not adhere to their needs, thus, the people can easily replace the Prime Minister (). Furthermore, the parliamentary form is capable of reducing or preventing legislative gridlock. Since the power is solely given to the Prime Minister the possibility of having problems regarding legislative congestion is prevented. In addition, it can also be said that parliamentary is more flexible and it has larger capacity to ensure continuity and stability in governance. . In a parliamentary system there is always the potential for coalition forming that make parties toe the line and line become to extreme so as to keep all options open, which is not so in a presidential system.
Although, parliamentary form of democracy has many advantages, it also has some consequences. One of which is the notion of having multi-party system. It is said that the dynamics of parliamentary type needs a genuine multi-party system based on distinct ideologies. Hence, if the new country do not have such system and ideologies there is a tendency that this form of government will lead to a greater problems. In addition, the dissolution of parliament and a change in the cabinet members may result in the paralization of the functions of the government. Moreover, there is a tendency that the Prime Minister may abuse its power because no other people may oppose his or her decisions.
Pros and Cons of Presidential Form
The supporters of presidential form of democracy claims four basic advantages of this scheme. First, in this form of democracy, the president is generally and directly elected by the people. To some, such system makes the president’s power more legitimate that the other leader which had been appointed indirectly. In addition, this system makes the presidency and the legislature as two parallel structures. It is believed that this arrangement allows each structure to supervise or see the work of the other to prevent power abuses. Further, some also agreed that a president with strong powers is more skillful in enacting changes and a president by virtue of a fixed term may have the capacity to provide more stability than a prime minister who can be replaced any time.
Some of the consequences of using presidential form of democratic government is It has the tendency to destroy weak democracy, if democracy is defined as just 25 years of uninterrupted democracy then presidential systems have not fared well, with there being only 4 successful presidential systems in place compared to 24 that have parliamentary systems. Many have argued that democracy is stronger where elites opt for a parliamentary rather that a presidential system.
With zero-sum election it’s a
winner take all game with the failed
opposition excluded from politics for the next few (7) years. There is also the problem of dual-legitimacy as both branches of government are elected by the people which have the grater claim to legitimacy. This problem is clearly shown in the French system during a period of cohabitation where the powers of the President become constrained to a large degree and is obliged to give a large measure of his power to the Prime Minister from the opposing camp ().
Having been able to see the pros and cons of each type or form of democracy, it is still depends on the people of the new country to identify the most suitable form of government. Such pros and consequences mentioned above can be used as a vital and essential factor to have the best and appropriate form of government in the nation.