Government is one of the essential elements of the State. It is the working agency of the State. The importance of the Government in modern times is highly felt. Attempts have been made from time to time to classify the various forms of Government.
Forms of Government -> 1.Dictatorial 2.Democratic
Democratic -> 1.Presidential 2.Parliamentary
Presidential -> 1.Unitary 2.Federal
Parliamentary -> 1.Unitary 2.Federal
A parliamentary form of government is that in which the executive is responsible to the legislature. It is also called the cabinet government or responsible government.
Example : India, United Kingdom (U.K)
1. The executive has two types of functions. One is the nominal and the other is the real. The nominal head represents the state. The real head represents the government. In Britain, head of the state is the king or queen. The head of government is the prime minister.
Legally all the powers are vested with the nominal head - Example President of India.
In practice, all the powers are exercised by the real head Example, cabinet under the leadership of the prime minister of India.
2. The ruling party should have a clear and stable majority in the legislature. In the event of a 'hung parliament' a coalition government can also be formed. For example in India during the prime ministership of Mr. Deva Gowda (1996) Mr. I.K. Gujral (1998) we had hung parliament.
3. Head of a cabinet is the leader of the majority party in the legislature. He is the prime minister.
4. The prime minister and the cabinet ministers are selected from among members of parliament.
5. Each minister is responsible to the legislature for the acts of omission and commission of his own department. Likewise, all ministers are collectively responsible to the legislature for the collective policy of the ministry in power.
1. The most important merit in a parliamentary form of government is the harmony and co-operation between the legislature and the executive.
2. It is flexible and elastic. Whenever there is a crisis, smooth change of government is possible without revolution.
3. Opposition political party offers a constructive criticism of governmental policies.
It is responsive to public opinion.
1. It is against the theory of separation of powers. When the executive and legislature functions are combined together, there is every likelihood of prime minister becoming more powerful.
2. In the absence of majority, coalition is the only alternative. Coalition government is a weak form of government and may result in political instability.
3. If ruling party resigns from the government or defeated in the elections, the opposition party assumes office of governance. It will reverse all the decisions of the previous government. It means that there is no continuity in policy matters.