Monday, 18 July 2011

Characteristics of Presidential Government

Presidential government practices Single Executive concept, where the Head of State is also the Head of Government, and he is called the President. The Chief Executive, the President is responsible for the leadership of the government and the state. The Chief Executive is independent from the legislature, unlike the parliamentary system which practices the principle of Fusion of Power, where the Chief Executive and his cabinet members are       also the members of the Legislature. The United States of America, the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia and Singapore are some examples of Presidential Governments.

The four features of a presidential government are:
(i)   )  Practice of Separation of Power. The Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary are three distinguished branches of Government. The government work loads are divided equally among these three branches of the government. One branch may not interfere with the functions of the other branches.  In Parliamentary Government, the members of Executive are also the members of the Legislature, but, in Presidential Government, the President and his executives are independent or isolated from The Legislature. The President cannot interfere with or coerce the Legislature. Although, the President cannot dissolve the legislative assembly, the Legislature has the power to cease the tenure of the President by impeachment if the President has committed a serious crime. According to the provision of the Constitution, the Chief Executive cannot be asked to appear before another authority. Example of clear separation of power among the Executive and the Judiciary could be seen in Watergate Scandal in the United States of America, the U.S President Richard M. Nixon refused to cooperate with the investigation and testify against the case. He is apprehended of  his testimony will be equal to interfere of his function as U.S President alone, and he is the Executive who is protected by law from having to give in to another authority.

(ii).  There is a Single Executive System, as the Head of Government is also the Head of State, known as the President. All the executive power is vested in one person and his executive members.

(iii).The Head of Government is elected directly by the electorate or the people, not by the legislature, and he serve for a fixed term. In USA, for example, the President is elected for a fixed term of four years, he can serves for maximum of two terms. As the Chief Executive is directly elected by the people, so he is directly responsible for the people. After the Chief Executive was elected, the people have to follow his policy and governance, whether they like it or not. And after the term of his office, the people can vote him out if they wish.

(iv). The President appoints his own cabinet officers or ministers or heads of government, and they are accountable to him only, not to the Legislature.

The flowchart of a Presidential System:

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