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Advantages and Disadvantages of a Presidential and Parliamentary System

Sep 19, 2017 | 0 comments

Sep 19, 2017 | Essays | 0 comments

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Presidential and Parliamentary System


Presidential system

The advantages and disadvantages of the presidential system are many. The design and nature of presidential elections have political participations. Positions are won typically on plurality, and the interest of the political parties is on appealing to the largest groups. There is also the citizen representation since the people elect the president directly. This allows the feeling of legitimacy. The fixed term of the president in office makes the strength and stability for pushing for even unpopular, but effective and necessary policies and programs of government to accelerate economic development (Lijphart, 1992).

The disadvantage of the presidential system is that impede political participation when too much power is concentrated in the hands of one man who creates a personalistic culture that adversely impinges and undermines other political leaders and weakens political parties. It can also lead to bad electoral behaviour where minority citizens are not represented or ignored if a representative has a majority that is stable. When the executive branch is isolated from the direct popular opinion, then there is a possibility of implementing policies that are ineffective and unpopular (Lijphart, 1992).

Parliamentary system

The advantages allow political participation because it provides opportunities to the people to make a clear political alternative choices. Moreover, there is citizen representation because the executive leadership must always reflect the will of the people by maintaining sufficient popularity all the time to satisfy the majority of the people through their parliamentary representatives. Effective policy making is another advantage since the government has many facets with many individuals proposing policies for the nation (Lijphart, 1992).

The disadvantages include controlled political participation and little checks on power when the leader can assemble a majority in a single party. Moreover, big parties tend to ignore smaller parties issues hence their opinions go unheard. Citizen representation is also minimal because few representatives represent a large population of people. Policy making sometimes can be ineffective since the executive is required to maintain a majority constantly in the legislature. This limits the governments’ ability of taking unpopular decisions that have long term benefits (Lijphart, 1992).


Lijphart, A. (1992). Parliamentary versus presidential government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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