Notes on the Presidential form of Government in India

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The Chief Executive in a Presidential System has a position independent of legislature. The executive is neither answerable to the legislature nor depends on its support for survival. The presidential executive is also known as no responsible executive or fixed executive. In this system the chief executive happens to exercise its own power himself, at his discretion. The office of the Head of the State and the Head of Government is combined in the Chie executive, the President Garner says that the term Presidential form c government is as expressive as parliamentary form”. United States of America offers this example of Presidential form of Government.

Features :

An analysis of the features of the Presidential System of government will lead to a better understanding of the topic.

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Head of the State is the Real executive

Unlike the parliamentary form of government the head of the state in presidential form of Government exercise real power. He has a body of ministers to assist him instead of advising him. He independently takes policy decisions and his minister only help him in the implementation of these policies.

Executive is elected

The head of the State in this system is neither hereditary nor nominated He is elected by the people for a fixed tenure His election is so broad based that is can be called as direct election. He cannot be removed from office] before the expiry his term.

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Executive is not a member of legislature

The chief executive or the president under this system is not a member of the legislature. He neither] pilots bills now takes part in the deliberation of the House. He is not answerable for his action to the legislature for his acts. This system is based on the separation of powers.

The Ministers are subordinate to the Chief Executive

The President, in this system, chooses his own Ministers from among persons who have adequate experience and contribution in different spheres of the society. They are not drawn from the legislature nor are responsible to it. He can remove his minister at his will. They work solely under his direction and are responsible to him personally.

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No responsibility to the legislature

Under the system the head of the Government is neither created by the legislature nor is it responsible to it for his public acts for remaining in office. The Chief Executive in a Presidential System has a status independent of, and coordinates with the legislature. His tenure does not depend on the pleasure of the legislature. He is independent of the legislative control.

No Scope for dissolution on the legislature

In a Parliamentary system the popularly elected House can be dissolved on the recommendations of the Cabinet before the expiry of its term. But this is not possible under a Presidential System. The popular House cannot be dissolved before its tenure. The President cannot dissolve it under any situation.

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Advantages

Such a system of government has significant advantages. One of them is that is ensures stability of the government. Since the work of the government does not depend on the party position in the legislature, which may often keep on fluctuating, the government as presidential system is not affected by this. The executive can carry on with its policy which can be continued for the full term. This in itself is a great merit of the system as it brings stability to administration.

In this system decisions can be taken promptly and implemented effectively. The executive in a parliamentary system is a prisoner of indecision because of compelling pressures of political considerations. Therefore it is not easy to take decisions promptly but the presidential executive is free from such considerations. He takes the decision himself and gets them implemented through his own ministers.

Administration by capable persons is a great merit of this system. The ministers are neither drawn from the party or the legislature. The chief executive chooses persons of outstanding calibre to assist him in the implementation of his policies from different walks of social life such persons are experienced, knowledgeable, and capable who willingly extend their services to the chief executive.

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In the presidential system the executive is comparatively free from the evils of party influence in his day today administration. His ministers are not political nor he leads a political party in the legislature. This allows him necessary independence to carry on his administration without let or hindrance. But under a Parliamentary system everything is done under political consideration because of consistent party pressure on the head of the government.

Disadvantages

However this system is not completely free from evils. It has some disadvantages to offer. According to Garner the system is “autocratic, irresponsible and dangerous”. These three words aptly summerises the disadvantages of the system. The chief executive with formidable powers at his disposal is not responsible or answerable to anybody is really a dangerous proposition in a democratic set up. When the ruler becomes autocratic in the absence of any immediate check the administration becomes irresponsible affecting the freedom of the people.

The separation of powers under this system sometimes creates deadlocks. The executive formulating policies without consulting the legislature or the legislature taking up legislation without the initiative of the executive frequently gives rise to conflicts between them. Over and above the executive sometimes feels crippled as the legislature always does not oblige him with necessary enactment of laws.

The Presidential system suffers from rigidity as it does not entertain systemic change very easily. Whereas the Parliamentary System accommodates changes to fulfill the requirements of circumstances, like the shifting of ministers, even the Prime Minister and the general elections of the country.

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