parliamentary system…??

gaaaahh….ugh..just finished explaning to my little sister how the parliamentary system works.

im not really a political science major student or that im fond of the government systems and anything that has something to do with that. im not particularly interested with laws and governments, so in short, im not in to these kinds of stuffs.

well anyway, my little sister asked me to do research to help her out with her debate tomorrow, gaaah, super duper short notice! well, i have to do it or else she’ll get mad at me for not helping her.

so here goes what i think and learned about the parliamentary system:

a parliament is a legislature especially in countries whose system of government is based on the westminister system(a form of parliamentary, i’ll discuss this later) modeled from United Kingdom. the word parliament is derived from the french word parlement – from the action parler (to speak) – which means to discuss or to have a meeting. 

there are different kinds of parliamentary system, the parliamentary republic and the parliamentary democratic system (i hope im right and im making sense).

in the parliamentary republic, there is the parliament and the president, while in the parliamentary democratic, is the parliament and the hereditary monarch(this is common in europe).

also in the parliament system, there is the unicameral system (single house) and the bicameral system (two houses, usually the upper and lower chambers). i heard/read that there is also the tricameral system though i didnt research on it that much because its not that common.

here are some of the examples of unicameral and bicameral systems:

Unicameral System

Country – Parliament 

Country Parliament
Albania Kuvendi
Bangladesh Jatiyo Sangshad
Bulgaria National Assembly
Botswana Parliament
Burkina Faso National Assembly
Croatia Sabor
Denmark Folketing
Dominica House of Assembly


Bicameral System

Organisation or Country Parliament Upper chamber Lower chamber
Australia Commonwealth Parliament Senate House of Representatives
Austria Parliament Federal Council National Council
Antigua and Barbuda Parliament Senate House of Representatives
The Bahamas Parliament Senate House of Assembly
Barbados House of Assembly Senate House of Assembly
Belize National Assembly Senate House of Representatives
Belgium Federal Parliament Senate Chamber of Representatives
Bhutan Parliament National Council National Assembly
Canada Parliament Senate House of Commons
Czech Republic Parliament Senate Chamber of Deputies
Ethiopia Federal Parliamentary Assembly House of Federation House of People’s Representatives
European Union   Council of the European Union European Parliament
Germany Federal Legislature/Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly) Bundesrat (Federal Council) Bundestag (Federal Diet)


if this example is still unclear to you, here’s a simple example of the difference between the unicameral system (Finland uses a unicameral system, they have one house/or parliament with 200 members)and the bicameral system (United Kingdom uses the bicameral system wherein they have two houses, the House of the Lords and the House of the Commons).

here are some pros and cons about the parliamentary system:

cons of parliamentary system:

  • the prime minister is elected by the legislature. the people doesnt have the power to vote for the prime minister unlike in the presidential system.
  • there is no independent body to oppose and veto legislation passed by the parliament. so the prime minister has total control.

pros of parliamentary system:

  • its easy to elect and remove a prime minister.


the pros and cons that i made is very generalized because the parliament system in itself has different kinds/models. here are the models and their differences:

  1. Westminister Model – citizens(the people) elect the members to parliament. the prime minister can be easily removed by the parliament. in some nations with the hereditary monarch(instead of the president) the monarch has the power to disband the legislature during times of war. when there’s no war, the herediatary monarch just acts as the (and often times is) figurehead of the state. members of the parliament are not permitted to introduce spending and tax bills.
  2. Western European Models – the prime minister is chosen from the majority party in the parliament and can select their own cabinet members with the approval of the parliament. the president has weak powers compared to the prime minister (again, the president just acts as the figurehead of the state). if the parliament doesnt want the prime minister and wishes to remove him/her(the prime minister) then they can do so by dissolving the parliament and selecting a new prime minister at the same time. this model has two houses and both houses can introduce their own bills, as well as the president can pass decrees with the power of some laws without the consent of the legislature.
  3. French Hybrid – unlike the western european model, the president has strong powers and can select his/her own cabinet and prime minister who presides over the parliament. the parliament doesnt have the power to remove the president, they can however (if they really want to remove the president, in this case this is their one and only chance and last resort) dissolve the parliament (kamikazee way – remove themselves from the parliament/quit the parliament) which effectively removes the president and his cabinet. if this thing happens, then the new elected president chooses his own new parliament and cabinet members. the lower house however can be dissolved by the president. the houses and executive branch can pass their own bills but the parliament cant introduce bills that has something to do with expenditures.


here are the links where i got my research/learnings from:

well, that’s all i learned from my research. i hope this was helpful enough for you. and if you have some comments (things you wanna add and correct) just leave a comment. it would be really helpful 🙂

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