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N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 April 2009

Forms of Government for Indian Democracy:

Which forms of Government will be suitable for Indian Democracy? Parliamentary or Presidential forms of Government?


 7 Replies

Rekha..... ( Practicing lawyer(B.Com LL.M in Business law ))     12 April 2009

Please forgive me If I m wrong bt. I know nobody is going to agree with me .

I would like to prefer now Presidential Form of Government. This is direct rule and Parliamentary form of government is indirect rule.

And Please give me sm advantages and disadvantages of these forms of Government

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 April 2009

My Dear Rekha,

                                       Thank you for your responds. Lets wait for more responds from our learned Lawyers the champion of Democracy? What's taking them too long  to respond to this fundeamental issues of Democracy?

M. PIRAVI PERUMAL (Advocate & Consumer Rights)     12 April 2009

Advantages of presidential systems

Supporters generally claim four basic advantages for presidential systems:

    • Direct mandate — in a presidential system, the president is often elected directly by the people. To some, this makes the president's power more legitimate than that of a leader appointed indirectly. In the United States, the president is elected neither directly nor through the legislature, but by an electoral college.
    • Separation of powers — a presidential system establishes the presidency and the legislature as two parallel structures. Supporters claim that this arrangement allows each structure to supervise the other, preventing abuses.
    • Speed and decisiveness — some argue that a president with strong powers can usually enact changes quickly. However, others argue that the separation of powers slows the system down.
    • Stability — a president, by virtue of a fixed term, may provide more stability than a prime minister who can be dismissed at any time.

    Advantages of a parliamentary system

    Some believe that it is easier to pass legislation within a parliamentary system. This is because the executive branch is dependent upon the direct or indirect support of the legislative branch and often includes members of the legislature. Thus, this would amount to the executive (as the majority party or coalition of parties in the legislature) possessing more votes in order to pass legislation. In a presidential system, the executive is often chosen independently from the legislature. If the executive and legislature in such a system include members entirely or predominantly from different political parties, then stalemate can occur. Former  US President Bill Clinton often faced problems in this regard, since the Republicans controlled Congress for much of his tenure. Accordingly, the executive within a presidential system might not be able to properly implement his or her platform/manifesto. Evidently, an executive in any system (be it parliamentary, presidential or semi-presidential) is chiefly voted into office on the basis of his or her party's platform/manifesto. It could be said then that the will of the people is more easily instituted within a parliamentary system.

    In addition to quicker legislative action, Parliamentarianism has attractive features for nations that are ethnically, racially, or ideologically divided. In a unipersonal presidential system, all executive power is concentrated in the president. In a parliamentary system, with a collegial executive, power is more divided. 

    It can also be argued that power is more evenly spread out in the power structure of parliamentarianism. The premier seldom tends to have as high importance as a ruling president, and there tends to be a higher focus on voting for a party and its political ideas than voting for an actual person.

    In English Constitution praised parliamentarianism for producing serious debates, for allowing the change in power without an election, and for allowing elections at any time. Bagehot considered the four-year election rule of the United States to be unnatural.

    There is also a body of scholarship, that claims that parliamentarianism is less prone to authoritarian  collapse. These scholars point out that since Second World War , two-thirds of Third World War  countries establishing parliamentary governments successfully made the transition to democracy. By contrast, no Third World presidential system successfully made the transition to democracy without experiencingcoups and other constitutional breakdowns. As Bruce Ackerman says of the 30 countries to have experimented with American checks and balances, "All of them, without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly."

    A recentWorld Bank study found that parliamentary systems are associated with lower corruption.


Rekha..... ( Practicing lawyer(B.Com LL.M in Business law ))     12 April 2009

Thnks Piravi Perumalji. I got it.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     13 April 2009


"Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom."
It is also  thought that association, the coming together of people for common purpose, both public and private, binds Americans to an idea of nation larger than selfish desires, thus making both a self-conscious and active political society and a vibrant civil society functioning independently from the state.
Tyranny of the majority, used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule, is a criticism of the scenario in which decisions made by a majority under that system would place that majority's interests so far above a minority's interest as to be comparable to tyrannical despots.
Our Parliamentary form of Government is neither a majority nor minority and it is a mixture of different political party with different ideology and political cultures that crippled our systems.

Shree. ( Advocate.)     13 April 2009

Dear All,

Speaking from the Central Hall of Parliament on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the adoption of our Constitution, in 2000, the late president, K R Narayanan, summed up this debate in the following way:


"The form of government, the parliamentary democratic form, was chosen by the founding fathers after deep thought and debate. In the Constituent Assembly, Dr Ambedkar explained that the drafting committee in choosing the parliamentary system for India, preferred more responsibility to more stability, a system under which the government will be on the anvil every day. He said that accountability was still difficult to obtain from day-to-day. Thus the parliamentary system was a deliberate and well thought out choice of the constituent assembly. It was not chosen in imitation of the British system or because of the familiarity with it that India had acquired during the colonial period.


"Gandhiji while acknowledging our debt to Britain with regard to parliamentary government had observed that the roots of it were present in India in the age-old system of the village panchayats. Dr Ambedkar explained in the constituent assembly that the Buddhist sanghas were parliamentary type of institutions and that in their functioning modern parliamentary devices like resolutions, divisions, whips, etc. were used. These elements in our heritage made it possible and easy for India to adopt the parliamentary system of democracy. Besides, as Dr Ambedkar told the Constituent Assembly, the drafting committee chose this system because they preferred more responsibility to stability which could slip into authoritarian exercise of power.


"Another factor to be borne in mind is the immensity of India, the perplexing variety and diversity of the country, the very size of its population and the complexity of its social and developmental problems. In such a predicament described by one writer, as one of 'a million mutinies' there must be in the body politic a vent for discontents and frustrations to express themselves in order to forestall and prevent major explosions in society. The parliamentary system provides this vent more than a system which prefers stability to responsibility and accountability. Our recent experience of instability in government is perhaps not sufficient reason to discard the parliamentary system in favour of the presidential or any other system.


"The founding fathers deliberately made the amendment process of the constitution easy so that shortcomings or lacunae in the constitution could be rectified by the parliament without too much difficulty. There are other changes that can be brought about like changes in the electoral law or the functioning of the political parties. Whatever we may do, and we have a right to bring about necessary changes in the political and economic system, we should ensure that the basic philosophy behind the constitution and fundamental socio-economic soul of the constitution remain sacrosanct. We should not throw out the baby with the bath water and like the tragic character Othello in Shakespeare have to lament later, 'Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away - richer than all his tribe'."



Countries with a parliamentary system of government

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     14 April 2009

Dear Members,

Thank you for the noble and philosophical thougths on the topics. I am so much enriched by your valuable views.

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