Demerits of the Parliamentary System
In spite of the above merits, the parliamentary system suffers from the following demerits:
3. Dictatorship of the Cabinet When the ruling party enjoys absolute majority in the Parliament, the cabinet becomes autocratic and exercises nearly unlimited powers. H J Laski says that the parliamentary system gives the executive an opportunity for tyranny. Ramsay Muir, the former British Prime Minister, also complained of the ‘dictatorship of the cabinet’. This phenomena was witnessed during the era of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
4. Against Separation of Powers In the parliamentary system, the legislature and the executive are together and inseparable. The cabinet acts as the leader of legislature as well as the executive. As Bagehot points out, ‘the cabinet is a hyphen that joins the buckle that binds the executive and legislative departments together.’ Hence, the whole system of government goes against the letter and spirit of the theory of separation of powers. In fact, there is a fusion of powers.
5. Government by Amateurs The parliamentary system is not conducive to administrative efficiency as the ministers are not experts in their fields. The Prime Minister has a limited choice in the selection of ministers; his choice is restricted to the members of Parliament alone and does not extend to external talent. Moreover, the ministers devote most of their time to parliamentary work, cabinet meetings and party activities.
Now, let us compare the parliamentary and presidential systems in terms of their features, merits and demerits.
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