Friday, March 10, 2017

Demerits of Parliamentary Form of Government

Some of the demerits of the Parliamentary Form of Government are discussed under the following headings below -

Unstable Government

The government is not the very stable in nature and it is likely that it would not be able to complete its tenure.

The ministers are entirely dependent on the whims and fancies of the majority legislators for their survival and continuity.

The government can become unstable in a matter of few minutes by the multiparty coalition or political deflection or a no confidence motion.

The some of the examples of unstable government are the ones headed by I K Gujral, H D Deve Gowda, Chandra Shekhar, V P Singh, Charan Singh and Morarji Desai in the past.

No Continuity of Policies

The government is not the least bit conductive in formulating and implementing long term policies.

Such kind of thing is primarily because of the uncertainty in the government tenure.

If the ruling party changes, it has deep impact on the policies of the government.

Like for instance in the year 1977, the Janata Party under Morarji Desai reversed a number of different policies of Congress which was the previous government.

Such kind of thing was again repeated in 1980 when Congress resumed power.

Dictatorship of the Cabinet

When the ruling party starts enjoying absolute majority in both houses of the Parliament, it is likely that the cabinet will become autocratic and starts exercising unlimited powers.

In fact it gives a window of opportunity for the executive to become tyrannical.

The dictatorship of the cabinet was witnessed in the Congress government under the rule of Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi.

Government by Amateurs

Since the Council of Ministers are not experts in their own fields, the Parliamentary Form of Government is not able to work to its administrative efficiency.

The Prime Minister is limited in his choice for the selection and appointment of the ministers and it does not extend to the external talent.

Hence it can be easily deduced that the government is run by amateurs who does not have sound experience and knowledge in their own field.

Against Separation of Powers

In this form of government, the executive and legislature are always together and cannot be separated.

The Cabinet of the Ministers is the leader in both executive as well as legislature organs of the government.

In fact, the cabinet works as a buckle that holds the both organs together in one place.

As a result of which the ministers are able to dominate policy making.

Failure to Take Prompt Action

Since the tenure of the Council of Ministers is not fixed, hence they are not able to take any long term bold policy.

This in turn can lead to an unstable government in its due course of time.

The coalition partners keep fighting all the time and hence are not able to take any kind of bold decisions.

The problem is aggravated during any emergency crisis like for instance a war when none is able to take a decisive action.


In this form of government, the political parties are guided by the partisan motives rather than working for the national or people’s interests.

There is always conflict of interest between the ruling party and the party in opposition who fight like enemies all the time.

The ruling government does not see any good in the opposition’s criticism and the opposition is always seen opposing to any rule or policies for the mere sake of conflict.

Control by Bureaucracy

The bureaucracy is very powerful in this form of government.

Since most of the ministers are amateurs, they are always dependent on the civil servants for any guidance or expert service.

In fact it is the civil servant who exercises true powers in the name of ministers.

While they don’t come at the front, they cannot be held accountable for their activities to the legislature.

This in turn leads to Red Tapism and irresponsibility.

Election of the President

The Prime Minister is directly elected by the legislature who in turn has a very strong influence in the party leadership.

As a result of which, the candidate of the party is the head of the ruling government is usually known before the election is contested.

This makes the election more about the person rather than about the party that will assume the role of government.

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