Comparison Of Presidential And Parliamentary Systems Essay Samples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Politics, President, Government, Democracy, Parliament, Republic, Elections, Head

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/02/25

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Democracy is usually associated with republics. Republic, in turn, aredivided into parliamentary, presidential and semi-presidential. In order to compare both forms of government, we should first study carefully the characteristic features of each system. In general, for each citizen, it is important to understand the differences between the various forms of government to, at least, know how a state apparatus in his country works and how he personally could affect the balance of political powers. A citizen must know how his right to vote, to choose the authorities determines the fate of the state. Both systems are attribute of democratic rule, but, as the further evidence will show, parliamentary system is more advantageous for an ordinary citizen. So the purpose of this essay is to examine separately the parliamentary and presidential regimes, compare their characteristics and show the reasons, why parliamentary form of government is more democratic.

Parliamentary republic

In parliamentary republic the main role in the whole system of power is assigned, as is evident from its name, to the parliament. The Prime ministers are selected by parliament (Dr. Season Hoard). The government is politically responsible to the Parliament, but there are no elections of senior officials by the people. As we can see, the Parliament does play an important role in the life of the state. Overall, we can distinguish such features of a parliamentary regime.
In a parliamentary republic: the parliament is elected by the people; citizens vote for a party, not specific candidates; the parliament forms the government, which consists of members of the parties that have a majority in the parliament; the parliament may revoke the government, expressing its non-confidence; the government may demand the dissolution of the parliament; the parliament elects the president (head of state); it has a mostly representative function, concentration of real power is in the hands of the head of the government - the prime minister or chancellor; the government reports to the parliament, but not to the president; the president has no right to initiate legislation; the president cannot use the veto on the laws of parliament; all his actions and acts require countersignature; the president formally appoints the head of government - the Prime Minister, who is usually the head of the faction, which has a majority in parliament; in some cases, the President may dissolve Parliament.
The parliamentary republic is in some way similar to a constitutional monarchy, if we exclude the question of appointment of the head of state (Dr. Season Hoard).

 President republic

In countries with a presidential regime the leading and dominant role belongs to the president of the country. A distinction is also hyper-super-presidential form of government and, as a kind of presidential. There are also specific types of presidential republics that are mostly deviations towards authoritarian type of regime, which are called superpresidental republics (Dr. Season Hoard). Most of such republics are situated in Africa, though Russia can be considered as such. In superpresidental republics the president concentrates almost all power in their hands, becoming almost a monarch. In order to evaluate the pros and cons of a presidential republic it is necessary to know its basic characteristics.
Presidential system can be characterized by such features: the citizens choose the president by direct or indirect elections; the citizens elect the parliament through a vote; the president is the head of state and also heads the executive branch while being the head of government (but in some cases he appoints the head of government); the president alone forms the government and retires it, he appoints and dismisses the ministers; the president has the right to veto laws passed by the parliament; the president cannot dismiss the parliament; the president has the right of legislative initiative; the president signs the laws; the government reports only to the president; the parliament cannot dismiss the government, but may express non-confidence; the parliament may use its veto on the appointment of a senior official by the president; the parliament may initiate impeachment proceedings in special cases (betrayal of the country, committing especially grave crimes, Monica Lewinsky); the parliament approves the government budget. 
As you can see, the presidential system gives considerable power to the president, who`s authority is limited by the system of checks and balances (Dr. Season Hoard). For example, the president cannot dissolve parliament, because otherwise it would mean the complete concentration of power in his hands as the chief executive and absolute omnipotence that does not correspond to the basic principle of democracy - the separation of powers. Also, we should note the dependence of the government, and thus the head of the government, on the parliament in the budget questions. Since members of the legislature cannot directly influence the composition of the executive body, its activities and its course, they are forced to do it indirectly through the formal approval and adoption of the budget of the government. All this, of course, limits the president, but in practice all these checks and balances are easily ignored, which results in super-presidential republics.


Well, having made characteristics of both parliamentary and presidential regimes, we can compare them.
First thing that really differs are different systems of presidential elections. The parliamentary form of government provides the appointment of the president by the parliament, while in the presidential regime the population chooses the president. Seems more democratic, but on the basis of the following paragraph, we will conclude that it does not matter that much.
The position of President in these forms is different. The president in a parliamentary republic, in contrast to the presidential, does not play any significant role, as head of state, while the Prime Minister (Chancellor) has more authority and heads the executive branch. In the presidential government, however, the state is headed by the President, which concentrates in his hands a huge amount of political power. This means that it simply does not make sense to elect the president by the vote of the population under a parliamentary system, since the president is not a particularly important figure in politics. But with presidential regime the right to choose should belong to the people. 
Various possibilities of the president rule in both types of republics. In a parliamentary republic, the has a mostly representative function, but does not have the right of legislative initiative or the right of veto on the laws of parliament, all his actions require countersignature (Dr. Season Hoard). At the same time, in presidential republic the head of state has all these rights and actively uses them in practice, the president makes decisions himself, does not need permission of the parliament, except for certain cases. But the president is deprived of the opportunity to dissolve parliament, although the president of a parliamentary republic may dissolve the legislative authority only in exceptional cases.
As we can see, the differences in these two forms of government are significant. They mainly concern the scope of the presidents authority and the degree of accountability to the government. Thus, analyzing the data, we are finally able to conclude, that parliamentary republics are more democratic. Of course, the presidential regime with the proper functioning will be democratic, but in practice it happens that the president begins to take more and more power, dominating parliament and promoting their own ideology. Thus, the president has more ways to ignore the system of checks and balances, which is an important criterion of a democratic state. In such way, the state ceases to be democratic, more and more closing to authoritarianism (Dr. Season Hoard).


So, on the basis of the comparison of two forms of republics, we can conclude that the most democratic form of government is a parliamentary form of government, as it has less ways to devolve to authoritarianism. The presidential republic, on the other hand, can quickly become a super-presidential republic, where the president becomes omnipotent. He is actually the king in his state. And he's trying to hold onto this position longer. People cannot control the situation in the country as elections to all authorities are falsified. In a parliamentary republic the prime minister has many obstacles on a way to seize the authotity, while the president has no ways to do so.

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Comparison Of Presidential And Parliamentary Systems Essay Samples. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 25, 2021. Accessed December 05, 2021.

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