Government Formation And Removal Mechanisms

This  Primer  discusses  constitutional  rules  for  the  selection  and  removal  of
parliamentary governments. Governments in  parliamentary democracies are not
elected directly by the  people; rather, they  are selected indirectly  by or through
parliament, are responsible to parliament, and may be removed from office by a
parliamentary vote of no confidence.

These rules are relevant in all parliamentary democracies, although not always
explicit. In  some  very old parliamentary constitutions, such  as those  of Canada
and the Netherlands, the rules exist only as unwritten conventions and therefore
do  not  appear  in  the  text  of  the  constitution.  In  more recent  parliamentary
constitutions,  however,  there  has  been  a  tendency  to  move towards  a  more
explicit and formal expression of government formation and removal rules in the
constitutional text. These rules can be found in most of the constitutions adopted
in  the  Commonwealth  during  the  era  of  decolonization  as  well  as  in  the
parliamentary constitutions of Europe adopted after World War II or following
the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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