Comparative Study b/w Parliamentary and Presidential System of Government

Parliamentary system is a democratic form of government in which the party with the greatest representation in parliament (legislature) forms the govt., its leader becoming prime minister or chancellor. Presidential form of govt. is a democratic and republican govt. in which a head of govt. leads an executive branch. The head of govt. is in almost cases also the head of the state, which is called the President. India follows a parliamentary form of govt. modelled on Britain’s.


Features of Presidential system are that the executive can veto acts by the legislature, the President has a fixed tenure and cannot be removed by a vote of no confidence in legislature. The President has the power to pardon or commute judicial sentences awarded to criminals and the President is elected directly by the people or by the people or by an electoral college whereas features of parliamentary system are- close relationship b/w the legislature and the executive, executive is responsible to the legislature, there are two executive i.e. real executive and titular executive, bicameral legislature, no fixed tenure, leadership of Prime Minister.


Merits of Presidential system are- seperation of powers, expert govt., stability and less influence of the party system.

Merits of Parliamentary system are- better coordination b/w executive and legislature, prevents authoritarianism, responsible govt., represents diverse groups, flexibility in the system.


Demerits of Presidential system are- less responsible executive, deadlocks b/w executive and legislature, rigid govt., spoils system as the system gives the President sweeping powers of patronage.

Demerits of Parliamentary system are- no seperation of powers, unqualified legislators, instability, failure to take prompt decision because there is no fixed tenure, party politics is more.


The Presidential system is better for one because of its seperation of powers, the role of judiciary and the govt. accountability to its people. We should ensure a system of govt. whose leaders can focus on governance rather than on staying in power. The present parliamentary system has been tried and tested for nearly 70 years. It can be reformed thoroughly to remove the challenges thrown up by it. Also, there is a need to reform the electoral processes to make democracy more robust.