Parliamentary system

Map of different parliamentary systems
   Parliamentary republics where parliaments are effectively supreme over a separate head of state.
   Parliamentary republics with an executive president dependent on the legislature.
   Constitutional monarchies in which authority is vested in a parliament.

A parliamentary system is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive branch derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislative branch, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a different person from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive branch does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

Countries with parliamentary systems may be constitutional monarchies, where a monarch is the head of state while the head of government is almost always a member of parliament (such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Japan), or parliamentary republics, where a mostly ceremonial president is the head of state while the head of government is regularly from the legislature (such as Ireland, Germany, India and Italy). In a few parliamentary republics, such as Botswana, South Africa, and Suriname, among some others, the head of government is also head of state, but is elected by and is answerable to parliament. In bicameral parliaments, the head of government is generally, though not always, a member of the lower house.

Parliamentarism is the dominant form of government in Europe, with 32 of its 50 sovereign states being parliamentarian. It is also common in the Caribbean, being the form of government of 10 of its 13 island states, and in Oceania. Elsewhere in the world, parliamentary countries are less common, but they are distributed through all continents, most often in former British Empire colonies.

History

Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders. Eventually these councils have slowly evolved into the modern Parliamentary system.

The first parliaments date back to Europe in the Middle Ages, for example in 1188 Alfonso IX, King of Leon convened the three states in the Cortes of León. [1] [2] An early example of parliamentary government developed in today's Netherlands and Belgium during the Dutch revolt (1581), when the sovereign, legislative and executive powers were taken over by the States General of the Netherlands from the then-monarch, King Philip II of Spain.[ citation needed] The modern concept of parliamentary government emerged in the Kingdom of Great Britain between 1707–1800 and its contemporary, the Parliamentary System in Sweden between 1721–1772.

In England, Simon de Montfort is remembered as one of the fathers of representative government for holding two famous parliaments. [3] [4] The first, in 1258, stripped the King of unlimited authority and the second, in 1265, included ordinary citizens from the towns. [5] Later, in the 17th century, the Parliament of England pioneered some of the ideas and systems of liberal democracy culminating in the Glorious Revolution and passage of the Bill of Rights 1689. [6] [7]

In the Kingdom of Great Britain, the monarch, in theory, chaired cabinet and chose ministers. In practice, King George I's inability to speak English led the responsibility for chairing cabinet to go to the leading minister, literally the prime or first minister, Robert Walpole. The gradual democratisation of parliament with the broadening of the voting franchise increased parliament's role in controlling government, and in deciding who the king could ask to form a government. By the nineteenth century, the Great Reform Act of 1832 led to parliamentary dominance, with its choice invariably deciding who was prime minister and the complexion of the government. [8] [9]

Other countries gradually adopted what came to be called the Westminster Model of government, with an executive answerable to parliament, but exercising powers nominally vested in the head of state, in the name of the head of state. Hence the use of phrases like Her Majesty's government or His Excellency's government. Such a system became particularly prevalent in older British dominions, many of whom had their constitutions enacted by the British parliament; examples include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Irish Free State and the Union of South Africa. Some of these parliaments evolved, were reformed from, or were initially developed as distinct from their original British model: the Australian Senate, for instance, has since its inception more closely reflected the US Senate than the British House of Lords; whereas since 1950 there is no upper house in New Zealand.

Democracy and parliamentarism became increasingly prevalent in Europe in the years after World War I, partially imposed by the democratic victors, Great Britain and France, on the defeated countries and their successors, notably Germany's Weimar Republic and the new Austrian Republic. Nineteenth century urbanisation, industrial revolution and, modernism had already fueled the political left's struggle for democracy and parliamentarism for a long time. In the radicalised times at the end of World War I, democratic reforms were often seen as a means to counter popular revolutionary currents.

Other Languages
العربية: نظام برلماني
Avañe'ẽ: Amandajerape
čeština: Parlamentarismus
ދިވެހިބަސް: ބަރުލަމާނީ ނިޒާމު
español: Parlamentarismo
føroyskt: Tingræði
한국어: 의원내각제
Bahasa Indonesia: Sistem parlementer
íslenska: Þingræði
latviešu: Parlamentārisms
Bahasa Melayu: Sistem berparlimen
日本語: 議院内閣制
norsk nynorsk: Parlamentarisme
português: Parlamentarismo
Simple English: Parliamentary system
slovenčina: Parlamentarizmus
slovenščina: Parlamentarni sistem
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Parlamentarni sistem
українська: Парламентаризм
中文: 議會制