Get complete information on different forms of democratic government


Political regimes have also been classified on the basis of the relationship between the legislature and executive departments of the government.

In this context, historically two forms have been popular: one in which the legislature and executive work together and the executive is responsible to the legislature for all its acts, and two in which they work separately within their own defined spheres. While the former is called Parliamentary form, the latter is known as Presidential form of government.

Parliamentary Government The parliamentary form of government is the result of historical evolution in Great Britain. It is also known as ‘Cabinet government’, or even ‘Prime Ministerial government’.


The chief characteristic of this type of government is that the executive is a part of the legislature and is responsible to it for all its policies and acts. There are two types of executive in the parliament government: nominal and the real.

The head of the state is the nominal head whose functions are chiefly formal and ceremonial and whose political influence is limited. This head of the state may be a monarch or a president.

The real executive is the Prime Minister who together with his cabinet is a part of the legislature, selected by the members of the legislature and can be removed by the legislature through a motion of ‘no confidence’. The real executive is responsible for the formulation of policies. It performs all the administrative functions in the name of the titular head.

Presidential Government The presidential system is based upon the doctrine of separation of powers. It means that the legislature and the executive are kept apart. According to Garner, it is a system of government in which the executive (including both the head of state and his ministries) is constitutionally independent of legislature in respect to the duration of its tenure and not responsible to the legislature for its political policies.


The chief executive is the real executive as well as the head of the government. He is elected by the people for a definite period. Since, the executive is not a part of the legislature its cannot be removed from the office by the legislature except through the legal process of impeachment.

The executive Regimes cannot dissolve the legislature nor can it call for a general election. Usually the executive and the legislature are elected for fixed terms. In order to keep the three organs of the government interconnected, a device of checks and balances is adopted so that the President may not become a dictator.

Constitutional devices are invented so that each organ acts as a check of the other two organs and thereby act as a sort of balancer to the others. This form of government evolved in the United States of America and was later adopted by many countries of Latin America and Europe with some modifications.

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