Parliamentary Government | Merits | Demerit

Parliamentary Government

The form of government where the relationship between the legislature and executive is close and the executive's stability and functional capacity depend on the legislature is called a parliamentary form of government or cabinet form of government. In this system, executive powers are vested in the hands of the ministers. The party which wins the general election forms the cabinet. The trusted person in the party becomes the prime minister. He appoints ministers from the important members of the party and distributes portfolios among them.

Usually, ministers are selected from among the legislators or members of parliament. That is why this form of government is called the parliamentary form of government. Bangladesh, India, the UK, Canada, Sweden, and Australia have a parliamentary form of government.

This kind of government has a constitutional president. But the cabinet of ministers under the leadership of the prime minister holds real administrative power. In this system, the importance of the prime minister is the highest. In fact, the president does not do anything without the advice of the prime minister.

In the parliamentary form of government, the legislative council holds absolute power. The cabinet, including the prime minister, is accountable to the legislative council for its activities. The cabinet falls if they lose the confidence of the legislative council. Besides, a member has to resign if parliament brings a motion of no confidence against him/her. In this system, the same person holds both legislative and administrative power because ministers are selected from parliament members.

Merits of Parliamentary Government

The merits of parliamentary government are as follows:

Responsible governance: Parliamentary government is a responsible government. Here, ruling and opposition parties are both accountable to the people for their deeds.

Relations between the legislature and the executive: As members of the executive are the members of the legislature, the relationship between these two remains cordial and friendly.

Status of opposition: In this form of government, the opposition is said to be an alternative government. In times of national crisis, both the ruling and opposition parties can solve problems through discussion. Opposition is an integral part of the parliamentary system.

Opportunity for criticism: In this system, the Members of the Parliament (MPs) both from the ruling or the opposition sides criticize the government. The government maintains self-restraint in its activities and tries to do good activities.

It gives a political lesson: Parliamentary government is run by public opinion. To keep public opinion in their favor, both ruling and opposition parties remain active. They engage themselves in debates in the parliament. Thereby, the people become politically conscious.

Demerits of Parliamentary Government

The parliamentary form of government has demerits. They are-

Absence of stability: Parliamentary government may suffer from instability. If the cabinet loses its confidence in the legislature or loses its majority, the government collapses. This sort of situation might destabilize the country. For this reason, the parliamentary government is called the tyranny of the majority.

Indivisibility of power: Legislative and executive powers are vested in one center i.e., in the hands of the cabinet leading the ministers to be autocratic.

Too much partisan mentality: Parliamentary government is primarily a party government. In this system, the formation and stability of the government depend on the majority of the party in parliament. Naturally, the parties are given much importance. Both ruling and opposing parties work with an extreme partisan mentality. As this government is a party government, many ministers are appointed to the cabinet without considering their competence and merit. National interest, therefore, is hampered.

Delay in decision-making: In this form of government, decisions are made after a lot of discussions and suggestions. Many activities are not possible to perform in time.

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