Parliamentarism vs. Presidentialism
Adolph Hitler once said, “what luck for rulers that men do not think.” This remark is a
sobering reminder of how some leaders may manipulate and control the masses of society.
History books are filled with examples of men that will take advantage of poor social situations
and exploit these situations for their own gain. Yet, some countries have had more dubious
leaders than others, and some have been seemingly unable to get out of the rule of tyrannical
leaders all together, for extended periods of time. African and Latin American continents provide
numerous illustrations of this point. Every country and every continent at one point or another
had some sort of authoritarian rule. Though a great of these countries have eventually become
democracies, especially since the beginning of the third wave of democracy, some have yet to
conform to the global standard of democracy. Numerous political scientist have tried to answer
the question, are presidential regimes less stable than parliamentary regimes?
When answering a question as complicated as one about governing social institutions,
political scientists often use complex formulas or statistics, as do Przeworski, Alvares, Cheibub,
and Limongi in their article, “What makes democracy Endure?” They give an economic
viewpoint using the survival story method to explain certain causes of the stability, or the lack
there of to explain a state. Przeworski et al (1996) came up with the magic number of $6,000.
This is the amount of GDP per capita that once reached, “democracies are impregnable and can
be expected to live forever.” So, then, once regimes reach this magic number and have the choice
of democratic institutions, what choice should they make? Przeworski et al. (1996) consider the
percent of parliamentary, presidential, as well as mixed regime cases that eventually abandoned
their form of government and the length of time it took for them to abandon it. They simply go
on to make the claim that due to economic factors, as well as others, “presidential democracies