A parliamentary democracy is a government structure which allows for elected officials to form a government based on a majority or coalition. The group which forms the government then appoints the leader, which is usually a Chancellor or Prime Minster.Here are the pros and cons of this government structure to consider.
List of the Pros of a Parliamentary Democracy
1. It encourages cooperation.
Multiple parties are represented in a parliamentary democracy instead of 2-3 major parties. That requires elected officials to cooperate with one another, which often reduces the amount of political gridlock experienced throughout a legislative year.
2. It encourages diversity.
In a parliamentary democracy, most political parties run on localized platforms instead of a national platform. That gives communities a better chance to have their concerns represented within their government.
3. It encourages individuality.
In the United States, if you want to be elected to political office, you almost always need to be a Republican or Democrat. Since 1877, there have only been 112 third-party representatives in the U.S. Congress and only 7 are from the Modern era. In a parliamentary democracy, anyone can form their own political party and become immediately competitive.
4. It encourages frequent elections.
A parliamentary democracy has the authority to hold elections whenever there is a need to do so. There isn’t a waiting period to vote for changes, like other democratic structures sometimes require.
List of the Cons of a Parliamentary Democracy
1. It encourages inconsistency.
When the leader of the majority party or coalition falls out of favor, he or she can be quickly replaced with a simple vote. Frequent elections may cause changes in the government which lead to inconsistent legislation as well.
2. It encourages lower levels of direct representation.
The need to form a coalition to create a government often reduces the influence of local concerns. Elected officials may be forced to compromise on their stance to be included with the majority.
3. It encourages a suppression of the minority.
If a minority party is not included with the ruling coalition, then their influence on legislation is minimal. The majority can call for votes without consulting any of the minority parties.
The pros and cons of a parliamentary democracy give voters a voice while promoting legislative stability. It also reduces the influence of small communities and political platforms at the expense of the majority, which may not represent their needs.