Virtual Kollage: The features of a Parliamentary system of Government

Posted by / Wednesday, 6 April 2016 / No comments

The features of a Parliamentary system of Government

Girl, Park, Woman, Greens, PhotoshootPARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
Definition
A parliamentary system of is that type of system in which the executive arm of government emanates from the legislative arm of government and owes it legitimate existence to the legislature. In other words, all the members of the executive are chosen from the legislature and are ultimately responsible to it. Countries that practice the parliamentary system include Britain, Canada, Australia and Ghana under the 1969 constitution.

FEATURES OF THE PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM
Dual Executive
The Parliamentary system of government operates the dual executive. It is also called the bicephalous executive. In other words, the executive is headed by two persons, that is, a head of state who performs the ceremonial functions and a head of government who performs the governmental functions.

Fusion of Powers
The Parliamentary system is based on the concept of fusion of powers between the executive and the legislature. What this means is that the members of the executive are at the same time time, members of the legislature. At elections, members of parliament are elected directly by the electorates into the legislature. The leader of the majority party in parliament then becomes the Prime Minister who then select members from his party to form the government of the day.

Collective responsibility to the Legislature
One of the other features of this that the members of the executive arm of government are made responsible and accountable to legislature for anything that goes wrong. in fact, they could be forced to collectively resign their position where they no longer enjoy the support of the legislature.

No Fixed Term of Office
Unlike the Presidential system where the Executive has a fixed term of office, in the Parliamentary system, the executive does not have any fixed term of office. If it no longer enjoy the full support of the legislature, they latter may pass a vote of no confidence in it and the entire cabinet step down.

Official Opposition
The parliamentary system of government also boasts of the official recognition of an official opposition. The official opposition has two main duties. One is put the ruling government of its toes by monitoring its work so that does not deviate from its core mandate. the second one is to serve as a government in waiting so that when the need arises, it could be called to form the next government. 

Strong Party Discipline
Party discipline is a crucial matter in a parliamentary system of government. In fact, it is relatively strong. Members of Parliament are not expected to deviate from the goals and policies of their party. They are not allowed to openly criticize their party. Any member of parliament who falls out of line is whipped back into line.

Supremacy of Parliament
This system operates under the principle that Parliament is supreme. This means the parliament has the power to do anything and nobody has the power to stop it.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Define a parliamentary system of government? [2 marks]
    b. Highlight five features of parliamentary system of government. [10 marks]

2. Highlight six features of a parliamentary system of government. [12 marks]

3. State six characteristic features in a Cabinet system of government. 12 marks]



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