Description of Parliamentary form of Government (United kingdom, sri Lanka,Bangladesh,canada)

What is the meaning of Parliamentary form of Government?

Parliamentary form of Government is the system of government in which there exists an intimate  harmonious relationship between the executive and the legislative departments.In a Parliamentary form of government,  the head of the state is usually a different person than the head of the government. A Monarch or a President is usually the head of the state.  In many countries, the Prime Minister is the head of the council of ministers.

The Parliamentary or the Cabinet system originated in England. This form of government exists in countries like Britain, India and Canada. Parliamentary form of government is also called Responsible government.



  1. Existence of a Titular or Constitutional Ruler:
  2. Absence of Separation of Powers
  3. Main Role of the Lower House in Ministry-formation:
  4. Responsibility to the Legislature:
  5. Collective Responsibility:
  6. Intimate relationship between the Legislature and the Executive:
  7. Leadership of the Prime Minister:
  8. Existence of a Strong Opposition:
  9. Cabinet Dictatorship:

Parliamentary system of uk

The two-House system

The business of Parliament takes place in two Houses: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Their work is similar: making laws (legislation), checking the work of the government (scrutiny), and debating current issues.

The House of Commons is also responsible for granting money to the government through approving Bills that raise taxes. Generally, the decisions made in one House have to be approved by the other.

In this way the two-chamber system acts as a check and balance for both Houses.

The Commons

The Commons is publicly elected. The party with the largest number of members in the Commons forms the government.

Members of the Commons (MP) debate the big political issues of the day and proposals for new laws. It is one of the key places where government ministers, like the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, and the principal figures of the main political parties, work.

The Lords

The House of Lords is the second chamber of the UK Parliament. It is independent from, and complements the work of, the elected House of Commons. The Lords shares the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government.

The President of Sri Lanka is the head of state, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, as well as head of government, and is popularly elected for a six-year term. In the exercise of duties, the President is responsible to the Parliament of Sri Lanka, which is a unicameral 225-member legislature.

The President may summon, suspend, or end a legislative session and dissolve Parliament any time after it has served for one year. A parliamentary no-confidence vote requires dissolution of the cabinet and the appointment of a new one by the President.
Meanwhile, the parliament reserves the power to make all laws.

The people of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) had the first opportunity of enjoying universal franchise in 1931 to elect their Members to the State Council. The first Parliamentary General Election was conducted in 1947, a year before independence from the British colonial rule of 130 years. The First Parliament was elected in 1947 under Ceylon (Constitution) Order in Council of 1946. The election was held on multiparty system.

After 25 years, the first Republican Constitution was introduced in 1972 with the President as the Head of the State who was to be nominated by the Prime Minister. Later in 1978 the Second Republican Constitution was introduced, which promulgated the establishment of an Executive Presidency and a Parliamentary legislative.

After independence Bangladesh began its journey as a parliamentary democracy. The Provisional Constitutional Order which was promulgated  Bangabandhu6 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a day after his return from Pakistani prison to independent Bangladesh on 11 January 1972 noted the “manifest aspiration of the people of Bangladesh that a parliamentary democracy shall function in Bangladesh.”

The constitution provided for a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model.

The cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister, was vested with the executive power and was made collectively responsible to the parliament, Jatiya Sangsad which was invested with all legislative power. The JS would be a single chamber with 300 general seats to be directly elected from single territorial constituencies through the ‘first past the post’ system. Provisions were also made for 15 reserved seats for women for 10 years to be indirectly elected by the 300 general members.

The constitution provided for a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model.


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