Presidential or parliamentary government

Which is better the presidential or parliamentary system of government? I am both an American and an EU citizen and see the advantages and disadvantages of both. I do not want to compare these two systems as this has already been done. The purpose of this post to tell you based on my experience which works best. This will answer the question which is better a presidential or parliamentary system. I also have a poll to ask you which law creating a government system is better.

Poll what is the better presidential or parliamentary legislative system

Cast your vote for democracy, which does you prefer.

[poll id=”3″]

Parliament or the President

You can not just say one system is better than the others as both works. Both are democratic systems with a long history of success. There are even two forms of systems a constitutional monarchy (what a waste to keep a royal family on the payroll, some figurehead based on heredity and entitlements) and the parliamentary republics. Some countries combine the two. I like the parliamentary republic system because it has minority representation and is more democratic.  I like the presidential system because the president is like a mini king which is moderated by the house of the representatives. The argument is more things can get done.

Reasons I prefer parliament to a mini King called a president

  • I prefer the parliamentary system over the presidential system like it, in my opinion, it is more democratic. The representative body has more power.
  • The parliamentary system has less concentrated power. It has proportional representation. I do not need a mini king Bush or Obama or whoever. I prefer safety in numbers when it comes to democracy. A prime minister does fine as a leader. Think of Tony Blair or Margret Thacher.
  • It does not matter as much unicameral or bicameral legislation is easier to pass. I prefer bicameral as it is even more liberal. Think how the US has such long battles and debates that go nowhere, when the President does not have support, years of stalemate can result.
  • I believe in the free movement of labor and capital and democracy. Basically more freedom the better with some limits which is balances by the ideal of justice.  This is my political economy in a nutshell. I think parliamentary is more represents the ideals of the enlightenment. The presidential system came about because people were still attached to the idea of a King ruling. I do not like concentrated power as choices are often made rash and leaders base their leadership on charisma instead of the issues. People rally around the leader rather than the ideal.

My experience with history and government

Living in the USA and being passionate about US history I understand why the founding fathers did not want to break so suddenly with the idea of a king. However, the states held most of the power at this time, so even with this system, there was decentralization until the end of the civil war where it became a federal system. The cause of the north was necessary but the result is what we have today, gridlock and a lot of political nonsense with big government.  Special interests lobby for power as a replacement for minority representation in the senate or lower chamber.

I also live in Poland, although a smaller and poor country for reason connected with being betrayed at Yalta a served to the communists. This emerging countries parliamentary system works pretty now that it has cleaned up its legacy system. Some people of course complain and there are of course a political joke, as this is politics. However, the fact is the government and budget and debt and special interests are much smaller in proportional comparison.  I believe that a small government is the best government.  This is my experience in comparing these two systems.

I am curious about what you think is better and why? What are your thoughts about either legislative system?

Related Posts




This is my Youtube Channel: EconLessons


2 responses to “Presidential or parliamentary government”

  1. Kurt Gladfelter

    I have an issue with the following statement
    “I understand why the founding fathers did not want to break so suddenly with the idea of a king.”

    The Founders of the U.S. did not want to break suddenly from a king? Why did they choose to organize themselves in a confederation if this was the case? The last thing they wanted to do was create a system anywhere near a King.

    “Decentralization until the end of the Civil War?” You are saying it did not become a Federal system until the end of the Civil War? The U.S. invented the Federal system with the passing of the U.S. Constitution. Not long after, there were several Supreme Court hearings that cemented the Federal System such as McCullough vs. Maryland.

    1. Mark Biernat

      The founding fathers did not construct a democracy. We do not have a democracy. We have a Republic with a strong executive branch. To veto the President it takes a lot of work, and is not done often. The President leads the military. The executive branch was not as radical departure, but rather an evolution. Remember England had their own civil war which restricted the absolute power of their King. England had a parliament which restricted the King and curtailed the laws. English common law is what we based out laws on. The king was not an ancient chieftain which had absolute law and power over everything.
      England had a House of Commons, a House of Lords and a mixed evolution of a constitution. The representative bodies were responsible to taxation and approbation but the King had veto power. The King was bound to the laws and restricted by the Houses. Is a good factual discussion.

      We modeled a bicameral government after England. We had rule by law like England and a Judaical branch that interpreted the laws, like England. The Executive was strong but limited like England.

      The title are irrelevant, rather how the political process works is important. At the founding, the President could be elected without term limits. FDR served four terms in office. A strong executive is different from other forms of more democratic governments.

      Similarly, Poland had elected Kings which were restricted by their representative body.

      Our Presidency was set up specifically because the founders did want want a true democracy but rather an evolution from the English limited monarchy. What the founders wanted was freedom from England to make their own choices and policy.

      The Americans did not want to be ruled by a foreign power, England. It was largely a cultural revolution. It was not about taxation without representation because the colonies knew they would be voted down anyway as they were a super minority. It was about 175 years of cultural drift.

      The Civil war solidified the power in the Federal government, with the Federal state over ruling states on Slavery, they started the draft and a temporary tax. Since the Civil War the power has been in Washington, with the state law subservient.

Leave a Reply