Unit-9 Institutional Framework

Unit-9 Institutional Framework - UNIT 9 WHAT IT MEANS TO BE...

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UNIT 9: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY Structure 9.0 Objectives 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Evolution 9.2.1 Features of Parliamentary System of Government 9.3 Parliamentary System in India 9.4 Let Us Sum Up 9.5 Some Useful Books 9.6 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 9.0 OBJECTIVES The parliamentary system-institutions and practices-evolved in Britain and have been adopted with modifications by many countries. This unit examines the features of a parliamentary system with particular reference to India. After going through this unit, you should be able to: Explain the meaning of a parliamentary democracy, Trace the evolution of parliamentary system of government, Identify the features of parliamentary system of government, and Evaluate the parliamentary system prevailing in India. 9.1 INTRODUCTION The term parliamentary system is used in two main senses. In a broad sense, it denotes all political systems where there exists an assembly of elected representatives of people having the responsibility for legislation, including finance. The word ‘parliament’ is derived from the French expression ‘parle’ which means to speak or parley. This term was also used to describe conferences such as those held between the King of France and the Pope in 1245. Gradually, the term began to be applied to the body of persons who gathered to discuss and approve government policies and finances. Nearer to the people and public opinion than the other two organs of the government, the parliament has claimed to represent the sovereign will of the people. More commonly, the term parliamentary system or ‘parliamentary government’ refers to a system which is distinguished from the presidential system of government. Unlike the presidential system of government, which is based on the principle of separation of powers, the parliamentary system involves the fusion of the executive and legislative organs of the government. Before we examine the features of a parliamentary 1
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government, let us see how parliamentary system evolved in Britain. 9.2 EVOLUTION The origins of the British parliament can be traced to thirteenth century when King John of Great Britain called together a few discreet knights and other nobles to advice him on the necessity and methods for tax collection. These meetings were also used to advice the king on particular issues of public importance. These meetings were called parliament . During the reign of Edward I, a model parliament was summoned. It was termed as model because it gave representation to across section of the British society. In their struggle against the Pope and the Spanish kings, the Tudor dynasty sought the approval of the Parliament to legitimise their actions. In the process, the practice of seeking Parliament’s approval for laws, taxes, religious and foreign policies gained wide acceptance. During the Stuart rule, there ensured a tussle between the kings and
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Unit-9 Institutional Framework - UNIT 9 WHAT IT MEANS TO BE...

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