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Compare and contrast parliamentary and congressional democracies - Essay Example

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Parliamentary and Congressional Democracies Name: Institution: PARLIAMENTARY AND CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRACIES The differences between congressional and parliamentary structures of government are, at heart, minute. In parliamentary governments, for example, the UK, India and Canada, the executive branch of government is the legislature’s subordinate…
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Compare and contrast parliamentary and congressional democracies
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"Compare and contrast parliamentary and congressional democracies"

Download file to see previous pages This paper aims to answer this question, as well as consider which of the two is best and why. To evaluate the congressional and parliamentary systems, we must first understand the basic political structure. The legislature, in modern political systems, is representative of the population (Cheibub, 2011). It is composed of members elected indirectly or directly via a popular vote and are empowered to change, make or repeal the nation’s laws and also to regulate and levy its taxes. Legislatures that provide for direct representation are considered, as being extra democratic since they are less liable to domination by one faction. The executive is devoted to the administration and enforcement of laws created by the legislature. The key to variance found between the two systems is the relationship shared by the legislature and the executive and their degree of linkage (Cheibub, 2011). Under a parliamentary democracy, the executive is subordinate to the legislature’s majority (Cheibub, 2011). The executive is required to keep the legislature’s majority in check to remain in power. This is the key to stability since it promotes the creation and development of disciplined and cohesive parties, as well as emphasizing on compromise and cooperation. To keep the majority, the government, may have to form coalitions with other parliamentary parties to build a majority base on mutual gain and compromise. Parliamentary system structure also allows for easy power transition since the leadership is based on parties rather than individuals. As opposed to a parliamentary structure, a presidential form of democracy separates the legislature and the executive (Cheibub, 2011). The president gains power, not through a majority in the legislature, but through a direct election. The population in this system will vote for an individual rather than a party. The winner then becomes president for a fixed term. In a majority of the cases, a major political party backs the President, and gains popularity based on party stature and personal qualities (Cheibub, 2011). The discrepancy between the two begins with the origin of the two words (Cheibub, 2011). Congress comes from the Latin word that means coming together, where representatives from all over the country come together to discuss state matters. Parliament, however, is rooted, in a French term meaning, to talk since a lot of talking goes on, in parliament. A congress is based on primary elections where the population elects their candidates based on individual office plans and personalities while, in parliament, the delegates are elected to run by their parties based on their willingness to adhere by party standards. In congress, the party really means more in elections than the individual does. In a parliamentary democracy, the PM and his cabinet are elected from the country’s majority party in parliament. Therefore, if the members begin to vote against the ideals of their party, then the government may come apart and force new elections. Because of this, most parties restrict the freedoms of their delegates to ensure the PM safety. In congress, however, the branch of the executive is separated entirely from the legislature and it allows members to vote based on the wishes of their constituents and their consciences, without fearing harming the government permanently. This increased power of the individual leads to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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