Systems of Government Article 280

By admin July 20, 2019 15:35

Systems of Government: Parliamentary System and Presidential System.

  1. Advantages & Disadvantages of Parliamentary System
  2. Advantages & Disadvantages of Presidential System
  3. Why did India choose Parliamentary System?[NCERT Notes]
  4. Constitutionalism-Explanatory Diagram


 Systems of Government:

  • Broadly, Two Systems of Government are found the world over depending upon the nature of the relationship between Legislature and Executive:
  1. Parliamentary System
  2. Presidential System
  • Parliamentary System: A parliamentary Systems of Government means that the executive branch is responsible to the parliament for its policies and acts.
    àThe relationship between the executive and the legislature in a parliamentary system is called Responsible government.
  • A Presidential system is a Systems of Government where an executive branch is led by a President who serves as both head of state and head of government.

àIn such a system, this branch exists separately from the legislature, to which it is not
responsible for its acts and policies [eg. Trump scrapping Obama care.]

  • Parliamentary Government: also known as Cabinet form of Government or Responsible government, or Westminster Model of Government.

Features of Parliamentary Government:

  1. Principle of Collective Responsibility: [ Article 75] [In 1975, Article 75 was pushed to corner i.e. this principle of Collective  Responsibility was thrown to winds]
  2. Majority Party Rule:-273/545 Seats.
  3. Real and Nominal Executive: [Article 74] De-jure Executive and De-facto executive.
  4. Political Homogeneity: Members of the Legislative and Executive branch belong to the same Political Party.
  5. Dual Membership: Ministers are members of both- the Government and the Legislature.
  6. Importance of Lower House: As it is directly elected by the people.
  7. Executive’s prerogative to get the Lower House dissolved.

Advantages of Parliamentary System:

  1. Responsible Government: Accountability to Legislature- CAG, Parliamentary Committees, Question hour.
  2. Cooperation between Legislature and Executive: No deadlocks, harmonious relationship.
  3. Prevents tendencies of Despotism: Not much authority in one individualespecially after 44th Constitutional Amendment in India.

Parliamentary Democracy with a written Constitution [meaning clarity of Rules] works on the basis of the assumption that J, E, L would gel-off well together.

Disadvantages of Parliamentary System

  1. Instability of Government in the era of Competitive politics: Coalition governments- Hamstrung governance; Policy Paralysis
  2. Against the Spirit of Doctrine of Separation of Powers: No effective Checks & Balances: Parliament Cannot keep an effective check on Executive
  3. Dictatorship by Cabinet: Entire Council of Ministers never meets. It is the Cabinet which takes a call on the important matters. So the “Principle of Collective Responsibility of CoM is a myth
  4. Lack of Continuity in Government Programmes and policies:

Presidential System:  Features

  1. Only one Head: The President is the head of the State and also the head of the Government.
  2. He is the Real executive: All the Governmental work is carried out as per his
  3. All Executive powers are vested in the President. The cabinet appointed by President is merely to advise him. He is not bound by their advice. He may obtain their advice and yet may choose to act on his own judgment.
  4. Direct Election: The President is elected directly by the people who constitute
    the electorate. The term of the office of the President is not dependent on the will
    of the legislature. The legislature does not elect the President and the legislature
    cannot seek to oust him from office.

President is not just “One Among Equals, He is the Supreme above Subordinates.”

Secretaries are experts in their field; they tender to advise him.

Advantages of Presidential System

  1. Stability of the Government: In U.S., President is elected for a term of 4 years
  2. Lesser Political interference in Administrative functioning.
  3. Not much interference of the Political Party: As President is directly elected, his survival in the office does not depend upon the confidence of the MPs in the House.
  4. Effective Checks and Balances: More Suitable for Multi-party systems.

Disadvantages of Presidential System

  1. Frequent Deadlock: If the legislature is dominated by the opposition party and decides to checkmate the policies of President, it could lead to a stalemate in governance because both the President and the legislature carry democratic legitimacy.
  2. Dangers of Dictatorship: As we see in Turkey.
  3. Only Periodic assessment: In the Presidential system the assessment of responsibility is periodic.

Pertinent Question: Why India chose Parliamentary System in the first place???
1. Familiarity:
 GoI Act, 1935. India has been familiar with its working
during the times of British Rule.

  1. Influence of the British System on framers of Our Constitution.
  2. Diversity of Indian Society.

The Constituent Assembly rejected the Presidential system as in the U.S.A. on the grounds that under such a system, the Executive and the Legislatures are separate from and independent of each other, which is likely to cause conflicts between them, which our infant democracy was not at all ready to face.

We needed rapid development for which cordiality b/w Legislature and Executive was necessary!

Previous Years’ Questions

  1. There is a Parliamentary System of Government in India because of the
  2. Lok Sabha is elected directly by the people
  3. Parliament can amend the Constitution
  4. Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved
  5. Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha [2015]
  6. In the context of India, which of the following principles is/are implied institutionally in the parliamentary government? [2013]
  7. Members of the Cabinet are Members of the Parliament.
  8. Ministers hold the office till they enjoy confidence in the Parliament.
  9. The cabinet is headed by the Head of the State.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Mains Previous years’ Questions:
Q. Discuss the Parliamentary Control over the Executive. [2003]

For Practice:
Q. Should India switch to Presidential System considering the frequent deadlock in the Indian Parliament?

Also read: Article 15, Mandal Commission And Indra Sawhney Case

Expanding Scope of Right to Life and Liberty Under Article 21

By admin July 20, 2019 15:35