A parliamentary system of government is one in which the majority of the legislature supports the executive branch of government. What is its concept? What are its merit and demerits? What is the difference between the Parliamentary System of Britain and India? Read further to know more about Parliamentary System.
A parliamentary system of government is one in which the majority of the legislature supports the executive branch of government.
A parliamentary system similar to the British Westminster form governs India. “Parliamentary government” means that the Parliament possesses total authority.
The cabinet system, responsible government, and prime minister model are other names for the parliamentary system.
Also read: Parliament (Articles 79-88/122)
Concept of the parliamentary system of government
An example of democratic state governance is the parliamentary system. In this system, the political party that garnered the most votes and the majority of seats in the House of Parliament during the general election takes office as the ruling party.
According to the Supreme Court, the Constitution is based on the British parliamentary system, where the administration is thought to be primarily responsible for formulating governmental policy and ensuring that it is passed into law by maintaining the Lok Sabha’s trust.
- The central government’s parliamentary system is outlined in Articles 74 and 75.
- The parliamentary system is provided for the states under Articles 163 and 164.
- The executives under this system sit in the legislature because they are lawmakers, unlike the Presidential system.
- As long as the lower house of the legislature supports them, executives can use their authority and continue serving in their positions.
Features of the Parliamentary System
- The real executive and the nominal executive are the two executives. The real executive is the Prime Minister, who is the head of government, not the head of state (president or monarch).
- Rule by the party that has the majority in the Lok Sabha.
- The cornerstone of the parliamentary system of government is collective responsibility (Art. 75) to the Lok Sabha.
- Only for Lok Sabha, no-confidence vote (cannot introduce in Rajya Sabha )
- Political homogeneity is provided. Shared party affiliation and ideologies.
- Ministers have dual membership in the legislative and executive branches.
- A minister loses their position if they are absent from the Parliament for six months in a row
- The length of the government’s tenure depends on whether it has a majority in the lower chamber. The council of ministers must resign if a motion of no confidence in the government is unsuccessful. A new administration will be formed after the elections.
- The Prime Minister is in charge of this system of government. The PM is often chosen from among the leaders of the parties that gain a majority in the lower chamber.
- A close working relationship exists between the legislature and the executive in this situation. The Parliament is legislative, and the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers make up the executive. Since the members of parliament chose the prime minister and the ministries, it appears that the executive branch is derived from the legislature.
- Better coordination between the executive and the legislature: Since the executive is a part of the legislature and the majority of lawmakers often support the government, passing legislation and putting them into effect is made easier.
- There is no authoritarianism since the executive is answerable to the legislative and subject to a motion of no confidence. Furthermore, power is not centralised like it is under the presidential government.
- Inclusive and participatory decision-making
- Responsible government. The Parliament holds ministers accountable for their actions.
- Discussions, a motion for adjournment, and a motion for no confidence are all used as tools.
- Prepare an alternative government in the event that the majority dissents.
- Under this arrangement, the parliament provides representation to the nation’s many groups.
- This is particularly significant for a nation like India.
- The system is flexible because it is simple to replace the PM when necessary. Winston Churchill succeeded Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War. This is in contrast to the presidential system, where a president can only be removed if impeached or after serving the term.
- Cabinet-level dictatorship. The government is headed by the prime minister.
- Ministers may not be subject matter experts.
- PM has few options when choosing ministers
- Civil officials have a lot of power. They provide advice to the ministers on a variety of issues and are not accountable to the legislature.
- Parliamentary government is susceptible to non-constitutional pressures.
- No consistency in the policies. Changes in the government are typically followed by changes in the government’s policy.
- The absence of a true separation of powers makes it impossible for the legislative always to hold the executive accountable. If the government holds a sizable majority in the house, this is particularly true
- Additionally, lawmakers are unable to employ their free will and cast votes in accordance with their beliefs and understanding due to anti-defection laws. They must adhere to the party line.
- There is instability if there is no clear winner after the elections since governments can only last as long as they can demonstrate a majority in the parliament. Coalition governments typically have a limited lifespan and are highly unstable. As a result, the administration must concentrate on maintaining power rather than worrying about the welfare or state of the populace.
- The system produces lawmakers with the sole goal of advancing to the executive branch. They lack the necessary qualifications to pass laws.
- The Council of Ministers frequently delays making big, long-term policy choices because it has no fixed tenure.
Difference between the Parliamentary System of Britain and India
British parliamentary system
- The ruler is a monarch who was not chosen by the populace.
- It is a sovereign body, the parliament.
- The lower house includes the Prime Minister.
- Ministers are held accountable by the law.
- They have a clause that allows the opposition to form a shadow cabinet.
Indian parliamentary system
- The people chose the Republic as their leader.
- The powers of the parliament are constrained.
- Any of the house’s members may serve as the prime minister.
- Ministers are not subject to any legal obligations.
Reasons for adopting the parliamentary system in India
- The constitution’s drafters correctly chose the parliamentary model. The causes of it are found in both India’s socio-political system and its political legacy from colonial times. The following are the causes of this:
- India had considerable experience with the parliamentary system prior to the constitution’s drafting thanks to the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935. Indians were therefore aware of it.
- This event also demonstrated that the people’s representatives can effectively control the executives.
- The constitution’s authors intended for the government to be answerable to and responsive to the needs of the people.
- Because the presidential system provides the president tremendous power and allows him to function independently of the legislature, its creators were hesitant to adopt it.
- The personality cult of the president is another weakness of the presidential system.
- The authors of the constitution aimed to avoid the possibility of a personality cult by creating a strong executive branch with robust checks and balances.
- There are various processes in the parliamentary system that increase the executive’s accountability to and control over the representatives of the people.
- Therefore, a parliamentary system was approved by the constitution of India.
Parliament is a key component of our democracy since it serves as the representative body that scrutinises the actions of the administration. In order for Parliament to serve its constitutional mission, good operation is essential. A careful analysis of bills is also a crucial element of effective legislation. Legislation is passed without consulting legislative committees, undermining democracy.
Article Written By: Atheena Fathima Riyas