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Presidental and Parliamentary Systems of Government - Term Paper Example

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Presidential and Parliamentary Systems of Government Introduction In the US, presidential democracy functions better under certain conditions such as separation of powers, and checks and balances, provided there is strict adherence to these requirements. The following discussion will establish this contention…
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Presidental and Parliamentary Systems of Government
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Download file to see previous pages Finally, conclusions were arrived at. The presidential separation of powers is not typical of modern constitutionalism. As such, there are several constitutional democracies that depict the commingling of governmental powers. Most of these systems of government are parliamentary systems. Such systems exhibit reliance of the head of government on the legislature for political survival. Another important trait exhibited by such governments is the power of the executive to declare elections by bringing about dissolution of the legislature.1 In the presidential systems of government, such powers are rarely encountered. These systems uphold the principle of separation of powers. The latter provides a governmental branch with the power to oversee the actions of the other branches, which generates a system of governance based on mutual distrust between the various branches of the government. Such invasive overlap among government branches ensures that no specific branch of government obtains absolute power.2 In the US, delegation of power is quite strong, and society is politically active to a considerable extent, and there is extraordinary support from all quarters to the principle of democracy. Thus, the US represents a strong presidential system of government that differs from the Westminster model of democracy. The latter supports parliamentary democracy.3 The presidential system of the US establishes a strong President in the White House, who acts as the head of the state. In the Westminster model, the Prime Minister holds the position of pre-eminence. Despite these differences, both models focus on the concentration of power in the political party that has control over the legislature. In some democratic countries of Latin America, power is concentrated in the hands of a single person or party. Examples of such regimes are to be found in Venezuela, Colombia, and Costa Rica. 4 In the presidential systems of Greece and France, the President is elected by the people and power is concentrated in the office of the President. These systems are known as delegate democracies. 5 The presidential system of government frequently includes a bicameral legislature. The passage of any law requires control over the executive, and the upper and lower houses of the legislature. These three entities are not elected at the same time and in the same election, which drastically increases the scope for dissent. 6 Parliamentary democracy is characterized by comparatively better stability. However, development in a country results in people aspiring for greater freedom with regard to expressing dissent. In addition, there is a greater tendency to spread different viewpoints. In the UK these desires have led to a gradual transition of the system of government towards the presidential system. 7 In fact, there is little of the original Westminster model that pertains to the political system prevalent in the UK. It is now quite apparent that the parliamentary system with its stability and authoritarian norms is apt only as far as the developing nations are concerned. With growth among the populace of a nation, it becomes essential to adopt a system of government that replicates a presidential system of governance. 8 The President in a presidential system of governance appoints the members of the Cabinet. In general, the latter are not members of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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