The presidential and parliamentary systems of governance differ markedly particularly at the high positions of power. America uses the presidential system. In such a system, the political, and leadership roles are well shared or distributed among the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature. The president is the head of government and is elected directly by the general public. To enhance governance, the president, appoints a cabinet to run the various government ministries. The composition of the cabinet is made by expatriates in a different field who are not members of the congress. This system allows for separation of powers between the executive and the legislature with each acting independently.
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The president can only be removed from office through a vote of no confidence initiated by the legislature. Due to the lack of a link between the presidency and the legislature, the president would remain in office even if his party for one reason or another gets a minority in the legislative chamber. On the issue of legislation, under the presidential system, it is the responsibility of the legislature to formulate and introduce bills. In case the executive formulates a law, it has to be introduced on the floor of the house by a legislative member. The legislature is also responsible for amendments to laws.
The parliamentary system is characterized by a sharing of powers between the executive and the legislature. The head of the government is a prime minister and is also the leader of the party with a majority of votes in the legislative assembly. The prime minister is chosen by the legislative members and raises to such a portfolio through a campaign among the members of his/her party.
The cabinet is appointed by the prime minister from among the members of the legislature. This integration of the executive and the legislative branches means that should the ruling party lose the majority threshold in the legislature, the executive would automatically change.
The prime minister can be removed from office either through a vote of no-confidence’ or by party members outside the legislative domain. The no-confidence vote is usually introduced by the opposition as a show of lack of confidence in the prime minister and his/ her cabinet ministers to continue serving as government and if it passes by the required margin, the prime minister and his cabinet step down and new elections are held.
The party members may also remove the prime minister from office without involving the legislature. In the latter case, no new elections are held. This may arise when the head of government fails the accountability credentials test as stipulated by the nation’s constitution or party doctrines. In the formulation of legislation, the executive carries the chief mandate to formulate and introduce bills to parliament for discussion and the eventual passage.
Both presidential and parliamentary systems offer various ways the executive can form after Parliamentary elections. If a party does not get an outright majority in an election, a merger can be formed between the party and another or others to qualify to form a government. The party that wins the outright majority in parliamentary or general elections in most cases forms the government.
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Constitutional monarchy means a monarch acts as head of state but within the limits of the constitution. In such a monarchy, the government uses the parliamentary system and the monarch only enjoys ceremonial powers. In a republic, the president or prime minister is democratically elected by the people.