Parliamentary, Presidential, and Semi-Presidential Democracies - Classifying democracies

4 important questions on Parliamentary, Presidential, and Semi-Presidential Democracies - Classifying democracies

Whether a democracy is parliamentary, presidential or semi-presidential depends on the relationship between:

a) The government (comprises the political chief executive and the ministers that head the various government departments)
b) The legislature
c) the president (if there is one)
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We can classify the three basic types of democracy in the following way:

  • Presidential democracy: one in which the government does not depend on a legislative majority to exist
  • Parliamentary democracy: one in which the governments depends on a legislative majority to exist and the head of state is not popularly elected
  • Semi-presidential democracy: one in which the government depends on a legislative majority to exist and the head of state is popularly elected for a fixed term
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A constructive vote of no confidence must:

Indicate who will replace the government if the incumbent loses a vote of no confidence. It tends to reduce government instability.
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A vote of confidence is initiated by:

The government; if the government does not obtain a legislative majority in this vote, it must resign.
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