Presidential Government rather than democracy
|Nos.1, 8 and 4.|
We agree with number.
any volunteers please.
Put up their hands.
Well there is tow volunteers. They can decide between themselves as to who should speak.
Let No.6 speaks first. If it is necessary I can speak afterwards and fill in the blanks, it there are any.
No, no please, I feel No. 5 can do greater justice to the subject than me. He is definitely a better speaker than me and I heard him talking at the waiting hall this morning.
Well gentlemen to put it briefly the type of Government we have in Pakistan, England and many other Commonwealth countries today, is known as the Parliamentary type the principle of separation of powers is not given that much important. Parliament which is primarily the law making body remains the supreme authority. The real executive is the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. This Council or Cabinet is responsible or accountable to the Parliament. It can stay in power only so long as it commends majority support in the Parliament. It can stay power only in the Lower House. In Pakistan it is the National Assembly and in England it is the House of Commons.
The President merely the head of State, occupying a decorative position. He has no real executive powers according to convention, practice, custom or even according to the written constitution. The judiciary has some independence but it has to uphold the laws passed by the Parliament. Thus in Pakistan the President has been dubbed as the rubber stamp. In England Queen Elizabeth II have no executive powers. The situation is completely different in America and also to a great extent in France. Here the President is elected by popular vote like the Members of the Legislature. He is both the nominal and real Head of State during is term of office. In U.S.A. he is elected once in four years and in France once in 7 years. Once elected he cannot be removed from office, except by impeachment. Further the executive, legislature and judiciary are completely independent of each other in America. Legislature makes the laws, judiciary interprets them and the executive enforces the. There is a system of checks and balances to prevent interference and encroachments. The important feature in this set up is that the executive does not depend on majority support from legislature to stay in office. Therefore, he can act with considerable freedom. He has nothing to worry about except his own re-election and for that he can directly appeal to the electorate. The proposition for our discussion says that this American model Presidential type of Government is more suited to Pakistan, man the existing Parliamentary type. Now that you know what these two types mean it is up to you to express your views on the subject.
You did not mention No.5 about the merits and demerits of these two systems. If we also know the advantages and disadvantages, it wills him easier for us to give our comments.
I shall answer this question if that is okay by you No.5.
By all means go ahead No.6. In fact it was also my intention to request you to deal with this aspect.
The advantage of the Parliamentary type is that it is a better safeguard against autocratic rule. The executive can stay in the office only so long as it enjoys the confidence of the legislature. Every act of the executive can be discussed and debated on the floor of the house. The executive has thus to be more careful and watchful of what it does. There is question time in the Parliament and the Members are at liberty to ask any question so the Ministers. When the executive is voted out, it can lead to fresh elections. Thus the electorates have more say over the executive. Finally there won’t be any confrontations between one organ of the Government and another. In America the President and the Congress may often be at loggerheads. That does not happen in Pakistan. On the other hand in the Presidential system, the top executive has freedom to act. He can take bold decisions and do what he regards as the best without fear of legislative criticism. The disadvantage of Parliamentary system is , that there could be frequent change of governments and elections. The executive cannot act boldly. There could be horse trading among members of legislature and there will be arrival pulls, accusations and mud slinging. These in short are the advantages and disadvantages.
I could see now that the Presidential type is more suited to Pakistan. For the illiterate public in the rural areas, it is not clear who is important, that is the President, Prime Minister, Governor or the local collector or Superintendent of Police. Today we all want Mr.Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to be strong so that he can save the nation from the economic muddle. As the led the nation to the path of development, he does not have to worry about the opposition criticism in the Parliament. No.2. I cannot say that I agree with No.1. Even under the present Parliamentary System eh has over tow-thirds majority to back him. He can do what he likes and who can stop him. Again this may be all right with Mr.Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. But suppose tomorrow some unscrupulous individual succeeds in making himself the Prime Minister. Then we have to say goodbye to democracy. He will make himself a dictator. And we will be back to square one, as in the days of ancient and medieval history.
In America and France this system has not led to dictatorship. There is a constitution and there is the periodical election. There fire, I feel, the fears of No.2 are unfounded.
When I read about the things that take place in our legislatures, I honestly feel whether we deserve democracy and the Parliamentary type is at all suitable to us. You see gentlemen; there is first fight, total disobedience of speaker, in fact every kind of conceivable, antic and unparliamentarily activities going on. There is no discipline at all. It is far better not to have such fights and demonstrations, than to have parliamentary type. Even if it is dictatorship, at least there will be some orderliness and discipline. I am therefore all for Presidential type of Government for country.
I have already spoken and so also No.6. We should now ask No. 7 for his comments.
Yes, that is right. What do you say No.7?
(No.7 who has been looking out of the window and watching something outside is suddenly startled when he is thus addressed. He is unable to comprehend as to what this is about. He blankly looks at No.6).
No.7. Have you any comments?
What about you No.8?
I have only one doubt. I want to know which is more democratic-the Parliamentary type or the Presidential type. I am for Democracy.
May I answer and clear the doubt of No.8. You see, both are democratic system. Only the approach is different. So long we have free elections and people are allowed to express their choice through the ballot boxes, we have democracy in operation.
If there is democracy, how can things like ‘Watergate’ took place in America?
You also known the end result. Mr. Nixon had to quit because public opinion went against him. This proves the operation of democracy.
Democracy to operate smoothly needs tow equally balanced parties. In England and America there are tow such parties. But in Pakistan, so far Pakistan Peoples Party has been having the monopoly. There are two many Opposition parties. They are too small and pathetically divided amongst them. Even in France democracy has not taken to because of the existence of too many parties. When we have two equally balanced parties in Pakistan, we will find democracy operating more smoothly.
I think the time is up to conclude both systems are good. To be successful the electorate should be enlightened and there should be two balanced parties.
candidate nos.5 and 6 are well informed and created strong impact on the group. Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 also took active part in the discussion. No.7 has no interest and lacks motivation. No, 8 appear to be slow on the uptake. His contribution is rather marginal. On the whole and above average group and the discussion was interesting.