Presidential Systems

Understanding the political structure is critical in a world where governance systems influence a nation's welfare. Civil unrest and demonstrations against those in authority are on the rise as a result of weak leadership, inadequate policies, and corruption (Gherghina & Kopeck, 2016). I hope to obtain an understanding of the presidential and parliamentary systems of governance through my research. My case study focuses on Mexico's presidential administration and Germany's parliamentary system.  In Germany, the president is the head of the state and to win the elections one has to go through a voting system where they qualify after emerging the winner. After the first term in office, they qualify for one more last term in office. The maximum duration in office is ten years. The voters who participate in the election of the president are known as the Federal representatives. They comprise all components of Bundestag and the same number of delegates that the state council suggests making a total of 1260.The ongoing President Frank - Walter Stein Meier came to office in February 2017. In Germany, the head of the government is the chancellor who is elected by a majority of Bundestag upon the proposal of the President (Worcester, 2016). The procedures are meant to ensure the government is stable. They can disband the chancellor from office by a constructive vote of no confidence. German has a system of proportional representation. This goes a long way in ensuring no single party wins an absolute majority making all German governments coalitions.

In Mexico, there is a parliamentary system of government. The prime minister wins the election from the legislative branch. It is a federal republic that has 31 states and a Federal District. The power of government is of two divisions, between the legislative executive and judicial branches. Several amendments to the constitution of 1917 now guarantee personal freedoms. The president no longer has the power to control the entire system. The legislature consists of the lower and upper house which are the Senate and Parliament respectively. Senators serve a term of six years, and Congress serve for three years. There is no member of the assembly who is allowed to go back to the office by immediately succeeding term (Worcester, 2016). The head of state has the power to choose a cabinet, diplomats, military officials of high ranks, Supreme Court justices and the attorney general. The country does not have a vice president and therefore, if the head of state dies the council will appoint a successor.

Functions and Characteristics of German Parliament

Like any other form of government, those responsible for passing laws are the upper house of parliament and the Bundestag. The lower house is in charge of electing the Chancellor. They control the agenda of the government thus giving them more power than the upper house. Decisions of the annual budget also come from them. After four years, they have to elect 600 congressional members into office. They form what is known as a parliamentary party, and depending on how strong the party is; they will sign into permanent and temporary committees (Shively, 2014). They will be responsible for creating laws, issuing petitions and fighting for the interests of the general public.

Functions and Characteristics of Mexico Government

In the Mexico government, the head is the president. Mexico has 31 states and a Federal District. The president has to win votes of a simple majority of all the voters who are eligible to vote in all the states. The president holds several titles, head of state and government and commander in chief of the armed forces (Pennings, Keman & Kleinnijenhuis, 2006). The minimum qualification is an age limit of not less than thirty-five years old, must be born in Mexico, or if the parents were born in the country, they also qualify. During the year preceding the election, the candidate must reside legally in Mexico. A disqualification occurs when the candidate previously held a cabinet post or governorship or six months to the election he was in the military.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Germany’s Parliament

Like all political systems, the governments have strengths and weaknesses too. In Germany, the significant advantage of the scheme is the deliberate feature of the post-war constitution and nature of how the decisions take into force. When decision making is first and efficient, it is of benefit to the nation. People want leaders who act first to ensure they protect the welfare of the society. A constitution is an important tool as it is a regulatory mechanism. It ensures that all proceedings follow the law and there is no abuse of power.

Critics, however, argue that the structure makes the decision making non-transparent (Pennings, Keman, & Kleinnijenhuis, 2006). In the two chambers, there is a high chance of an increase in back room politics where a few make all the significant decisions, and the rest agrees with them, or nothing moves forward.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Mexico Government

In Mexico, the presidential government gives the president much power, if they elect a competent leader, they are likely to prosper as the president influences most of the decisions, there is no power sharing and divisions like in Germany. However, if the leadership style is pure, the president can easily manipulate the system. Mexico is characterized by high levels of dictatorship and corruption because the presidential government gives too much power to the president. Both the systems have got their strengths and weakness, and none is superior to the other (Pennings, Keman, & Kleinnijenhuis, 2006). Leadership is on the person. You do not have to be a president to change the nation.

Presidential System of Mexico

In Mexico, the President term is six years. A president will not vie for a second term. If the office of the head of state is devoid for the first two years after appointment, the Congress nominates a provisional president. In case it is vacant latter, the Council appoints a temporary head of state for the remaining duration. The president performs several functions including selecting or dismissal of the cabinet officials. The President Confers powers on Cabinet Secretaries and plays a role in removal of governors in case of abuse of office.

Presidential System of Germany

In Germany, after the resignation of, Christian Wulff, the Federal Convention have a task to vote and elect a president to succeed the one from office. German president has few opportunities to influence the politics of the country. The president is there to represent Germany in matters of international law and at formal gatherings. The president also appoints chancellor and signs legislations (Gherghina & Kopecký, 2016). On the chancellor's recommendation, he can appoint and fire cabinet ministers. The President can also pardon criminals.

Strengths and Weakness of the German President

In Germany, the powers of the president and chancellor are equal. This is an advantage to the country as it allows adequate consultation to ensure the decisions made are relevant. On the other hand, if there is a disagreement between the two leaders, on the political views, decision making may take a long time, and these may affect the people

Strength and Weakness of the Mexico President

The primary strength of the president is power. The president can use the power positively to influence decisions that will benefit a nation. On the other hand, too much power turns leaders into dictators, they open the world to corruption, and these not only affect the living standards of the people but also slows down the economic growth.

When electing a leader, Mexico is a perfect example to show people that they should choose someone they believe has integrity, is honest and ready to listen to the people. The challenges that affect the people are many, and one cannot be able to solve all of them unless they listen to the people. They can then choose the ones to give priority while they try to solve the others.


It is important for the society to gain an understanding of the political systems as they contribute to the well-being of our lives. When we know the functions of the leaders, we can make informed choices that will benefit a nation. Leadership styles are not perfect, but once they know they have a chance to change lives, they will work towards the objectives.


Gherghina, S., & Kopecký, P. (2016). Politicization of administrative elites in Western Europe: an introduction. Acta Politica, 51(4), 407-412.

Pennings, P., Keman, H., & Kleinnijenhuis, J. (2006). Doing Research in Political Science (1st ed.). London: Sage.

Shively, W. P. (2014). Power & choice: An introduction to political science (14th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Gherghina, S., & Kopecký, P. (2016). Politicization of administrative elites in Western Europe: an introduction. Acta Politica, 51(4), 407-412.

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