Table Of Contents
1. Meaning Of Parliamentary System Of Government
2. Features Of Parliamentary System Of Government
3. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Parliamentary System Of Government
Meaning Of Parliamentary System Of Government
Parliamentary system of government is defined as a system of government in which the head of state distinct from the head of government. Both offices and functions attached to them are in the hands of the two individuals, unlike the presidential system where the two offices (need of states and government) are fused.
The head of state exercise ceremonial function, the prime minister and his cabinet are down from the parliament, making them members of the executives as well as the parliament. The prime minister is the chairman in the cabinet meetings.
In Britain, for example: The head of state is the Monarch (Queen). In a country that is not a monarchy the head of state is the president. Britain has a cabinet or parliamentary system of government. The First Republic In Nigeria (1963-1966) operated a Parliamentary System.
Features Of Parliamentary System Of Government
1. The Head Of State: The head of state is either the queen or president.
2, The Head Of Government: The prime minister is the head of government and he exercises executive functions.
3. Not Popularly Elected: The prime minister is not popularly elected. He is appointed by the president or queen, If it’s party wins the majority of seats in the parliaments.
4. Ministry Appointments: The prime minister can only choose his ministers from the party men in the legislature.
5. Fusion Of Powers: The prime minister and his ministers framing part of the executive, are also party of the legislature, So there is fusions of power between the executives and the legislature.
6. Collective Responsibility: It implies that the members of the executives are collectively responsible for any decision taken by them.
7. Executive Of Opportunity Party: This is legally and officially recognised. The party that has the second highest number of seats in the parliament forms the opposition party.
8. A Vote Of No Confidence: This executive can be removed from office by the legislative, this could happen when the legislative passes a vote of no confidence in the executive.
9. Ceremonial Functions: The head of state exercises ceremonial functions.
Advantages Of Parliamentary System Of Government
1. Collective Responsibility: Members of cabinet take joint decision and they are collectively responsible for all actions taken. This ensures efficiency.
2. Mutual Understanding: This exist between the executives and the legislature.
3. In Defence Of Policies: The system allows ministers to depend on their policies in parliament since there are also members of the parliament.
4. Watch Dog: There is opposition party which becomes a very affective watch dog since it sees itself as an alternative government.
5. Absence Of Conflicts: Fusion of power in the system has helped to reduce conflict among the organs. For example, the executive and the legislature are fused and complementary to each other.
6. Close Monitoring: Activities of the ruling party are closely monitored.
Disadvantages Of Parliamentary System Of Government
1. Disaffection: The system is capable of causing disaffection between the head of state and head of government. For example, the head of state may refuse to appoint a prime minister after a general election.
2. Removal Of The Executive: The executive can be removed from office anytime the legislature passes a vote of no confidence in the executive.
3. Restriction To Ministerial Appointment: The best people may not be in government since the prime minister is restricted to appoint ministers into his cabinet from his party only.
4. Collective Responsibility: The poor performance of a minister can cause the fall of the government since ministers are collectively responsible for government policies.
5. Weak Government: A coalition government is an indication of no General election. A weak government could result from such formation.