Boozy: The Life, Death, & Subsequent Vilification of Le Corbusier
Created by Alex Timbers, Juliet Chia & David Morris
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Parliamentary system

parliamentary system, or parliamentarism, is a multi-party form of government in which the executive is formally dependent on the legislature. Hence, there is no clear-cut separation between the legislative and executive branches of government.

The executive is typically called the cabinet, and headed by a prime minister or premier who is considered the head of government. In most parliamentary systems the prime minister and the members of the cabinet are also members of the legislature. The leader of the leading party in the parliament is often appointed as the prime minister. In many countries, the cabinet or single members thereof can be removed by the parliament through a vote of no confidence. In addition, the executive often can dissolve the parliament and call extra-ordinary elections.

Under the
parliamentary system the roles of head of state and head of government are more or less separated. In most parliamentary systems, the head of state is primarily a ceremonial position, often a monarch or president, retaining duties without much political relevance, such as civil service appointments. In many (but not all) parliamentary systems, the head of state may have reserve powers which are usable in a crisis. In most cases however, such powers are either by convention or by constitutional rule only exercised upon the advice and approval of the head of government.

Parliamentary systems vary as to the degree to which they have a formal written constitution and the degree to which that constitution describes the day to day working of the government. They also vary as to the number of parties within the system and the dynamics between the parties. Also, relations between the central government and local governments vary in parliamentary systems, they may be federal or unitary states. The term can also be used for governance in local governments. An example is the city of Oslo, which has an executive council as part of a
parliamentary system.

The Westminster System is a particular type of
parliamentary system that developed out of parliamentary democracy as practised at Westminster in London and was promulgated as the dominant form of government throughout the British Empire, many of whose colonies, since gaining their independence, have become Commonwealth countries. In this model the head of state has considerable reserve powers which have been limited in practice by convention rather than explicit constitutional rule.

See also: Head of government - presidential system - history of parliamentarism - Parliamentary Question

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