20 Main Pros and Cons of Presidential Democracy

  A system of government which can also be referred to as an executive branch, which is distinct from the legislature, is known as a presidential democracy. In this system, the voters elect a President, who will be the leader of the government and also lawmakers who are their representatives in any national legislature. 

  In this form of democracy, the president is held by the Constitution as the real head of state in both the terms of Influence along with Power. This type of system can also be referred to as a Congressional system where the responsibility of the chief executive remains to the people rather than the legislature. 

Pros of Presidential Democracy

  • Branches –

Presidential democracy consists of two branches, namely, executive and legislative. Even though these two you are completely separate from each other these two branches always work so as to look over each other. As a result, these two branches allow each other to function properly without ever getting in each other’s way. 

  • Stability –

Presidential democracy is generally found to be relatively much more stable than the Parliamentary form of democracy. One of the major reasons for that, is that a president will preside over a government for a fixed period of time while a prime minister can be dismissed at any point in time. 

  • Speed –

When the time arises, to take an action, a prime minister always has to be careful not to lose the legislators support. More often than not, a president is not tied down by such constraints. Therefore actions can be carried out, much more quickly and decisively in a presidential democracy. 

  • Power Separation –

One of the major characteristics of Presidential democracy is that, here the Presidency and the Legislature, are two structures that run parallel to each other. This characteristic greatly helps in the elimination of any abuse of power as both the structures can monitor and keep a check on each other. 

  • Direct Elections –

More often than not, the presidential democracies have their president elected directly by the common mass. As a result, such a President commands power that is way more legitimate than that of any leader who has not been appointed directly. In this democracy, the presidential elections are independent of the legislative branch. 

  • Importance on Work –

In a presidential democracy, the ministers do not have to face any elections, to acquire a berth in both the legislature and the cabinet. This completely eliminates any chance of time being wasted on election campaigns and the like. The ministers rather spend their time on the different governmental business. 

  • Elimination of Malpractice –

In a parliamentary system, parties use all means necessary, to gain the majority in the elections. Often this leads to severe cases of malpractice, with parties making use of unscrupulous means in order to get a favourable grade at the time of the elections. A presidential democracy completely eliminates this problem. 

  • No Despotism –

Owing to the characteristic of separation of power in a presidential democracy, one organ of the government, cannot assume power over the other two organs. A checks and balance system is in operation, in this democracy, which does not allow any government organ to become despotic at any point of time. 

  • No Populist Policy –

The ministers in a presidential democracy not being members of the Legislature do not face any election to achieve a birth in the same. This allows them to freely act for the Welfare of the nation and people in it, as they do not have to be in pursuit of the populist policy simply for the electorate’s pleasure. 

Cons of Presidential Democracy

  • No Accountability –

The presidential form of democracy does not show any kind of favour to the doctrine of responsibility, be it individual and/or collective. In this democracy, neither the president, nor his ministers, are ever held responsible to the Legislature. The presidential form of democracy does not even hold the president accountable. 

  • Rigidity –

“Flexible is not a word that can be at all used to describe the presidential form of democracy. It simply has no elasticity. Owing to the rigidity of the constitution, in this democracy, even in emergency situations constitutional changes are not possible. Everything in this democracy is already “specified” or “stated” and therefore “rigid”.

  • Legislative Work –

In a presidential democracy, neither the president nor his/her ministers are a part of the Legislature. As a result of this situation these two parties have hardly any role to play in any kind of Legislative work. So basically there is a lack of Legislative work for the executive. 

  • Public Opinion –

Ministers of a presidential form of democracy, are not the representatives of the people in any way. So, they also do not ever have to confront any kind of public opinion and/or criticism. Resultantly, the full impact of the public opinion is not felt in this kind of a democracy. 

  • Crisis from Power Separation –

The doctrine that works in the presidential form of democracy is that of separation of power. This doctrine basically allows the legislature and the executive to work independently without either of them hindering the other. These two structures being dominated by two different parties, serious crisis situations may develop, leading to a deadlock. 

  • Judiciary Supremacy –

The responsibility of the judiciary is to integrate the areas of functions, while also judging the legitimacy of different departmental functions. This power provides the judiciary with the opportunity to reign supreme over both the legislature and the executive. This judicial Supremacy, predominant in any presidential democracy, is severely unwanted. 

  • National Interests –

Committees are the ones responsible for making the laws in a presidential form of democracy. As a result of this, it is often found that the regional interests of the country take precedence over all of the national interests of the country. Thus, the national interests often fall into jeopardy. 

   In this type of Government, the laws are made by the Legislature,the act of governance is carried out by the President, while the adjudication is left to the judiciary. It is a strong and stable form of democracy, with an outstanding example of this being the Presidential Democracy of the United States of America. 

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