POL1 101 001
TA: MAX GARDINER
Article Review: “The Institutional Foundation of Democratic Government: A Comparison of Presidential and Parliamentary Systems”
Writers Terry M. Moe and Michael Caldwell describe the two most prevalent forms of democratic systems, namely parliamentary and presidential systems. They question whether a parliamentary system with “centralization of power” is better than a presidential system associated with having “separation of powers”. A literary review on the aforementioned forms of government suggest that both have their strengths and weaknesses based on how centralized authoritative power is. The writers, observing key differences in how power and bureaucracy is established in the parliamentary and presidential systems of the UK and US respectively, explain how the dynamics of choice influence the polarized structures of government in both countries.
In a presidential system, the principle of “separation of powers” arises due to several agencies using public authority towards their best interests. These interest groups challenge the authority enjoyed by the president and legislature, working against effectual organization carried out by the authorities. The leadership faces challenges due to political uncertainty triggered by opposition, political compromise in the form of checks and balances, and fear of the state. The legislators, pressurized by public authority, generally work according to the objectives of interest groups. The president, however, enjoys autonomous power to make rules and evaluate decisions but falls prey to formalization of the structure; hence, efficiency of their government is reduced.
The formulization of structure, however, helps different interest groups and legislators to hold their own political stance against the sovereign president. However, in a classic Westminster parliamentary system, the ruling political party enjoys ultimate legislative control, with no formal...