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What are some advantages and disadvantages stemming from the way powers are typically...

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avde94 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:45 PM via web

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What are some advantages and disadvantages stemming from the way powers are typically allocated in Parliamentary and Presidential systems of government?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM (Answer #1)

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Power is allocated quite differently in a parliamentary system as compared to a presidential system.  In a presidential system, executive power is centered in one person, the president.  In a parliamentary system, the prime minister is important, but the political party is more important than the prime minister.  This has several advantages and disadvantages.

  • In a parliamentary system, it is easier to get things done.  In such a system, the party that runs the executive branch always has the support of a majority the legislature.  This allows parties to get their agendas enacted much more easily than is possible in a system like that of the US where the president and Congress can be controlled by different parties.
  • In a parliamentary system, it is easier to know where credit or blame is due.  Right now, the US President is a Democrat while part of Congress is controlled by Republicans.  Therefore, it is hard to know whom to blame for our current political problems.  This problem is not present in a typical parliamentary system.
  • In a presidential system, there is more of a check on the power of the legislature.  In a parliamentary system, there is nothing to stop the legislature from doing whatever it likes.  This means that bad policies are more likely to be enacted.  The presidential system makes it harder for policies to pass without a broad consensus in their favor. 

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