Parliamentary and Presidential Systems
The two most popular forms of government are Parliamentary and Presidential.
India has adopted for the Parliamentary form of government. In this chapter, we
shall see the features of both the systems.
There are more Parliamentary systems in the world than Presidential democracies.
As the name suggests, in the Parliamentary form of government, the parliament is
supreme and the Executive, comprised of some members of the Parliament, is
directly accountable to it. The examples of this system involves voters
selecting parliamentary representatives. The party that wins the largest number
of congressional seats then selects the head of government who is varyingly
known as the Prime Minister, Chancellor, or Premier.
FEATURES OF PARLIAMENTARY FROM GOVERNMENT
A Parliamentary government is also known as the Cabinet form of government
because the cabinet is the real Executive in it. It is also called ‘Responsible
government ‘, Since the Cabinet always remains responsible to the Legislature
for its activities. The salient features of Parliamentary form of government are
1. Close relationship between the Legislature and the Executive: In India, there is a close relationship between the Executive, i.e. the
Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head and the Legislature,
i.e. the Parliament. The Council of Ministers is elected from amongst the
members of the Parliament which means that the Executive emerges out of the
2. Responsibility of the Executive to the Legislature: Since the Legislature gives birth to the Executive, the Legislature has the
authority to hold the Executive responsible for all its actions. Thus the
Council of Ministers is responsible to Lok Sabha. It is responsible to Rajya
Sabha also. The responsibility is further conditioned through its collectivity
i.e. the responsibility of every Minister is the responsibility of the entire
Council of Ministers.
3. Dual Executive: The Parliamentary form of government provides for two Executives – the real
Executive and the nominal or titular Executive. The nominal Executive is
represented by the head of the State who may either be a hereditary or an
elective one; legally, the head of the State possesses all powers and privileges
which the Constitution and laws may confer upon him. But in practice, all powers
are exercised by the real Executive represented by the Prime Minister and the
Council of Ministers.