The difference between Parliamentary

The British Parliamentry system and the American Presidential system are the two best known examples reference will be made to these two systems. Firstly it is importamt to history behind each system to compleatly understand how each developed. The American Presidential system was born out of a revolutionary war between the British colonial power, it,s important to note that the revelution was led by successfull people i. e. successful planters who owned thousands of acres of land , successful lawyers and merchants.Alarge number of these people were slave owners, thus in carrying out the revelution they considered two things namely; to get rid of the British Colonial power and two making sure that the new system that would be in place would not alloiw slaves, poor people ,labourers and small farm pwners to overtyhrow them i. e. it was a revelution aimed at removing colonial power while safeguarding aginst popularly controlled government and such a state was esatablished in 1789, therefore the American State claime the distinction of beiong the oldest constitutional democracy .The British system was by contrast not established by a revelution i. e. it was established via gradual change and not the overthrow of a previously existing system the king of Britain was not overthrown the way it was in the United States, thus the role of the Monarch and the aristocracy was gradually undermined over a number of centuries, the gradual nature of the change meant that the old structures and institutions were never cast aside i. e. t5here was a king or queen 500 years ago today there is only a queen while the structures and institutions remained their functions and powers changed siginfigantly changed i. . the king of 1500 AD had emense and almost total power but tyoday the monarch has little power and her role is mainly symbolic. These contrasting origins have implications for American Presidential democracy and British Parliamentary democracy; The American structure of government because it was new and revolutionary had to be set down in one document called the constitution of the united states thus the US constitution is codified . In contrast the British structure of government is not set out or embodied in any singlr document i. . British Parliametary democracy is based on a number of laws passed down over a number of years /centuries, its also made up of conventions , traditions and customs of governance changing over time and passed down from one generation to another. There is a different political culture. In America thre is a great distrust in the power of the government reason and emphasis placed on individual freedom s and rights and they should prevail even against majority opinion.British political culture in contrast has a considerable respect for tradition i. e. a respect for custom handed down from generation to generation threre is a greater regard fo authority thus authority and tradition remain strong because the Monarchy has the ability to chnge with times. The Americans show a greater irrelevance for hierarchy and titles The Assembly. The British parliament or legislature has three elements : The house of Lords, The house of commons and TYhe Monarch.The presence of the Monarch as a former member of each of the two chamber s of legislature indicates that in form the institutins have remained the same i. e. The Monarch was a member of the House of Lords 500 years ago and so it is today The house of Lords has three parts , the first is constituted of persons on the basis of there heredity i. e. those were born into an aristocratic family are entitled to a seat these titles are passed down from generation to generation. he second part of the house of Lords is appointed by the Prime minister i. e. he/she can appoint people to the house of Lords by giving them titles e. g. Margret Thatcher after removal from the office was given a title Lday Magretete thus by virtue of being the title by the Primeminister whoo succeeded her she sits in the House of Lords. The third part is made up of persons who sit by virtue of their official postions they occupy mainly in the church and the judiciary e. . all leading Bishops of the Anglican church are members of the House of Lords . Thus the house of Lords is a combination of Tradition surviving over many centuries and by its composition undermines democratic princi[ple because the members are not voted by the people , this very much in contrast of the United States Senate in which each Senator is elected by the people. The House of Lords has relatively insignificant powere compared to the United States Senate i. in the United States Laws cannot be passed without approved by Seanate, the British House of Lords by contrast has the power to delay but not perevent a law from being passed i. e. they may ask the House of commons to examine amendments that they may propose, this reflects the idea that because the members of the House of Lords are not elected they should not be able to prevent legislation proposed by those were elected.The House of commons the second chamber in the British Legislature is the elected house and it has 659 members each member represents a particular constituency, each member represents a particular constituency and is elected for a maximum of five years, this date is not fixed and can cary within the five year term i. e. the date is decided upon by the Prime minister unlike in the USA were the terms of Presidency are set out in a constitution. The British Labour Party and The Conservative Party have dominated representation in The House of Commons but also consisits of minority parties i. . the Liberal-Democrats. The electoral system “first pasdt the post” biases against minority parties by giving them less representation and biases in favour of the Majority Parties, in contrast to the American congress voting in the House of Commons is very much according to party affilation. The Executive In the United Syayes the Executive power lies soley with the President (according to the American Constitution) and is elected every four years and the constitution limits the terms of a President to two or eight years.Elections are a combination of direct and indirect voting, i. e. when the constition was being drawn up in the 1780’s some argued for the President to be voted for soley by the people and some qsaid he/she should be voted for by Congress and eventually a compromise was met where the people should vote for the president but the final outcome should not rest with the popular vote for president instead it should rest with the electoral college e. g. in 2000 the popu;ar Vote lied with the Democratic party (Al Gore) but the electoral college voted for The Repulican Party.The electoral college has 538 members/electors the same number as Congress (100 senators and 435 representatives) plus three members representing the district of Columnbia . This system restrains the power of the peole by interposing an electoral college between the polpular vote and the election of the president. Separation of powers The President has considerable power in different dimentions; Firstly as commander in chief of the armed forces, second as the chief diplomat and third initiating policy and legislation, however the power of the president s checked and balanced by outher branches of the Presidential system e. g. the president has the constitutional authority to deploy US troops but the president does not the authgority to declare war on another country i. e. the congress is the body that has the authority to declare war (there is a legal difference between sending troops and declaring war. The founding fathers ensured that the power was divided and not centralized, anther example relates to the presidents Cabinet/Presidential advisors the president is authorised to appoint persons to his cabinet (e. . his/her secretary of state) however every appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate Once elected the American President can only be removed by three circumstances; death , resignation or impeachment (president Nixon resigned from office to avoid impeachment and in 1999 President Clinton was impeached) in the Case of impeachment Senate becomes the Jury and votes to determine if the president is to be convicted.The power of the British Prime minister hire ministers is complemented by the power to fire them ( Prime minister Tony Blainr appointed 22 ministers in 1997 and by 1999 , 9 of the 22 remained in cabinet, the prime minister can alo reshuffle his cabinet by reassigning ministerial responsibilities. The Prime minister has tremendous power over legislation i. e the agenda of the British ogf the British Parliament ( what items are to be addressed and debated is determined predominantly by the prime minster.The structure between the executive (cabinet) and the house of commons is structured based on two principles ; Firstly the principle of collective responsibility i. e. each member of cxabinet is obliged to publicaly support any policy that the cabinet has agreed on eventhough he/she may have disagreed with cabinet on the matter. If a member of cabinet is not willing to support a decision the principle of collective responsibility means that the person is expected to leave government either by resignment or being fired (e. g. etwee 1964 and 1990, 21 Cabinet members left governmental positions in the application of this principle , secodley the principle of individual responsibility i. e. each minister is accountable to his /her conduct and that of any officials falling under his portfolio this principle results in many resignations because of personal misconduct i. e. scandles in the House of commons without xplanation results in resignation. In contrast the Presidential system of the United states the Briish Prime minister can be removed at any time uring his/her term if he/she loses favour/ Support with the majority in House of Commons, this can take place in two ways Firstly, The Prime minister can be removed from office; the new Prime minister must be from the House of Commons (e. g. Margret Thatcher being removed from the conservative party) this whole process is to to ensure that the government does not fall Second, the government can be removed by a vote of no confidence, i. . the majority within the House of commons supports a resolution that it has no confidence in the government, once the resolution has been supported by the majority of the House of commons, the whole government as a whole must and an election is held (this has only happened once since 1945), in other parliamentary in other parliamentary systems governments have been removed more frequently.Thus it can be argue that the, is more flexible than the presidential system, because once a president has been elected there is no constitutional means, except in the usual circumstances of impeachment or conviction, for removing that president, in the parliamentary system, in theory if and sometimes in practice there is some flexibility, the government can choose to resign if it loses the majority support of the legislature. The JudiciaryIn both the United States and Britain there is a hierarchical system of courts with lower, middle level and supreme courts at the top of the Judicial pyramid The United States The United States has one Supreme Court and it consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices i. e. the Supreme Court is made up nine judges who stand at the top of the judicial branch in the presidential system. The appointment of these Judges is governed by a set of checks and balances i. e.The supreme court judges are first nominated by the President , the nominations are then brought before the Senate questioning about their credentials and qualifications for the job, the process is known as “confirmation hearings” (televised on TV and broadcast on radio) only after this will the Senate vote for or against the Presidents nominee, this is an example of the checks and balances within the Presidential system not to give any one branch too much power , once a Supreme court judge is appointed he/she holds office for life, however they can be removed by impeachment or conviction in the same way as a president.The Supreme court has the power to examine any law by Congress an approved by the President, to determine if it is constitional or not i. e. this called the power of Judicial review. In the civil rights movements of the 1960’s the Supreme Court declared that certain laws in some states were unconstitional e. g. In some Southern states segregation in schools legalized by executive members within those states. The United Kingdom The highest court in Britain is not an independent institution it is part of the House of Lords (the upper house of the legislature.The Judicial function is exericesd by 18 or 19 Judges appointed by to the House of Lords by the Prime Minister, the judges are called ‘Law Lords’ and final dtermination on any Judicial decision in the United Kingdom. Since there is a weak separation of powers in Britain the Supreme court appointments are not subject to confirmation, the Prime minister appoints Judges on the basis of their Profesionality and not political partisanship, the “Law Lords” similar to the US Supreme court serve for life. Untill 2000 (reforms of the Blair Government) the “Law Lords” had no authority to overrule any act of the British Parliament i. . they did not have the power of Judcial review of the US Supreme court , the reason for this is the Doctrine of “Parliamentary Sovereignty” implying that the British Parliament has Supreme Authority, unlike the “constitutional Soverignty”of America where the Constitution is the Supreme Autority Conclusion Fundementaly each of the two systems has it’s own set of disadvantages and advantages The in thing in British System has its own advantages just like the American System constitution and the

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *