Comparing the American Presidential System and the Parliamentary System Essay

Comparing the American Presidential System and the Parliamentary System Essay

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Comparing the American Presidential System and the Parliamentary System


"As at present constituted, the federal government [of the United States of America] lacks strength because its powers are divided, lacks promptness because its authorities are multiplied, lacks wieldiness because its processes are roundabout, lacks efficiency because its responsibility is indistinct and its action is without competent direction." Although this statement, by Woodrow Wilson, was made in the 1920's, it can still be argued today on account of the fact that not much has changed in the way the United States government operates. Still existing in the American way of governing is the theory of the separation of powers, which was evolved within the United States. The theory assumes three well-defined and more or less independent "organs" of government. Each of these organs is regarded as within its sphere to be beyond the control of the other "organs" . The United States' government is a presidential system (or congressional system) and is considerably unlike the parliamentary system. While both the American presidential system and the parliamentary system have both strengths and weaknesses, on balance, the parliamentary system is the superior system.

Key differences between the two systems include the extent to which the powers of government are separated functionally between branches of government, how each system defines the conditions for removing the executive and dissolving the government, and the influence that the governing system has on the structures developed by the parties in the legislature.

In a presidential system, the President (who is the chief executive as well as the symbolic head of government) is chosen by a separat...


... middle of paper ...


... Christopher J. et al. American Government-Conflict, Compromise, and
Citizenship Boulder Colo., Westview Press, 2000.

Haines, Charles Grove. "Ministerial Responsibility Versus the Seperation of Powers",
The American Political Science Review, 1995.

Horowitz, "Democracy in Divided Societies", Journal of Democracy, vol. 4 no. 4, 1993.

Linz, Juan and Arturo Valenzuelo, eds, The Failure of Presidential Democracy, Boulder,
Colo., Westview Press, 1996.

Morone, James A. The Democratic Wish-Popular Participation and the Limits of
American Government U.S.A., Basic Books, 1990.

Wilson, Woodrow. Congressional Government, pg. 318.

Canadian Parliamentary Review, vol. 17, no. 2, Summer 1994.

Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000, "thatcher, Margaret Hilda"
http://encarta.msn.com 1997-2000

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