Parliamentary system

A parliamentary system is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

Countries with parliamentary democracies may be constitutional monarchies, where a monarch is the head of state while the head of government is almost always a member of parliament (such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Japan), or parliamentary republics, where a mostly ceremonial president is the head of state while the head of government is regularly from the legislature (such as Ireland, Germany, India and Italy). In a few parliamentary republics, such as Botswana, South Africa, and Suriname, among some others, the head of government is also head of state, but is elected by and is answerable to parliament. In bicameral parliaments, the head of government is generally, though not always, a member of the lower house.

Parliamentarianism is the dominant form of government in Europe, with 32 of its 50 sovereign states being parliamentarian. It is also common in the Caribbean, being the form of government of 10 of its 13 island states, and in Oceania. Elsewhere in the world, parliamentary countries are less common, but they are distributed through all continents, most often in former colonies of the British Empire.

Forms of government parliamentary
Map of different parliamentary systems
  Parliamentary republics where parliaments are effectively supreme over a separate head of state.
  Parliamentary republics with an executive president dependent on the legislature.
  Constitutional monarchies in which authority is vested in a parliament.

History

Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders. Eventually, these councils have slowly evolved into the modern parliamentary system.

The first parliaments date back to Europe in the Middle Ages, specifically in 1188 Alfonso IX, King of Leon (Spain) convened the three states in the Cortes of León.[1][2] An early example of parliamentary government developed in today's Netherlands and Belgium during the Dutch revolt (1581), when the sovereign, legislative and executive powers were taken over by the States General of the Netherlands from the then-monarch, King Philip II of Spain. The modern concept of parliamentary government emerged in the Kingdom of Great Britain between 1707–1800 and its contemporary, the Parliamentary System in Sweden between 1721–1772.

In England, Simon de Montfort is remembered as one of the fathers of representative government for holding two famous parliaments.[3][4] The first, in 1258, stripped the King of unlimited authority and the second, in 1265, included ordinary citizens from the towns.[5] Later, in the 17th century, the Parliament of England pioneered some of the ideas and systems of liberal democracy culminating in the Glorious Revolution and passage of the Bill of Rights 1689.[6][7]

In the Kingdom of Great Britain, the monarch, in theory, chaired cabinet and chose ministers. In practice, King George I's inability to speak English led the responsibility for chairing cabinet to go to the leading minister, literally the prime or first minister, Robert Walpole. The gradual democratisation of parliament with the broadening of the voting franchise increased parliament's role in controlling government, and in deciding who the king could ask to form a government. By the nineteenth-century, the Great Reform Act of 1832 led to parliamentary dominance, with its choice invariably deciding who was prime minister and the complexion of the government.[8][9]

Other countries gradually adopted what came to be called the Westminster Model of government, with an executive answerable to parliament, but exercising powers nominally vested in the head of state, in the name of the head of state. Hence the use of phrases like Her Majesty's government or His Excellency's government. Such a system became particularly prevalent in older British dominions, many of whom had their constitutions enacted by the British parliament; examples include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Irish Free State and the Union of South Africa. Some of these parliaments evolved were reformed from, or were initially developed as distinct from their original British model: the Australian Senate, for instance, has since its inception more closely reflected the US Senate than the British House of Lords; whereas since 1950 there is no upper house in New Zealand.

Democracy and parliamentarianism became increasingly prevalent in Europe in the years after World War I, partially imposed by the democratic victors, Great Britain and France, on the defeated countries and their successors, notably Germany's Weimar Republic and the new Austrian Republic. Nineteenth-century urbanisation, the Industrial Revolution and, modernism had already fuelled the political left's struggle for democracy and parliamentarianism for a long time. In the radicalised times at the end of World War I, democratic reforms were often seen as a means to counter popular revolutionary currents.

Characteristics

A parliamentary system may be either bicameral, with two chambers of parliament (or houses) or unicameral, with just one parliamentary chamber. In the case of a bicameral parliament, this is usually characterised by an elected lower house that has the power to determine the executive government and an upper house which may be appointed or elected through a different mechanism from the lower house.

Scholars of democracy such as Arend Lijphart distinguish two types of parliamentary democracies: the Westminster and Consensus systems.[10]

Houses.of.parliament.overall.arp
The Palace of Westminster in London, United Kingdom. The Westminster system originates from the British Houses of Parliament.
Berlin reichstag CP
The Reichstag Building in Berlin, Germany. The Consensus system is used in most Western European countries.
  • The Westminster system is usually found in the Commonwealth of Nations and countries which were influenced by the British political tradition.[11][12][13] These parliaments tend to have a more adversarial style of debate and the plenary session of parliament is more important than committees. Some parliaments in this model are elected using a plurality voting system (first past the post), such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and India, while others use proportional representation, such as Ireland and New Zealand. The Australian House of Representatives is elected using instant-runoff voting, while the Senate is elected using proportional representation through single transferable vote. Regardless of which system is used, the voting systems tend to allow the voter to vote for a named candidate rather than a closed list.
  • The Western European parliamentary model (e.g. Spain, Germany) tends to have a more consensual debating system and usually has semi-circular debating chambers. Consensus systems have more of a tendency to use proportional representation with open party lists than the Westminster Model legislatures. The committees of these Parliaments tend to be more important than the plenary chamber. Some West European countries' parliaments (e.g. in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden) implement the principle of dualism as a form of separation of powers. In countries using this system, Members of Parliament have to resign their place in Parliament upon being appointed (or elected) minister. Ministers in those countries usually actively participate in parliamentary debates, but, are not entitled to vote.

Implementations of the parliamentary system can also differ on the manner of how the prime minister and government are appointed and as to whether the government needs the explicit approval of the parliament, rather than just the absence of its disapproval. Some countries such as India also require the prime minister to be a member of the legislature, though in other countries this only exists as a convention.

  • The head of state appoints a prime minister who will likely have majority support in parliament. While in practice most prime ministers under the Westminster system (including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) are the leaders of the largest party in parliament, technically the appointment of the prime minister is a prerogative exercised by the monarch, the governor-general, or the president. No parliamentary vote takes place on who is forming a government, but since parliament can immediately defeat the government with a motion of no confidence, the head of state is limited by convention to choosing a candidate who can command the confidence of parliament, and thus has little or no influence in the decision.
  • The head of state appoints a prime minister who must gain a vote of confidence within a set time. Examples: Italy, Thailand.
  • The head of state appoints the leader of the political party holding a plurality of seats in parliament as prime minister. For example, in Greece, if no party has a majority, the leader of the party with a plurality of seats is given an exploratory mandate to receive the confidence of the parliament within three days. If this is not possible, then the leader of the party with the second highest seat number is given the exploratory mandate. If this fails, then the leader of the third largest party is given it and so on.
  • The head of state nominates a candidate for prime minister who is then submitted to parliament for approval before appointment. Example: Spain, where the King sends a nomination to parliament for approval. Also, Germany where under the German Basic Law (constitution) the Bundestag votes on a candidate nominated by the federal president. In these cases, parliament can choose another candidate who then would be appointed by the head of state.
  • Parliament nominates a candidate whom the head of state is constitutionally obliged to appoint as prime minister. Example: Japan, where the Emperor appoints the Prime Minister on the nomination of the Diet. Also, Ireland where the President of Ireland appoints the Taoiseach on the nomination of the Dáil.
  • A public officeholder (other than the head of state or their representative) nominates a candidate, who, if approved by parliament, is appointed as prime minister. Example: Under the Swedish Instrument of Government (1974), the power to appoint someone to form a government has been moved from the monarch to the Speaker of Parliament and the parliament itself. The speaker nominates a candidate, who is then elected to prime minister (statsminister) by the parliament if an absolute majority of the members of parliament does not vote no (i.e. he can be elected even if more members of parliament vote No than Yes).
  • Direct election by popular vote. Example: Israel, 1996–2001, where the prime minister was elected in a general election, with no regard to political affiliation, and whose procedure can also be described as of a semi-parliamentary system.[14][15]

Furthermore, there are variations as to what conditions exist (if any) for the government to have the right to dissolve the parliament:

  • In some countries, such as Denmark, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, the prime minister has the de facto power to call an election, at will. This was also the case in the United Kingdom until the passage of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
  • In Israel, parliament may vote in order to call an election or pass a vote of no confidence against the government.
  • Other countries only permit an election to be called in the event of a vote of no confidence against the government, a supermajority vote in favour of an early election or prolonged deadlock in parliament. These requirements can still be circumvented. For example, in Germany in 2005, Gerhard Schröder deliberately allowed his government to lose a confidence motion, in order to call an early election.
  • In Sweden, the government may call a snap election at will, but the newly elected Riksdag is only elected to fill out the previous Riksdag's term. The last time this option was used was in 1958.
  • Norway is unique among parliamentary systems in that the Storting always serves the whole of its four-year term.

The parliamentary system can be contrasted with a presidential system which operates under a stricter separation of powers, whereby the executive does not form part of—nor is appointed by—the parliamentary or legislative body. In such a system, parliaments or congresses do not select or dismiss heads of governments, and governments cannot request an early dissolution as may be the case for parliaments. There also exists the semi-presidential system that draws on both presidential systems and parliamentary systems by combining a powerful president with an executive responsible to parliament, for example, the French Fifth Republic.

Parliamentarianism may also apply to regional and local governments. An example is the city of Oslo, which has an executive council (Byråd) as a part of the parliamentary system.

A few parliamentary democratic nations such as India,[16] Pakistan, and Bangladesh, have enacted an anti-defection law, which prohibits a member of the legislature from switching to another party after being elected. With this law, elected representatives lose their seats in parliament if they vote contrary to the directions of their party.

Advantages and disadvantages

One of the commonly attributed advantages to parliamentary systems is that it is faster and easier to pass legislation,[17] as the executive branch is formed by the direct or indirect support of the legislative branch and often includes members of the legislature. Thus the executive (as the majority party or coalition of parties in the legislature) has a majority of the votes and can pass legislation at will. In a presidential system, the executive is often chosen independently from the legislature. If the executive and the majority of the legislature are from different political parties, then stalemate can occur. Thus the executive might not be able to implement its legislative proposals. An executive in any system (be it parliamentary, presidential or semi-presidential) is chiefly voted into office on the basis of his or her party's platform/manifesto, and the same is also true of the legislature.

In addition to quicker legislative action, a parliamentary government has attractive features for nations that are ethnically, racially, or ideologically divided. In a presidential system, all executive power is vested in one person: the president. In a parliamentary system, with a collegial executive, power is more divided. In the 1989 Lebanese Taif Agreement, in order to give Muslims greater political power, Lebanon moved from a semi-presidential system with a strong president to a system more structurally similar to classical parliamentary government. Iraq similarly disdained a presidential system out of fears that such a system would be tantamount to Shiite domination; Afghanistan's minorities refused to go along with a presidency as strong as the Pashtuns desired.

It can also be argued that power is more evenly spread out in parliamentary government, as the government and prime minister do not have the ability to make unilateral decisions as the entire government cabinet is answerable and accountable to parliament. Parliamentary systems are less likely to allow celebrity-based politics to fully dominate a society unlike what often happens in presidential systems, where name-recall and popularity can catapult a celebrity, actor, or popular politician to the presidency despite such candidate's lack of competence and experience.

In his 1867 book The English Constitution, Walter Bagehot praised parliamentary governments for producing serious debates, for allowing for a change in power without an election, and for allowing elections at any time. Bagehot considered the four-year election rule of the United States to be unnatural, as it can potentially allow a president who has disappointed the public with a dismal performance in the second year of his term to continue on until the end of his 4-year term. Under a parliamentary system, a prime minister that has lost support in the middle of his term can be easily replaced by his own peers.

Some scholars like Juan Linz, Fred Riggs, Bruce Ackerman, and Robert Dahl have found that parliamentary government is less prone to authoritarian collapse. These scholars point out that since World War II, two-thirds of Third World countries establishing parliamentary governments successfully made the transition to democracy. By contrast, no Third World presidential system successfully made the transition to democracy without experiencing coups and other constitutional breakdowns.

A recent World Bank study found that parliamentary systems are associated with less corruption.[18] This study's findings are supported by a separate study that arrived at the same conclusions.[19]

Some constituencies may have a popular local candidate under an unpopular leader (or the reverse), forcing a difficult choice on the electorate. Mixed-member proportional representation (where voters cast two votes) can make this choice easier by allowing voters to cast one vote for the local candidate at the constituency level but also cast a second vote for another party at the wider parliamentary level.

Although Bagehot praised parliamentary governments for allowing an election to take place at any time, the lack of a definite election calendar can be abused. Previously under some systems, such as the British, a ruling party could schedule elections when it felt that it was likely to retain power, and so avoid elections at times of unpopularity. (Election timing in the UK, however, is now partly fixed under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.) Thus, by a wise timing of elections, in a parliamentary system, a party can extend its rule for longer than is feasible in a functioning presidential system. This problem can be alleviated somewhat by setting fixed dates for parliamentary elections, as is the case in several of Australia's state parliaments. In other systems, such as the Dutch and the Belgian, the ruling party or coalition has some flexibility in determining the election date. Conversely, flexibility in the timing of parliamentary elections can avoid periods of legislative gridlock that can occur in a fixed period presidential system. Such feature in being able to time elections whenever it is advantageous to the ruling party is not a real issue, however, as voters ultimately have the ability to still make the choice of whether to vote for the ruling party or not.

It has been well-observed that the rankings of top-performing countries according to performance indices such as list of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita, Human Development Index, Global Competitiveness Report, Corruption Perceptions Index, and many more performance indexes feature most best-performing countries having parliamentary systems, while most worst-performing countries have presidential systems or strong-president semi-presidential systems. This also extends to the fact that majority - if not all - of the countries that dominate top ranks of lists like the Global Liveability Ranking, the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, the Henley Passsport Index, and many such ranking lists use parliamentary systems. In contrast, the list of cities by murder rate shows an overwhelming number of cities found in countries that use presidential systems. In 2017, a paper by the University of York's Economics department argued that "presidential regimes consistently produce less favourable outcomes as compared with parliamentary ones with lower output growth, higher and more volatile inflation and greater income inequality. Moreover, the magnitude of this effect is sizable."[20]

Countries

Africa

Country Connection between the legislature and the executive
 Botswana Parliament of Botswana elects the President who appoints the Cabinet
 Ethiopia Federal Parliamentary Assembly appoints the Council of Ministers
 Mauritius National Assembly appoints the Cabinet of Mauritius
 Somalia Federal Parliament of Somalia elects the President who appoints the Prime Minister
 South Africa Parliament of South Africa elects the President who appoints the Cabinet

Americas

Centre Block - Parliament Hill
Parliament of Canada
Country Connection between the legislature and the executive
 Antigua and Barbuda Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda is appointed Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda by the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, who then appoints the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda on the advice of the Prime Minister
 The Bahamas Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas is appointed Prime Minister of the Bahamas by the Governor-General of the Bahamas, who then appoints the Cabinet of the Bahamas on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Barbados Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Assembly of Barbados is appointed Prime Minister of Barbados by the Governor-General of Barbados, who then appoints the Cabinet of Barbados on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Belize Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Representatives of Belize is appointed Prime Minister of Belize by the Governor-General of Belize, who then appoints the Cabinet of Belize on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Canada Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Commons of Canada is appointed Prime Minister of Canada by the Governor General of Canada, who then appoints the Cabinet of Canada on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Dominica Parliament approves the Cabinet of Dominica
 Grenada Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Representatives of Grenada is appointed Prime Minister of Grenada by the Governor-General of Grenada, who then appoints the Cabinet of Grenada on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Jamaica Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Representatives of Jamaica is appointed Prime Minister of Jamaica by the Governor-General of Jamaica, who then appoints the Cabinet of Jamaica on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the National Assembly of Saint Kitts and Nevis is appointed Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis by the Governor-General of Saint Kitts and Nevis, who then appoints the Cabinet of Saint Kitts and Nevis on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Saint Lucia Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Assembly of Saint Lucia is appointed Prime Minister of Saint Lucia by the Governor-General of Saint Lucia, who then appoints the Cabinet of Saint Lucia on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is appointed Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by the Governor-General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who then appoints the Cabinet of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Suriname National Assembly elects the President, who appoints the Cabinet of Suriname
 Trinidad and Tobago Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago approves the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Asia

Sansad Bhavan-2
Sansad Bhavan, parliament building of India
Knesset Building (South Side)
Knesset of Israel in Jerusalem
Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban (Roehl)
Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban of Bangladesh
Country Connection between the legislature and the executive
 Bangladesh Jatiyo Sangshad approves the Cabinet of Bangladesh
 Bhutan Parliament of Bhutan approves the Lhengye Zhungtshog
 Cambodia Parliament of Cambodia approves the Council of Ministers
 India President of India appoints the leader of the political party or alliance that has the support of a majority in the Lok Sabha as Prime Minister of India, who then forms the Union Council of Ministers
 Iraq Council of Representatives approves the Cabinet of Iraq
 Israel Leader of the political party with the most Knesset seats in the governing coalition is appointed Prime Minister of Israel by the President of Israel. The Prime Minister then appoints the Cabinet of Israel.
 Japan National Diet nominates the Prime Minister who appoints the Cabinet of Japan
 Kuwait National Assembly approves the Crown Prince who appoints the Prime Minister who appoints the Cabinet of Kuwait
 Kyrgyzstan Supreme Council approves the Cabinet of Kyrgyzstan
 Lebanon Maronite Christian president is elected by the Parliament of Lebanon. He appoints the Prime Minister (a Sunni Muslim) and the cabinet. The Parliament thereafter approves the Cabinet of Lebanon through a vote of confidence (a simple majority).
 Malaysia Parliament of Malaysia appoints the Cabinet of Malaysia
 Myanmar Assembly of the Union, by an electoral college, elects the President who forms the Cabinet of Myanmar
   Nepal Parliament of Nepal elects the Prime Minister who, by turn, appoints the Cabinet of Nepal
 Pakistan Parliament of Pakistan appoints the Cabinet of Pakistan
 Singapore Parliament of Singapore approves the Cabinet of Singapore
 Thailand The Monarch appoints the MP nominated by in the House of Representatives (usually the leader of the largest party or coalition) as Prime Minister, who forms the Cabinet of Thailand. Under the current junta, the appointee is nominated by the National Legislative Assembly.

Europe

Zyrat te parlamentit
The administrative building of the Albanian Parliament
Congreso de los Diputados (España) 14
The Congress of Deputies, the lower chamber of Spanish Parliament
Country Connection between the legislature and the executive
 Albania Parliament of Albania approves the Cabinet of Albania
 Andorra
 Armenia National Assembly appoints and (no sooner than one year) can dismiss through the constructive vote of no confidence the Government of Armenia
 Austria In theory, chancellor and ministers are appointed by the President. As a practical matter, they are unable to govern without the support (or at least toleration) of a majority in the National Council. The cabinet is politically answerable to the National Council and can be dismissed by the National Council through a motion of no confidence.
 Belgium Federal Parliament approves the Cabinet of Belgium
 Bulgaria National Assembly appoints the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria
 Croatia Croatian Parliament approves President of Government and the Cabinet nominated by him/her.
 Czech Republic President of the Czech Republic appoints the leader of the largest party or coalition in the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament as Prime Minister, who forms the Cabinet. The Prime Minister must gain a vote of confidence by the Chamber of Deputies.
 Denmark The Monarch appoints, based on recommendations from the leaders of the parties in Folketinget, the cabinet leader who is most likely to successfully assemble a Cabinet which will not be disapproved by a majority in Folketinget.
 Estonia Riigikogu elects the Prime Minister candidate nominated by the President of the Republic (normally this candidate is the leader of the parliamentary coalition of parties). The Government of the Republic of Estonia is later appointed by the President of the Republic under proposal of the approved Prime Minister candidate. The Riigikogu may remove the Prime Minister and any other member of the government through a motion of no confidence.
 Finland Parliament of Finland appoints the Cabinet of Finland
 Germany Bundestag elects the Federal Chancellor (after nomination from the President of Germany), who forms the Cabinet
 Greece Hellenic Parliament approves the Cabinet of Greece
 Hungary National Assembly approves the Cabinet of Hungary
 Iceland The President of Iceland appoints and discharges the Cabinet of Iceland. Ministers can not even resign without being discharged by presidential decree.
 Ireland Dáil Éireann nominates the Taoiseach, who is then appointed by the President of Ireland
 Italy Italian Parliament grants and revokes its confidence in the Cabinet of Italy, appointed by the President of Italy
 Kosovo Assembly of Kosovo appoints the Government of Kosovo
 Latvia Saeima appoints the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia
 Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies appoints the Cabinet of Luxembourg
 Malta House of Representatives appoints the Cabinet of Malta
 Moldova Parliament of Moldova appoints the Cabinet of Moldova
 Montenegro Parliament of Montenegro appoints the Government of Montenegro
 Netherlands Second Chamber of the States-General can dismiss the Cabinet of the Netherlands through a motion of no confidence
 North Macedonia Assembly approves the Government of Macedonia
 Norway The Monarch appoints the MP leading the largest party or coalition in Stortinget as Prime Minister, who forms the Cabinet
 San Marino
 Serbia National Assembly appoints the Government of Serbia
 Slovakia National Council approves the Government of Slovakia
 Slovenia National Assembly appoints the Government of Slovenia
 Spain The Congress of Deputies elects the President of the Government, who forms the Cabinet
 Sweden The Riksdag elects the Prime Minister, who in turn appoints the other members of the Government
  Switzerland A United Federal Assembly elects the members of the Swiss Federal Council
 United Kingdom The monarch appoints the MP leading the largest party or coalition in the House of Commons as Prime Minister, who forms the Cabinet

Oceania

Country Connection between the legislature and the executive
 Australia Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the Australian House of Representatives is appointed Prime Minister of Australia by the Governor-General of Australia, who then appoints the Cabinet of Australia on the advice of the Prime Minister
 New Zealand Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the New Zealand House of Representatives is appointed Prime Minister of New Zealand by the Governor-General of New Zealand, who then appoints the Cabinet of New Zealand on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Papua New Guinea Leader of the political party that has the support of a majority in the National Parliament is appointed Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea by the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, who then appoints the Cabinet of Papua New Guinea on the advice of the Prime Minister
 Samoa Legislative Assembly appoints the Cabinet of Samoa
 Vanuatu Parliament of Vanuatu appoints the Cabinet of Vanuatu

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Decreta of León of 1188 - The oldest documentary manifestation of the European parliamentary system". UNESCO Memory of the World. 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  2. ^ John Keane: The Life and Death of Democracy, London 2009, 169-176.
  3. ^ Jobson, Adrian (2012). The First English Revolution: Simon de Montfort, Henry III and the Barons' War. Bloomsbury. pp. 173–4. ISBN 978-1-84725-226-5.
  4. ^ "Simon de Montfort: The turning point for democracy that gets overlooked". BBC. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015; "The January Parliament and how it defined Britain". The Telegraph. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  5. ^  Norgate, Kate (1894). "Montfort, Simon of (1208?-1265)" . In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  6. ^ Kopstein, Jeffrey; Lichbach, Mark; Hanson, Stephen E., eds. (2014). Comparative Politics: Interests, Identities, and Institutions in a Changing Global Order (4, revised ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 37–9. ISBN 1139991388. Britain pioneered the system of liberal democracy that has now spread in one form or another to most of the world's countries
  7. ^ "Constitutionalism: America & Beyond". Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. The earliest, and perhaps greatest, victory for liberalism was achieved in England. The rising commercial class that had supported the Tudor monarchy in the 16th century led the revolutionary battle in the 17th, and succeeded in establishing the supremacy of Parliament and, eventually, of the House of Commons. What emerged as the distinctive feature of modern constitutionalism was not the insistence on the idea that the king is subject to law (although this concept is an essential attribute of all constitutionalism). This notion was already well established in the Middle Ages. What was distinctive was the establishment of effective means of political control whereby the rule of law might be enforced. Modern constitutionalism was born with the political requirement that representative government depended upon the consent of citizen subjects.... However, as can be seen through provisions in the 1689 Bill of Rights, the English Revolution was fought not just to protect the rights of property (in the narrow sense) but to establish those liberties which liberals believed essential to human dignity and moral worth. The "rights of man" enumerated in the English Bill of Rights gradually were proclaimed beyond the boundaries of England, notably in the American Declaration of Independence of 1776 and in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.
  8. ^ Dr Andrew Blick and Professor George Jones — No 10 guest historian series, Prime Ministers and No. 10 (1 January 2012). "The Institution of Prime Minister". Government of the United Kingdom: History of Government Blog. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  9. ^ Carter, Byrum E. (2015) [1955]. "The Historical Development of the Office of Prime Minister". Office of the Prime Minister. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400878260.
  10. ^ Lijphart, Arend (1999). Patterns of democracy. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  11. ^ Julian Go (2007). "A Globalizing Constitutionalism?, Views from the Postcolony, 1945-2000". In Arjomand, Saïd Amir. Constitutionalism and political reconstruction. Brill. pp. 92–94. ISBN 9004151745.
  12. ^ "How the Westminster Parliamentary System was exported around the World". University of Cambridge. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  13. ^ Seidle, F. Leslie; Docherty, David C. (2003). Reforming parliamentary democracy. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780773525085.
  14. ^ Duverger, Maurice (September 1996). "Les monarchies républicaines" [The crowned republics] (PDF). Pouvoirs, revue française d’études constitutionnelles et politiques (in French). No. 78. Paris: Éditions du Seuil. pp. 107–120. ISBN 2-02-030123-7. ISSN 0152-0768. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  15. ^ Frosini, Justin Orlando (2008). Ferrari, Giuseppe Franco, ed. Forms of State and Forms of Government. Giuffrè Editore. pp. 54–55. ISBN 9788814143885. Retrieved 13 November 2016 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ "ANTI-DEFECTION LAW: A DEATH KNELL FOR PARLIAMENTARY DISSENT?" (PDF). NUJS Law Review. Mar 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  17. ^ T. St. John N. Bates (1986), "Parliament, Policy and Delegated Power" (PDF), Statute Law Review, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  18. ^ Lederman, Daniel; Loayza, Norman; Soares, Rodrigo. "Accountability and Corruption: Political Institutions Matter"
  19. ^ Gerring, John; Thacker, Strom. "Political Institutions and Corruption"
  20. ^ McManus, Richard; Ozkan, F Gulcin (February 22, 2017). "Who does better for the economy? Presidents versus parliamentary democracies" (PDF). University of York - Discussion Papers in Economics.
Cabinet (government)

A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called Cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a Cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.

In some countries, particularly those that use a parliamentary system (e.g., the UK), the Cabinet collectively decides the government's direction, especially in regard to legislation passed by the parliament. In countries with a presidential system, such as the United States, the Cabinet does not function as a collective legislative influence; rather, their primary role is as an official advisory council to the head of government. In this way, the President obtains opinions and advice relating to forthcoming decisions. Legally, under both types of system, the Westminster variant of a parliamentary system and the presidential system, the Cabinet "advises" the Head of State: the difference is that, in a parliamentary system, the monarch, viceroy or ceremonial president will almost always follow this advice, whereas in a presidential system, a president who is also head of government and political leader may depart from the Cabinet's advice if they do not agree with it. In practice, in nearly all parliamentary democracies that do not follow the Westminster system, and in three countries that do (Japan, Ireland, and Israel), very often the Cabinet does not "advise" the Head of State as they play only a ceremonial role. Instead, it is usually the head of government (usually called Prime Minister) who holds all means of power in their hands (e.g. in Germany, Sweden, etc.) and to whom the Cabinet reports.

The second role of cabinet officials is to administer executive branches, government agencies, or departments. In the United States federal government, these are the federal executive departments. Cabinets are also important originators for legislation. Cabinets and ministers are usually in charge of the preparation of proposed legislation in the ministries before it is passed to the parliament. Thus, often the majority of new legislation actually originates from the cabinet and its ministries.

Deputy Prime Minister of India

The Deputy Prime Minister of India is a member of the Union Council of Ministers in the Government of India. Not a constitutional office, it seldom carries any specific powers. A deputy prime minister usually also holds a cabinet portfolio such as home minister or finance minister. In the parliamentary system of government, the prime minister is treated as the "first among equals" in the cabinet; the position of deputy prime minister is used to bring political stability and strength within a coalition government or in times of national emergency, when a proper chain of command is necessary.

The first Deputy Prime Minister of India was Vallabhbhai Patel, who was also home minister in Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet. The office has since been only intermittently occupied. The seventh and last deputy prime minister was L. K. Advani, who took on the role in addition to his home ministership from 2002 to 2004 in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government. The current government does not have a Deputy Prime Minister.

On multiple occasions, proposals have arisen to make the post permanent, but without result. The same goes for the post of deputy chief minister at the state level.

Executive (government)

The executive is the organ exercising authority in and holding responsibility for the governance of a state. The executive executes and enforces law.

In political systems based on the principle of separation of powers, authority is distributed among several branches (executive, legislative, judicial)—an attempt to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a small group of people. In such a system, the executive does not pass laws (the role of the legislature) or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). Instead, the executive enforces the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judiciary. The executive can be the source of certain types of law, such as a decree or executive order. Executive bureaucracies are commonly the source of regulations.

In the Westminster political system, the principle of separation of powers is not as entrenched. Members of the executive, called ministers, are also members of the legislature, and hence play an important part in both the writing and enforcing of law.

In this context, the executive consists of a leader(s) of an office or multiple offices. Specifically, the top leadership roles of the executive branch may include:

head of state – often the supreme leader, the president or monarch, the chief public representative and living symbol of national unity.

head of government – often the de facto leader, prime minister, overseeing the administration of all affairs of state.

defence minister – overseeing the armed forces, determining military policy and managing external safety.

interior minister – overseeing the police forces, enforcing the law and managing internal safety.

foreign minister – overseeing the diplomatic service, determining foreign policy and managing foreign relations.

finance minister – overseeing the treasury, determining fiscal policy and managing national budget.

justice minister – overseeing criminal prosecutions, corrections, enforcement of court orders.In a presidential system, the leader of the executive is both the head of state and head of government. In a parliamentary system, a cabinet minister responsible to the legislature is the head of government, while the head of state is usually a largely ceremonial monarch or president.

Federal republic

A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. At its core, the literal meaning of the word republic when used to reference a form of government means: "a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (such as a president) rather than by a king or queen".

In a federal republic, there is a division of powers between the federal government, and the government of the individual subdivisions. While each federal republic manages this division of powers differently, common matters relating to security and defence, and monetary policy are usually handled at the federal level, while matters such as infrastructure maintenance and education policy are usually handled at the regional or local level. However, views differ on what issues should be a federal competence, and subdivisions usually have sovereignty in some matters where the federal government does not have jurisdiction. A federal republic is thus best defined in contrast to a unitary republic, whereby the central government has complete sovereignty over all aspects of political life. This more decentralized structure helps to explain the tendency for more populous countries to operate as federal republics. Most federal republics codify the division of powers between orders of government in a written constitutional document.

The political differences between a federal republic and other federal states, especially federal monarchies under a parliamentary system of government, are largely a matter of legal form rather than political substance, as most federal states are democratic in structure if not practice with checks and balances. However, some federal monarchies, such as the United Arab Emirates are based upon principles other than democracy.

Government of Maharashtra

The Government of Maharashtra is the government for the state of Maharashtra in Western India. It is an elected government with 288 MLAs elected to the legislative assembly for a five-year term. Maharashtra has a bicameral legislature i.e. it consists of two houses: Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) and Vidhan Parishad (legislative council). As is the case in a parliamentary system, the government is formed by the party, alliance or group of assembly members who command the majority, in the lower house. The leader of the majority in lower house becomes the Chief Minister and selects the cabinet members, from either lower (or) upper house. If one becomes CM or minister without being an MLA or MLC, he/she must become either of one within next 6 months. From the formation of the state in 1960, the Congress party or Congress-led alliance have ruled the state for the major part. Non-Congress government was first formed in 1978, then in 1995 with Shivsena-BJP alliance, and most recently in 2014 with a BJP-led alliance.

Head of state

A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, and there is a separate de facto leader, often with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation (in practice they divide the leadership of the nation among themselves).

In countries with parliamentary systems, the head of state is typically a ceremonial figurehead who does not actually guide day-to-day government activities or is not empowered to exercise any kind of political authority. In countries where the head of state is also the head of government, the head of state serves as both a public figurehead and the highest-ranking political leader who oversees the executive branch (e.g. the President of Brazil).Former French president Charles de Gaulle, while developing the current Constitution of France (1958), said that the head of state should embody l'esprit de la nation ("the spirit of the nation").

Leader of the Opposition (Malaysia)

The Leader of the Opposition in Malaysian Federal Politics is a Member of Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives). By convention, the position is held by the leader of the political party not in government that has the most seats in the House. When in parliament, the Leader of the Opposition sits on the left-hand side of the centre table, in front of the Opposition and opposite the Prime Minister. The Opposition Leader is elected by the minority party of the House according to its rules. A new Opposition Leader may be elected when the incumbent dies, resigns, or is challenged for the leadership.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system and is based on the Westminster model. The Opposition is an important component of the Westminster system, with the Opposition directing criticism at the Government's policies and programs, give close attention to all proposed legislation and attempts to defeat and replace the Government. The Opposition is therefore known as the 'government in waiting' and it is a formal part of the parliamentary system.

Since May 2018, BN and PAS has been the largest Malaysian Opposition. Previously, the longest-serving Opposition Leader had been Lim Kit Siang, who served for a total of 28 years (from 1975-1999 and then from 2004-2008).

List of state and union territory capitals in India

India is a country located in southern Asia. With over 1.3 billion people, India is the most populous democracy in the world. It is a federal constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system consisting of 29

states and 7 union territories. All states, as well as the union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments, both patterned on the Westminster model. The remaining five union territories are directly ruled by the centre through appointed administrators. In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were reorganised on a linguistic basis. Since then, their structure has remained largely unchanged. Each state or union territory is further divided into administrative districts..

The state and union territory capitals are sorted according to no legislative and judicial capitals. The administrative capital is where the executive government offices are located, the legislative capital is where the state assembly convenes, and the judicial capital is the location of the state or territorial High Courts. Union territories are marked with a dagger ().

Lower house

A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide, the lower house has come to wield more power. The lower house typically is the more numerous of the two chambers. A legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.

Parliament

In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries.

The term is similar to the idea of a senate, synod or congress, and is commonly used in countries that are current or former monarchies, a form of government with a monarch as the head. Some contexts restrict the use of the word parliament to parliamentary systems, although it is also used to describe the legislature in some presidential systems (e.g. the French parliament), even where it is not in the official name.

Historically, parliaments included various kinds of deliberative, consultative, and judicial assemblies, e.g. mediaeval parlements.

Parliamentary opposition

Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. This article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state. The title of "Official Opposition" usually goes to the largest of the parties sitting in opposition with its leader being given the title "Leader of the Opposition".

In First Past the Post assemblies, where the tendency to gravitate into two major parties or party groupings operates strongly, government and opposition roles can go to the two main groupings serially in alternation.

The more proportional a representative system, the greater the likelihood of multiple political parties appearing in the parliamentary debating chamber. Such systems can foster multiple "opposition" parties which may have little in common and minimal desire to form a united bloc opposed to the government of the day.

Some well-organised democracies, dominated long-term by a single faction, reduce their parliamentary opposition to tokenism. Singapore exemplifies a case of a numerically weak opposition; South Africa under the apartheid regime maintained a long-term imbalance in the parliament. In some cases tame "opposition" parties are created by the governing groups in order to create an impression of democratic debate.

Parliamentary republic

A parliamentary republic is a republic that operates under a parliamentary system of government where the executive branch (the government) derives its legitimacy from and is accountable to the legislature (the parliament). There are a number of variations of parliamentary republics. Most have a clear differentiation between the head of government and the head of state, with the head of government holding real power, much like constitutional monarchies (however in some countries the head of state, regardless of whether the country's system is a parliamentary republic or a constitutional monarchy, has 'reserve powers' given to use at their discretion in order to act as a non-partisan 'referee' of the political process and ensure the nation's constitution is upheld). Some have combined the roles of head of state and head of government, much like presidential systems, but with a dependency upon parliamentary power.

For the first case mentioned above, the form of executive-branch arrangement is distinct from most other government and semi-presidential republics that separate the head of state (usually designated as the "president") from the head of government (usually designated as "prime minister", "premier" or "chancellor") and subject the latter to the confidence of parliament and a lenient tenure in office while the head of state lacks dependency and investing either office with the majority of executive power.

Politics of Mpumalanga

As a province of South Africa, Mpumalanga province is governed through a parliamentary system of government.

Politics of the Northern Cape

Like the other eight provinces in South Africa, Northern Cape is governed by a parliamentary system, with the premier of the province selected from the leadership of the largest party or coalition in the provincial legislature. The premier then selects the members of his Executive Council (cabinet) from among his fellow MPL's; they are assigned to the different departments in the government, even though the departments' day-to-day business is run by the Heads of the Department (HOD), who are also appointed by the premier.

Presidential system

A presidential system is a democratic and republican system of government where a head of government leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch. This head of government is in most cases also the head of state, which is called president.

In presidential countries, the executive is elected and is not responsible to the legislature, which cannot in normal circumstances dismiss it. Such dismissal is possible, however, in uncommon cases, often through impeachment.

The title "president" has persisted from a time when such person personally presided over the governing body, as with the President of the Continental Congress in the early United States, prior to the executive function being split into a separate branch of government.

A presidential system contrasts with a parliamentary system, where the head of government is elected to power through the legislative. There is also a hybrid system called semi-presidentialism.

Countries that feature a presidential or semi-presidential system of government are not the exclusive users of the title of president. Heads of state of parliamentary republics, largely ceremonial in most cases, are called presidents. Dictators or leaders of one-party states, popularly elected or not, are also often called presidents.

Presidentialism is the dominant form of government in the continental Americas, with 19 of its 23 sovereign states being presidential republics. It is also prevalent in Central and southern West Africa and in Central Asia.

Prime Minister of Brazil

Historically, the political post of Prime Minister, officially called President of the Council of Ministers, existed in Brazil in two different periods: from 1847 to 1889 (during the Empire) and from 1961 to 1963 (under the Second Republic).

The parliamentary system was first introduced in the country in 1847 by Emperor Pedro II and maintained until the abolition of the monarchy in 1889. The system was briefly restored during the tenure of President João Goulart between 1961 and 1963, after a constitutional amendment approved by his opponents before the beginning of his term created the post; it was abolished with a plebiscite.

Below are more detailed descriptions of the post in each period.

Semi-parliamentary system

A semi-parliamentary system (also described as a neo-parliamentaryor prime-ministerial system) is a classification of systems of government proposed by Maurice Duverger, in which citizens directly elect at the same time the legislature and the prime minister, possibly with an electoral law ensuring the existence of a parliamentary majority for the prime minister-elect. As in a parliamentary system, the prime minister is responsible to the legislature and can be dismissed by it: this however effectively causes a snap election for both the prime minister and the legislature (a rule commonly expressed by the brocard aut simul stabunt aut simul cadent, Latin for "they will either stand together, or fall together").

Like semi-presidential systems, semi-parliamentary systems are a strongly rationalized form of parliamentary systems. After Israel decided to abolish the direct election of prime ministers in 2001, there are no semi-parliamentary countries in the world; however, a semi-parliamentary system is used in Israeli and Italian cities and towns to elect mayors and councils.

Semi-presidential system

A semi-presidential system or dual executive system is a system of government in which a president exists alongside a prime minister and a cabinet, with the latter being responsible to the legislature of a state. It differs from a parliamentary republic in that it has a popularly elected head of state, who is more than a mostly ceremonial/non-executive (the powers, limitations differ in different parliamentary republics, that this type of president would have tended to be 'reserve'/emergency and non-partisan in nature), figurehead (a president in a dual executive system also has political powers), and from the presidential system in that the cabinet, although named by the president, is responsible to the legislature, which may force the cabinet to resign through a motion of no confidence.While the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) exemplified an early semi-presidential system, the term "semi-presidential" was introduced by a 1959 article by journalist Hubert Beuve-Méry and popularized by a 1978 work by political scientist Maurice Duverger, both of which intended to describe the French Fifth Republic (established in 1958).

Westminster system

The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government developed in the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament.

The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national legislatures and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system (Nigeria for example) or a hybrid system (like South Africa) as their form of government.

The Westminster system of government is often contrasted with the presidential system that originated in the United States, or with the semi-presidential system, based on the government of France.

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