In this post, we shall look at what the advantages and disadvantages of the Presidential System of Government really are. In our previous post, we underlined that the President holds both executive and ceremonial powers. He is important in the Presidential System. The President is both head of state and head of government. Having said all that, we will let you know the merits and demerits of the Presidential System of government.
Just a quick one, a Presidential System of Government is one in which there is an executive President, that is, someone vested with all executive powers and who combines the office of head of state and head of government. The President whose constituency is the entire country, combines government powers with ceremonial powers, and is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Having learned this, let us now look at the merits and demerits of the Presidential System of Government.
Advantages/Merits of the Presidential System of Government
1. The President’s fixed term of office enables him to give his full time to the pursuit of state duties during his tenure, rather than dividing his time between State duties and politics.
2. The clear separation of powers among the three organs of government helps to prevent the misuse of state power.
3. Although there are majority and minority parties in the legislature, the absence of an official opposition party makes everyone work together for greater development.
4. The President’s power to discipline any erring member of his government, especially the ministers, makes for an effective running of the executive arm of government.
5. The conflicts and tensions between the head of state and head of government in the cabinet system are non-existent in the Presidential System of government.
6. The President is the effective symbol of the nation and may not bend to the dictates of his party members. This helps to guarantee the smooth running of government.
Disadvantages/Demerits of the Presidential System of government
1. The Presidential System is very expensive to run, in terms of finance and personnel required for the separate executive and legislative arms of government.
2. Since the President is not responsible to Parliament, an ambitious President may become autocratic because of the enormous executive powers at his disposal.
3. The fixed term of office of the President may make him become very unresponsive to public opinion.
4. The separation of the executive and legislative arms of government often results in government crises whenever both arms disagree with each other, especially on such issues as the budget.
These are the advantages and disadvantages of the Presidential System of government, have your say on the comments section of this post.