ONLYIAS – Nothing else | UPSC IAS EXAM PREPARATION

PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM

PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM

  • Articles for parliamentary system: Centre: 74 & 75 + States: 163 & 164.
  • Parliamentary government = cabinet govt = responsible govt = Westminster type of govt.

 

FEATURES OF PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT AND PRESIDENTIAL GOVERNMENT:

 

PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL GOVERNMENT
Nominal & Real (Dual) Executives:

•         President: Nominal executive (de jure), Head of State

•         PM: Real executive (de facto), Head of Government.

•         Council of Minister headed by PM to aid & advice President.

•         Advice is binding on President (42nd & 44th amendment)

American President:

  •         Both head of State & Head of Government
Majority Party Rule:

  •          Political party with majority seats in Lok Sabha forms government.
  •          Leader of that party is appointed as PM by the President and Ministers are appointed by President on the advice of PM.
  •         If no single party secures majority, President invites coalition of party.
  •          President is elected by electoral college for a fixed term of four years.
  •          President cannot be removed by the Congress except by impeachment for a grave unconstitutional act.
Collective Responsibility:

  •          Bedrock of parliamentary govt.
  •         Article 75: CoM is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
  •          Lok Sabha can remove CoM by passing no confidence motion.
  •          President and his secretaries are not responsible to the Congress.
Political Homogeneity:

  •          Single party majority: members of CoM from same political party à same ideology
  •          Coalition govt: CoM bound by consensus
  •          Cabinet: Non-elected advisory body.
  •         Selected & appointed by the President.
  •          Responsible only to him.
  •          Removed by him.
Double Membership:

  •          Ministers are members of both the legislature and executive.
  •          Minister who is not a member of the parliament for six consecutive months ceases to be a minister.
  •          President and his secretaries are not members of Congress nor do they attend the sessions.
  •          There is complete separation of power between legislature and executive.
Leadership of PM:

  •         Leader of CoM
  •          Leader of parliament
  •          Leader of party in power
 

 

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Dissolution of Lower House:

  •          President can dissolve Lok Sabha before the expiry of term on the recommendation of PM.
  •          The President cannot dissolve the House of Representatives (Lower House of Congress)
Secrecy:

  •          Ministers follow principle of secrecy about their proceedings, policies & decisions.
  •          Ministers take oath of secrecy administered by President.
 

 

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Fusion of powers. Separation of powers.

 

MERITS & DEMERITS OF PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM:

 

MERITS DEMERITS
Harmony between legislature & executive:

  •          Executive à part of legislature à cooperation and interdependence among executive and legislature.
  •          Less dispute and conflict between two organs.
Unstable govt:

  •          Govt may lose its majority due to no confidence motion, political defection or breakdown of coalition.
Responsible Government:

  •          Ministers are responsible to the Parliament for their acts.
  •          Parliament’s control over executive: question hour, discussions, debates, adjournment motion, no confidence motion.
No Continuity in policies:

  •          Change in government brings change in policies.
  •          This is roadblock in policy formulation & implementation in long term.
Prevents despotism:

  •          Executive authority is not vested in single person but in CoM.
  •          Prevents dictatorship of executive.
Dictatorship of cabinet:

  •          Ruling party with absolute majority->cabinet all powerful.
  •         All policies are decided by cabinet.
Ready alternative govt:

  •         Opposition party provides ready alternative govt if ruling party loses majority.
Against separation of powers:

  •          CoM and Cabinet are part of legislature.
  •          Cabinet: leader of legislature and executive.
Wide representation:

  •         CoM provides representation to all sections & regions in the government.
Govt by amateurs:

  •          Ministers are not experts in their fields->less administrative efficiency.
  •          Ministers can only be from parliament. PM has no choice to select outside experts.

 

REASONS FOR ADOPTING PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM:

Familiarity with the system due to British Rule + Preference for more responsibility unlike in Presidential system + Need to avoid Legislative – Executive Conflict like in USA where there is complete separation of powers + Nature of Indian society like heterogeneous sections, linguistic, religious, ethnic diversity. Parliamentary system gives wider representation.

 

DISTINCTION BETWEEN INDIAN & BRITISH MODELS:

 

INDIAN MODEL BRITISH MODEL
Republican system: Head of State (President) is indirectly elected. Monarchial system: Head of State (King/Queen) is hereditary.
Constitutional supremacy Parliamentary sovereignty
PM may be a member of any of the house. PM should be member of Lower House.
A person who is not a member of any house can be appointed as minister, but only for six months. Usually members of parliament are appointed as minister.
No system of legal responsibility of ministers. Ministers are not required to countersign the official acts. System of legal responsibility of minister. Ministers are required to countersign the official acts.
No Shadow Cabinet Shadow Cabinet by opposition: to balance ruling cabinet and prepare its members for future ministerial office.