Compare and contrast the Presidential and Parliamentary forms of governments.

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The Presidential system of government, like what we have in the United States, has a strong executive with power balanced between them and the Congress and the Courts.  Terms are set, in the American case, to four years, and are the results of direct, nationwide elections.  Elections for individual Congressmen are held separately.  The Presidential System is more conducive to a two party system as well.

In the Parliamentary system, as they have in Britain, Canada, and much of Europe, elections are held regularly, but citizens do not vote directly for the executive or individual legislators.  Instead they vote for which party they support, and there are many--sometimes dozens--of parties to choose from.  Whatever percentage of the vote the parties receive, that is the percentage of seats in Parliament they receive, and the party chooses who will hold those seats.  If a party receives more than 50% of the vote, or can join with other, smaller parties to form more than 50% of the vote, then they can form a government with a Prime Minister as executive, almost always the leader of the largest party.  Elections are held regularly, but the Prime Minister can call them early if he is confident of a win and start a term over.  Parliament may also hold a no confidence vote which means new elections must be held or a new Prime Minister selected.

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