Parliamentary monarchy


A parliamentary monarchy is a form of government in which the king neither reigns nor rules. It is a symbolic figure, whose powers are very limited. Power is held by Parliament and the Government.

In parliamentary monarchies, power is not exercised, as in other monarchies, by the king. This has a totally secondary role, whose main attributions is that of arbitrator and mediator in national politics; that of passing laws; and that of establishing diplomatic relations with other countries, facilitating the prosperity of the country itself.

The powers of the State aside from the judicial, that is, the executive and the legislative, are exercised by the Government and the Parliament, respectively. The second elected by universal suffrage; and the first, elected by the elected representatives through the voting process established by law.

Origin of parliamentary monarchies

The monarchical system has undergone a series of modifications over time until it has become the parliamentary model that we know.

The feudal monarchy was characterized by having very dispersed power. Thus, the nobles who supported the king had great capacity for action within their territory. With the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age, absolute monarchies emerged, whose centralization of power is total, as well as their despotism and lack of democracy.

In Europe, as a result of the French Revolution and, during the 19th century, the absolute monarchy was eradicated. As a consequence, the Parliaments are being consolidated and taking power, autonomy and royal powers, thus emerging the constitutional monarchy, in which the king holds executive power, leaving the approval of laws to the House of Representatives.

Finally, it is in the twentieth century when the current parliamentary monarchies originate. Although the elimination of the monarch as a figure of weight has been a slow and led process in England since the seventeenth century, it was not until the twentieth century that the step of giving the king a totally secondary role was taken.

Characteristics of the parliamentary monarchy

The parliamentary monarchy has a number of characteristics, such as the following:

  • Democratic system: Although it is a monarchy, in which the head of state is not elected by the citizens, it is a democratic system. Power is executed by other institutions and the rights and freedoms of citizens are many.
  • The king is the head of the state: Although he owns the head of state, it is said that the king "neither reigns nor governs." It is a symbolic figure whose attributions are very limited.
  • Powers of the king: To sanction and promulgate the laws passed by Parliament; mediate conflicts between national political forces; represent the State abroad; and hold the supreme command of the Armed Forces.
  • The Legislative Power is held by Parliament: Laws are approved by a majority by the Lower House, which is elected by citizens through universal suffrage.
  • The Executive Power is held by the Government: The king does not execute the laws, the Government does. This is elected by the Parliament by majority in the terms established by law.

Parliamentary monarchy example

The parliamentary monarchy, unlike the absolute monarchy, is a very widespread model throughout the world.

Furthermore, it is a guarantee of a high degree of democracy.

Sweden and Norway, parliamentary monarchies, obtain the highest score (100/100) in democratic quality according to reports prepared by Freedom house.

Canada, Denmark, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom are also parliamentary monarchies of recognized prestige, obtaining 98, 97, 97, 96 and 93 points respectively.

Finally, we find another example in the case of Spain, whose score is 90.

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