The Parliamentary Democracy of UK, India, and Bangladesh

The Parliamentary Democracy of UK, India, and Bangladesh

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Parliamentary democracy is a process of government in which citizens of a country elect their representatives to a legislative parliament to create the necessary laws and decisions for the country. This parliament directly represents the citizens and its leader becoming Prime Minister. Executive activities are maintained by the members of the parliament who are appointed by the prime minister to the cabinet. The minority parties serve in opposition to the majority and have the duty to challenge it regularly. Prime ministers may be dismissed from power whenever they lose the confidence of a majority of the ruling party. The parliamentary system originated in Britain and was adopted in several of its former colonies such as Bangladesh, India; In my assignment, I will try to have a comparative discussion on the features of parliamentary systems of government of Bangladesh, India, and the UK.

Features of Parliamentary Democracy

The supremacy of the legislative branch

The parliamentary system of government is the supremacy of its legislative branch. The legislative branch deals its business through a unicameral (one house) or bicameral (two houses) parliament. This group is formed of representatives or members that are elected by citizens of the country. The primary act of members of Parliament of the country is to create and pass laws

The nominal and real head of the state

In a Parliamentary system of government, there are two heads of state, namely, nominal head and real head. The nominal head is one who is head of the state is not head of government. His powers are more overt than real. He may be hereditary or elected. The real head of the state is Prime Minister.

Relation between Executive and legislature

In a parliamentary system of a country, Parliament is sovereign and executive authority (exercised by the Prime Minister and Cabinet) is derived from the legislature. That’s why there is a deep relationship between the Executive and the legislature. In a parliamentary democracy, Executive members is also a member of the legislature.

Majority party rule

The party which wins majority seats in the elections forms the government. President invites the leader of the majority party to form the government. The President appoints the leader as Prime Minister and other ministers are also appointed by the President at the suggestion of the Prime Minister. If no party has got a majority, the President invited a coalition of parties to form the government.

The supremacy of the PM/cabinet

In the system of parliamentary democracy, the Prime Minister is very important and has too many powers. In the legislature, he/she is the leader of the house while in the executive he/she is the leader of the council of ministers. The Prime Minister is to appoint, remove, allot portfolios and supervise the activities of his or her ministers. He/she acts as a bridge between cabinet and president. On his/her resignation, the council of other ministers must resign.

Presence of Cabinet system

In the parliamentary system, the prime minister nominates her council of ministers or cabinet when the general election is over and the prime minister is elected

Collective responsibility of Ministers

It is another important attribute of the parliamentary democracy that Ministers are collectively accountable to the legislature. The activities of the Ministers can be questioned and checked by the legislature through various constitutional means. Ministers are responsible before people through their elected representatives. People will gift their grievances through their representatives and ministers square measure responsible before the individuals.

Absence of separation of power

Parliamentary systems of government are based on the concept of fusion of powers between the executive and the legislature meaning that the members of the executive are at the same time members of the legislature. Therefore, there is an absence of separation of power.

Absence of check and balance

In parliamentary systems, the absence of “Checks and Balances.”Executive members are also members of the legislative. Therefore, the parliamentary system tends to be more efficient. This is because political gridlocks cannot delay them.

Independence of Judiciary

The judicial function typically is independent of the legislative and executive components of the system.

Removal of government Via Vote of no confidence

In the Parliamentary system, the executive does not have a fixed term of office and a vote of no confidence can be used to force the cabinet to step down.

Presence of strong opposition political parties

In a parliamentary system of government, the majority party forms the cabinet. The minority party plays the role of the opposition party. They expose the shortcomings of the government to the public and force the government to follow the right path.

Comparison among the UK, India, and Bangladesh Parliamentary democracy

The parliamentary democracy of the UK is one of the ancient democracies. From the 13th century, there started a limited democracy in the UK through the historical Magna Carta. After then, the democracy of the UK get evolved and form in the present system of the government which is called parliamentary democracy. The UK maintained parliamentary democracy for the last three centuries. India and Bangladesh were under British domination for almost 200 years. After achieving independence, they also adopt the parliamentary system of government or parliamentary democracy. Here, I want to make a comparison among the Uk, India, and Bangladesh Parliamentary democracies. the comparison is stated below:-

In Parliamentary democracy, the parliament is the powerhouse of the government. The parliament could be unicameral or bicameral. All the acts and governmental decisions drafted, passed, or omitted in the parliament. The parliament can remove the cabinet via a vote of no confidence.

In the UK context, Parliament constitution in the UK. Parliament is the supreme authority. On the other side, in Bangladesh and India, the parliament exercises supremacy but the power of the parliament of these two countries are more limited. Because The power and functions of the parliament of India and Bangladesh are in their constitution. The authorities and powers of each branch of the government are defined and delimited through the constitution.

In a parliamentary democracy, there have two heads of government. One is the nominal head who is constitutionally or conventionally head of the state. Another who exercises real authority is the real head.

In the UK, the king is the nominal head. His designation and post are hereditary. Every governmental decision and work is operated in the name of the king. But, he has no real power. He can enjoy a little power in real. In India and Bangladesh, the president plays the role of the nominal head. President is the head of the state in both India and Bangladesh. They get elected by the parliament and exercise very little constitutional power.

In the UK, India, and Bangladesh in all these three countries Prime minister is the real head of the state. Every decision and policy of the government is generally taken by the Prime minister. The prime ministers are the leader at the same time as the parliament and cabinet. President work as advisor of the nominal head of the government. The president or king has to act as per the wish of the prime minister.
In a parliamentary system of government, the cabinet members get appointed by the Parliament. That means cabinet members are also members of Parliament.

In the UK, India, and Bangladesh there exists a Parliamentary system of government. The cabinet members of these three countries get appointed by the parliament. The parliament majority party form the government and plays the role of the executive. In all these three countries’ cases, the executive and legislative branches are closely entwined. In the UK, India, and Bangladesh there has a harmonious and deep relationship between the executive and legislature of the government.

Parliamentary democracy is also called the party system of government. A party that can win most seats of the parliament in the general election, could form the government in the UK, India, and Bangladesh.

In the Uk parliament, there are 650 seats in the house of commons. One party need 326 seats to form the government. In Bangladesh, a party needs to win two-thirds seats of the parliament in the election. In addition, in India, there also follow the majority party rule. If no party could manage the majority alone, where they could form the coalition government.

As the UK, India, and Bangladesh adopt a parliamentary system of government in all these three countries the cabinet holds the supremacy.As the cabinet members are also members of the majority party of the parliament. That’s why if the cabinet takes initiative or tends to pass any new policies or laws they sent a draft as the bill to the parliament and the parliament in most time approved those bills of the cabinet. Parliament was often treated as the handmaid of the cabinet.

The Cabinet is regarded as the main executive in the UK, India, and Bangladesh. They take the role as the key of their nations’ central government. The cabinet of nations introduces new policies and makes decisions about national-international affairs, finance, war-peace-related affairs and every action of government is taken by the cabinet. The cabinet of the Uk, India, and Bangladesh also works as the coordinator of the government.

In the UK parliamentary context, the power of the cabinet is more apparent. They work as the powerhouse of the government. The UK cabinet exercises unlimited power because there is no written constitution of the UK that could limit the power of the UK cabinet. On the other hand, The rest two countries India and Bangladesh cabinet also have supreme power. But, the power of the cabinet is more often limited through the constitutional articles.

Having Political parties is one of the prerequisites in the Parliamentary democracy. Political parties compete in the national election and a party that can win majority seats in the parliament form the government.

In the UK, there has a two-party system. The Labour party and the Conservative party are the two dominant parties since the 1920s in the Uk. In Bangladesh, there has there exists a multi-party system. Awami League, BNP, and The Jatiyo party are the main political parties of Bangladesh. Besides these, there have some Islamic and Leftist political parties also who compete in every election.

On the other hand, India also has a multi-party system. There has 8 national parties,52 state parties, and 2638 unrecognized parties(List of political parties and symbol main notification; Election commission of India,1, April 2019).

Collective responsibility is a process by which all the ministers have to support the governmental decisions and policies publicly. In the UK parliamentary democracy, there is a convention that, each cabinet member is held accountable for the actions and decisions of the government as a whole. In the Indian constitution, it is stated that the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the house of people(Lok sabha). (Article 75/3, Indian constitution) .In addition, the ministers of the Bangladesh cabinet are collectively and individually responsible for their actions. If a member of the cabinet does something unlawful behavior he has to explain that. He may be removed from the cabinet also. The ministers of Bangladesh are also collectively responsible to the parliament. In the Bangladesh constitution, it is stated that the cabinet shall be collectively responsible to the parliament. (Article 55/3, Bangladesh constitution). The whole cabinet has to resign if they lose the confidence of the parliament.

The independence of the judiciary is necessary to preserve the rights of the citizen. It ensures the Judges make judgments impartially and honestly.

The UK has an independent judiciary. they materialize judiciary independence through ensuring the job security and tenure of the judges as well as by giving a good amount of remuneration to them. (Act of settlement,1701). In the Bangladesh constitution, it is stated that all people who are being employed in the judiciary shall be independent in the exercise of their judicial functions (Article 116/A, Bangladesh constitution). On the other side, though there is no provision regarding the independence of the judiciary in the Indian constitution, the independence of the judiciary is one of the must obeyed and basic concepts of the Indian parliamentary democracy.

The practice of separation of power is quite impossible in parliamentary democracy. As the executive members of the government are also the members of parliament in parliamentary democracy. That’s why separation of power is impracticable.

In all the three countries in The Uk, Bangladesh, and India there is an absence of separation of power and there is clear overlap and check and balances between the three branches of the government in these countries.

In a parliamentary democracy, the principles of checks and balances are very crucial. The three branches of the government have their own perimeter of behavior. One department limits another department’s behavior to stop being despotic.

The UK totally relies on the system of checks and balances. India with no exception also follows the principles of checks and balances to keep harmonious relationships among the three branches of the government. On the other side, In Bangladesh case, though they also adopt checks and balances. But, in reality, it could be seen that the executive branch of the Bangladesh government exercise excessive power over other branches of the government and there is a little lack of having absolute checks and balances.

In a parliamentary democracy, the role of the opposition party is very momentous. They bound the government to be accountable to the public. They criticized the policies of the government. The opposition party often works as the advisor of the government. They control the despotic behavior of the government.

In the Uk, there is a strong opposition party that can control the government’s behavior, criticizes the policies of the government. The UK parliament opposition party also create a shadow cabinet that fixes the government policies and works as advisors of the government. In India, there is also have the presence of a strong opposition party in their parliament.

In there in Bangladesh, there is a lack of having strong political parties. The conditions of political parties are fragile. The political parties share arrogance and hatred toward each other. The parliament opposition party often boycotted parliament and do violent activities.

Conclusion

Parliamentary democracy is the most popular system of government in the present world. The party that can win majority seats in the parliament could form the government. These majority parties form the government and exercise the executive power of the government.

The UK is one of the pioneers of parliamentary democracy. They practice parliamentary for the last three centuries. Though in the UK there still have the existence of monarch in their democracy, there has no real power of the monarch. Parliamentary democracy is being practiced there spontaneously. Monarch is the ceremonial and hereditary designation there. There in Uk, the majority party form the government. The leader of the majority party becomes the prime minister of the UK. The Prime minister is the head of the government. There has a peaceful and harmonious relationship between legislature and executive. The cabinet is very powerful in the UK. The opposition party is strong there. There has a two-party system in the UK. There is an absence of political violence in the UK.

In India, the parliamentary democracy adopts by the British. It is the largest democratic nation in the world. There they follow the structure of the British parliamentary democracy. There has a practice of democracy. There presence of strong political parties. But, the political culture of India is not in favor of practicing parliamentary democracy properly. There is politics we often see that violence is very common in India, The communal feelings of the people and political parties are also obstacles of the parliamentary democracy in India.

In Bangladesh’s parliamentary democracy context, it could be said that Bangladesh was under British domination for 190 years and they were being ruled by Pakistan for 23 years and finally get independent in 1971. After this, they adopt the parliamentary democracy. But they face martial law and there had a dictatorship from 1975 to 1991. Then, they regain democracy in 1991. But, the conditions of Bangladesh’s democracy are not stable yet. Government despotism, the excessive power of bureaucracy is still plagued with politicization, favoritism, clientelism, intolerance of political parties, absence of strong opposition parties, The government tends to become despotic. The opposition party of the parliament is more likely tends to do violence rather than discuss with the government. These all are the barricade of the success of the parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh.

In India and Bangladesh, though they adopt the parliamentary democracy, they are still struggling for establishing the absolute form of parliamentary democracy. The political culture and condition of these two countries are still not in favor of implementing total parliamentary democracy.

From the aforementioned comparative discussion of parliamentary democracy of the UK, India, and Bangladesh, it can be concluded that, though they still have the presence of monarch in the UK and there existed a two-party system. But, The conditions and practice of the parliamentary democracy in the UK are more apparent and strong in comparison with the other two countries in India and Bangladesh.

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