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Misconception about presidential form

September 14, 2017

COMMON people often get into the debate over the presidential vs parliamentary form of government. They wrongly think that a presidential form of governance will end the constituency politics.

The presidential form does involve constituency politics in the very essence as it does in the parliamentary form. Without a clear majority in parliament, the president is an ineffectual official.

For instance, in the US, a presidential democracy, President Trump’s Republican Party has 52 seats in the senate compared to those of Democrats who have 48 seats — a simple majority. Therefore, Trump faces robust hurdles in getting some of the bills passed, like the full repeal of the Obamacare, about the Mexican border wall, or on better relations with Russia, withdrawing foreign military involvement, cut taxes, etc.

Even, Trump unwillingly signed legislation imposing further sanctions on Russia and limiting his own authority to lift them. And his growing helplessness is evident from his tweets: the senate must go to a 51-vote majority instead of the current 60 votes. Eight Democrats control the senate.

While both the forms have their pro and cons, the proponents of the presidential form must understand that the problem actually lies in the implementation of the system rather than the right form.

Mumtaz Ali

Mardan

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017