On the basis of the relationship between the executive and the legislature, governments have been divided into two types, namely, the parliamentary form of government and the presidential form of government. Between the two, the former is older. In the parliamentary form of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature, but in the presidential type, the executive is not responsible to the legislature.
Parliamentary form of Government
In the Parliamentary form of government, the Parliament is supreme, and the governments, comprised of some members of the Parliament, are accountable to it. Some of the best examples of Parliamentary government are the governments in Britain, India, Australia and Canada.
Features of Parliamentary Government
1. Nominal or Titular Head:
In a Parliamentary form of government, there two heads, namely, nominal and real. The nominal head is one who, though head of the state, is not head of government. His powers are more apparent than real. He may be hereditary or elected.
The British Queen is not elected. She got the throne on the heredity. But the President of India who is also a nominal head has been el Parliamentary-government the real powers are exercised by a Council of Ministers by a Prime Minister.
2. Collective Responsibility and Individual Responsibility:
The C Ministers is collectively responsible to the lower house of the legislature. It policy decisions collectively and it collectively goes out of office when it loses thee of the lower house of the legislature. A minister may express his disagreement policy when it is discussed in the cabinet meeting, but he has to defend and support the cabinet takes the decision. A minister is also individually responsible to the P for the acts of omission and commission of his department.
3. Political Homogeneity:
The ministers, normally being members of political party, share the same ideology and approach. Even when there is a c government, the ministers are committed to a common minimum programme. B single party government and a coalition government, there is a fair amount of h and cooperation among the ministers. However, a single party government is homogeneous than a multy-party coalition government,
4. Harmony between Executive and Legislature:
In a Parliamentary government the ministers are drawn from the legislature. As ministers, they are part of the executive. They also remain members of the legislature. Thus the dual identity of ministers con to a harmonious relationship between the executive and the legislature.
5. Rigidity of Party Discipline:
In a Parliamentary government, the party discipline is rigid. The members of a political party whether in power or in opposition are required to defend and support the stand of their party on any issue both in the legislature and outside.
6. Leadership of the Prime Minister:
The Prime Minister is the leader of the C of Ministers. On his advice, the ministers are appointed and dropped. They stay in during his pleasure. He presides over the meetings of the cabinet. He exercises preponderant influence in domestic policy as well as foreign policy.
He is more powerful and important than any other member of the cabinet. It has been rightly observed that "he (Prime Mi is central to its (ministry's) birth, central to its life and central to its death."