Parliamentary vs presidential system of government

1.What is a presidential system?

A presidential system is a form of Government in which the chief executive or the head of the sector which manages the affairs of the State is directly elected by the people. This person is separate from the legislature which makes laws and does not control the judiciary which tries cases and decides legal disputes between citizens and citizens or citizens and the State. In this system, the president selects people who are not members of the legislature to form his or her Cabinet.

2.How different is the parliamentary system?

In the parliamentary system, the executive leader of the Government, usually called the prime minister, is a member of the elected legislative body and is appointed by virtue of the support of a majority of that body. The prime minister selects members of the Cabinet, which is the policy-making body, other members of the legislature who are members of his party or support his Administration. In this system, the prime minister, like the president in the presidential system, does not control the judiciary if the principle of the separation of power is accepted.

3.In which system is democracy at greater risk?

In a presidential system, the personal popularity of the leader predominates to the extent that political parties and elected representatives are marginalised or ignored. The emphasis on a personality cult frequently leads to dictatorships. On the World Democracy Index, countries with the parliamentary system are more generally highly rated, while countries with the presidential system are generally more lowly rated.

4.In which two systems is there greater abuse of power?

All detailed studies and analyses of the history of different countries have concluded that the presidential system has been more prone to lapse into dictatorship. This is largely because popular presidents, who do not have to report to an elected legislature, assume strong personal ascendency.

5.In what system is the greater corruption?

Similarly, numerous research studies have recorded more extensive corruption in the presidential system. In the prime example, the United States of America, political parties and legislators are dependent on and loyal to oil companies, drug manufacturers, and the gun distributors. Special interest groups also exercise great influence through the employment of lobbyists, who exert pressure on elected representatives to support their wishes.

6.In which system is there greater accountability of political leaders to the people and their elected representatives?

In the parliamentary system, there is a clear constitutional responsibility of the executive, including the prime minister, to report to the elected representatives of the people and obtain their approval for all important laws, policies, and tax impositions. In the presidential system, a president may frequently act independently of the elected legislature and has functions and powers which he or she may exercise without the approval of the people’s representatives.

7.In which of the two systems is there more efficient governance?

To a large extent both constitutional systems depend, for their efficiency, on the social structures, their organisational efficiency, and the wisdom of their leaders’ policies. On the Global Indices, the countries with the parliamentary Cabinet system are generally most highly rated, while the countries with the presidential system are generally most lowly rated.


Should Jamaica keep its present parliamentary system or change to a presidential system of government?

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