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Systems of Government

When an individual talks about a government, he or she refers to system of people who are in charge of a structured population, which is the state or country. Governments are comprised of three branches, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Governments are used to implement policies as well as streamlining activities within a state. There are different types of governments, which determine how resources are allocated in different levels and parts of a state. The different types of governments depend on the distribution of power that is the power held by the central government.  In this scenario, looking at the parliamentary and presidential systems of government as well as their influence on states, which use the respective system government.

To begin with, a presidential system of government is made of an executive branch the president being at the helm of the state. The president is elected by the citizens of a state. The president is both the head of the government and the head of the state. In this system of government, the executive and legislature are different but they work in creation and implementation of laws (Shively 343). In the presidential system of government, the two branches are not mandated to work closely together and as such, they usually compete due to allocation of different roles. Each branch wants to be the dominant force leading to conflicts.

Moreover, in the presidential system, the ruling party plays a crucial role in reducing the competition between the two branches, the executive, and legislature. For example, in the United States, when the president comes from a party with majority in the congress he can pass bills easily.  However, if the president comes from minority party then they will have a lot of problems passing the bills since he will be opposed by the majority in the congress.  It is therefore important for the president to cooperate with the ruling part in Congress in order for easier execution of government activities.  Additionally, unlike in the parliamentary system where threats can be used in ensuring the one gains support from legislatures, in presidential system those threats cannot work since the president has no control over the legislature’s political careers (Shively 343). In the parliamentary system, even when the president has majority seats in the legislature  he  has less control  over different legislative agenda in comparison to a president working in the presidential system. In the presidential system, the party that wins the presidency is not assured of controlling the legislature since legislature is elected independently. When there is division of control, the branches have a fragile relationship.

In a parliamentary system, the cabinet is mandated with determining the roles of the legislature. However, in a presidential system the legislature organizes its own calendar that will guide its activities within a given period of the year.  In the U.S., the legislative branch is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is known as a bicameral house system.  The leaders voted by the majority in the house as well as an independent committee oversee the operations of the house.  The power of the house in divided among the leaders, the committee, and members of the party with majority.  This makes it hard for one to have ultimate control on the business of the house (Offor 54). Furthermore, voting in Congress is not done in accordance with party affiliation reducing the influence of the president on the house of business. In a parliamentary system, failure of members of the house to support the party position can lead to dissolution of the cabinet, this does not happen in a presidential system where the party has less influence. The members can make independent decisions.



In a presidential system, the president’s power could be challenged by opposition members who have a strong base. Power-sharing usually, involves a political process and if not well handled can lead to conflict due to some quarters filling left out of the system.   In other presidential systems, there are prime ministers who are answerable to the presidency and not the legislature.

In order to promote democracy, there is need to have the backing of the parliamentary council since Congress members hold great influence on the business of the state. It is therefore, hard to implement policies if there is no support from the Congress (Shively 346). Nevertheless, the presidential system has been effective in promoting development in various states. In presidential system, for all policies to pass the executive has to support the policies. The legislature has to seek approval of the executive in order for the policies formulated to be passed and implemented in the state. In a parliamentary system, the head of the government, the president, acts as a unifying factor ensuring that the legislature pass polices with ease. The executive arm of the government is usually under scrutiny from the minority party members. Moreover, members of minority party may ask for reforms in the judiciary with the aim of advancing their own agenda.          In the U.S., the constitution is the supreme law of the land and it puts in checks and balances to ensure that the executive operates within the limits of the law.In a parliamentary system, the representatives are selected by the citizens. In this system, the parliament is the only elected body and is given the power to make laws and no one can overrule what it passes.  The executive powers lies in a cabinet selected by the parliament and given the power to run the affairs of the country. The citizens in a parliamentary system select the individuals they want to represent them in parliament.  The members of the parliament then choose the leader who will be in charge of the state. A regulatory committee, which does not belong to any political parties, is also created to oversee the interaction between minority and majority members of the house (Shively 346). Additionally, in the parliamentary system, a deputy is elected to the legislature and acts as a representative in parliament.  For instance, in U.K., which uses a parliamentary system has a leader of the government as well as a head of state represented by the monarchy. Nevertheless, the monarchy does not control the business of the house nor guide the operations of the government. The parliamentary and the presidential systems are similar in that they both distribute power among different members of the government.  In a parliamentary system, members of the executive are appointed whereas members of the legislature are elected by citizens.  The voters elected members of the legislature while the head of the government appoints the executive. The executive and the legislature make decisions without consulting each other since the two branches are different.  In a presidential system, it is possible for the president to be the leader of minority in the Congress. However, this cannot happen under a parliamentary system of government. In a parliamentary system, the association between the president and the members of Congress does not affect the process of law making. The checks and balances put in place only allow the president to sign bills into laws after they have been passed by the legislature. The president also has power to veto the bills. A presidential system appears expensive in the short run but it is cost effective when one looks at it in the long run.Another difference between the parliamentary and presidential system of governments is that, the parliamentary system of government has the head of state as a symbolic figure.  For example in the U.K., the head of the state is a constitutional monarchy and has ceremonial role and therefore little influence on political matters of the state.  The role of the monarchy includes receiving dignitaries to the state, dedicating monuments or memorial areas (Shively 322). In other nations, the constitution has provisions allowing the head of the state who has minimal power to assume leadership of the government when a state of emergency is declared. In normal circumstances or times, the head of state is in charge of ensuring that the party’s leaders in the house form a cabinet. Nevertheless, when undertaking this role, the head of state has to adhere to the laid out rules and regulations. These rules dictates that the leader of majority in the house form the cabinet. It is important to note that the leader of majority forms a cabinet immediately after an election.  When the cabinet has disagreements on the process of coordinated governing, then it is dissolved. At the same time, another cabinet will be formed before the country gets into another general election. The head of state in these circumstances is still charged with the responsibility of asking the leader of another party to form a new coalition.  The role of the cabinet is to lead the government agenda in parliament and in many cases; the government dominated the legislature (Offor 60). The cabinet proposes the legislation, which then gets debated before being passed into bills and laws. Despite the debating that takes place, the legislation is almost guaranteed of being passed. Since the cabinet is formed by leaders of parties, it has great influence in parliament. Political parties are able to control the parliament because they have control over legislatures who partake in the process of law making and are part of the cabinet.  In case there is a member who opposes his or her party leader’s stand on a bill, he or she is jeopardizing his or her political career. This is a huge threat to lawmaker’s political careers and