The parliamentarianism is a type of government that have some countries where the legislature or better known as parliament is responsible for providing both direct and indirect political support to the executive branch.  This executive power depends entirely on the parliament to be able to be formed and to be able to exercise and govern. In the case of parliamentarism, the executive power is exercised by a chancellor or prime minister . It is also known as a parliamentary system or as a parliamentary democracy .


What is parliamentarism?

The parliamentary system consists of sharing command between the Executive and Legislative powers, so that the sovereignty of the government rests with the congress or parliament . Power is then exercised through the country’s chancellor or its prime minister . The executive power in this case depends on the parliament.

  • History of parliamentarism
  • Characteristics of parliamentarism
  • Types of parliamentarism
  • Advantages of parliamentarism
  • Disadvantages
  • Examples of parliamentarism

History of parliamentarism

The first data about parliamentarism go back to antiquity mainly in Greece . The most recognized example of parliamentary democracy is the Athenian one, since all citizens were part of Parliament . In Ancient Rome there was also a senate, which dominated all the other powers of the Republic. The Romans were in charge of exporting the system to the colonies. The first antecedent of which there is a record in the Western world is the Courts of the Kingdom of León and this is how they were repeated in Western Europe . Medieval parliaments depended on the monarch. Parliamentaryism as a political system comes directly from England in the year 1640, when due to an altercation between King Charles I of England and his parliament , a war was declared against it by the monarch and a civil war arose in the which the king lost the battle. Then the English Parliament assumed powers.


Characteristics of parliamentarism

Its main characteristics are that it has a single legitimacy that exercises direct sovereignty power, which we know as parliament. It is a multi-person government that is elected by Parliament and headed by the head of government. There are some control mechanisms that are shared between the executive branch and the legislative branch . The executive branch depends entirely on the parliament to be able to be formed and to be able to govern. The prime minister or chancellor is in charge of governing.

Types of parliamentarism

There are two main types of parliamentarism, which are explained below:

  • Parliamentary Republic : It is also known as the Constitutional Parliamentary Republic . In this type of parliament the head of state generally does not have real executive powers. The president of the republic can be elected by the people and appointed by the parliament, for a specified period of time. The situation also occurs as in several countries in which the president is elected only by the parliament . The one who governs, de facto, is the head of government, that is, the prime minister.
  • Parliamentary monarchy : In this type, the only head of state is the king or monarch and it is he who assumes power in a hereditary way, without having executive powers. The head of government is a prime minister who is also known by the name of chancellor .

Advantages of parliamentarism

The parliamentary system has several advantages, for example, is obtained with the greater representation of the social whole and that decisions must have a common agreement to be taken. There is a better response capacity on the part of the government in the face of crises and there is a greater consensus in decisions and teamwork. In the event of political crises, the prime minister may be removed from office along with the parliament.


There is a very marked separation of powers between the executive and legislative powers . There is too much linkage between the executive power and the political parties, especially the one that is the majority within Parliament and this leads to partitocracy.  There is no subjection to fixed periods on the part of the head of Government since he is not subject to the Executive power . Also, there is a better system to control the changes that may occur in the government.

Examples of parliamentarism

  • Europe: Here we can find the largest number of parliamentary governments . Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, are some examples of them. Many of these countries are also unitary states , which means that the central government is in charge of giving powers to the other administrative branches of the government. Italy and Greece are examples of unitary parliamentary republics.
  • Asia and the Middle East:  Two examples of countries that adopted this form of government are East Timor and Bangladesh. Very large countries such as India also have a parliamentary state.
  • Chile : The use of the Ministerial Rotary that gave power to the National Congress of Chile caused that after Jorge Montt was president, the government cabinet was formed mainly by a parliamentary majority. The president of Chile was then kept as Head of State.

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