Presidential System

America's Exceptional System of Government

About this Site

This site publishes reliable information about the presidential form of government practiced in the United States.  Its aim is to enhance people’s understanding of this unique democratic system, and to explore how it can be improved while adhering to its fundamental principles.

The presidential system can do a world of good if it’s adopted and practiced by other nations in its true form. It is in fact the secret behind America’s success. Because this system gives the nation’s political leaders a fixed time in which to perform while ensuring through frequent elections that they never stray too far from the will of the people; it keeps governments focused on delivering good local administration while also maintaining a strong national vision; and it empowers the winning majority to deliver on election promises while keeping it from becoming too extreme and oppressing the nation’s minorities.

The Founding Fathers of the United States invented the presidential system as an alternative to monarchical and parliamentary governments. They abhorred the centralization of powers in the executive branch inherent in those forms. So they designed a system grounded in three fundamental principles: republicanism, federalism, and the separation of powers.

Today many critics argue that this strict separation of powers makes the presidential model too slow or even dysfunctional.  But as Thomas Jefferson cautioned, “a very energetic government… is always oppressive.”[1] Speed or “energy” was purposely curtailed by the Founders in exchange for a government truly based on the will of the governed.

Lately the American government is also criticized for fostering authoritarianism. But in more than two centuries, this system has never allowed a President to become a dictator. Even former President Trump, despite all his bluster, was stopped from acting autocratically and removed from office after one term.

If today’s critics of the system desire a more majoritarian government, that is a testament to the model’s success. This system has removed the fear of “tyranny of the majority” that so consumed its creators. James Madison, key architect of the Constitution, articulated that concern perfectly: “Place three individuals in a situation… and give to two of them an interest opposed to the rights of the third. Will the latter be secure?” he asked.[2]

Many countries call their systems “presidential” (like Turkey and Venezuela) but almost all fail to balance powers as prescribed by America’s Founders. Invariably they make the office of President overly powerful vis-à-vis the Legislature (like France and Philippines).

[1] To Madison from Paris; 20 Dec 1787;

[2] Madison, Vices of the Political System of the United States; 1787



Site manager: Bhanu Dhamija has spent half his life in India, the world’s largest democracy, and half in the United States, the world’s oldest. He now runs businesses in both countries. As a newspaper publisher and media professional he has observed the American system for decades and provides a fresh, nonpartisan perspective. His first book on American government, Why India Needs the Presidential System (HarperCollins India, 2015, 2019) compared it to that country’s parliamentary democracy. It was Amazon India’s bestseller in its category for more than 10 weeks.

Dhamija’s work has also appeared in The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Tribune, The Week, HuffPost, Scroll, The Quint, Swarajya, The Print, Firstpost, The Wire, and Divya Himachal.

(c) 2015-2018 Bhanu Dhamija. Worldwide Rights Reserved.

17 thoughts on “About this Site

  1. The basic thesis that the American presidential system works needs a careful review. Even a qualified statement that at least it is proven to be better than other forms of parliamentary form of government is not conclusively valid. The basic issue is the limits of constitutional form of government. In itself it is not feasible to achieve secular society by legal means. Only an over-arching frame work such as the Dharmic frame work of Hinduism provides a framework that overcomes the limitations of a constitutional legal system. So please refrain from claiming what is not conclusively proven to be valid. Even if one accepts your intentions are good, you are promoting a mirage.


    1. Thank you for your comment. If you believe the U.S. presidential system has failed in building a secular society through constitutional means, please submit an exposé with evidence. As to the failures of a so-called dharmic democracy, here’s a recent article on this site. All theocracies believe that their way is the “only” way to build a fair society because of its moral force, but what societies really function on is the force of law equitably applied. And that requires proper balancing of powers, an area in which the presidential system excels.


  2. i do agree with presidential governance. but nothing is going to happen by just writing each other blogs and prejudging the system. we must get ourselves on the road, we must play our character on ground level and among people of india. we have to spread awareness among peoples like, poor, farmers, professionals, middle class through various ways. after all they are they are one who have been mostly looted. who is going to decide that, ruling parties? forget about it. why would they bother? no one is going to come with us. we have to get ourselves down on the load by taking youths with us. we must unite entire nation against these so called parties. party leaders are thinking this nation has been property of their father, now is of them and will be of their son. WE HAVE TO STOP THIS!


    1. May your patriotism and call for action touch many of our fellow countrymen! Each one of us, “we the people,” must do we can to rid India of our rotten system of government. I urge you to take the lead, show us the path to action, and I am confident you will find good support on the ground.

      Thanks for taking the time to read.

      Best wishes,
      Bhanu Dhamija


  3. As said by you, “this work for not faint hearted” in Book release section of J.B. mehta’s book. I also wish India need Presidential system. I admire and support your work. I will support you, not just words. i am spreading your articles / words to all MPs(lok sabha and rajya sabha), PM, cabinet ministers, president, Vice president, all english, local newspapers and news Channels some via email campaign since one and half month. i am sending some 500 from my personal mail. email everyday except sunday. i also recently broght your book. but it was not 2nd new edition.

    If you feel fought for decade, done a lot, nothing is happening. Remember me and my beloved india in misrule since many many years. i do not know how can i help you. But I will spread your words. we 125 crore peoples with you. you are selfless, doing great. As you said this “this work is not for faint hearted.” you must be lionhearted.

    Jai hind


    1. Your enthusiasm for the cause of bringing the presidential form of government to India has touched my heart. With true patriots like you among us, I have no doubt India will rise to its deserving glory again. All the country needs is a good system of government. Our current system is too centralized for a large and diverse nation. And thus it is killing our people’s initiative and sapping their energy in unproductive sectarian conflicts.

      I am sorry the publisher of my book (HarperCollins) is still shipping the old edition. If you call my office (01892-264713), they will provide you the second edition at no charge.

      Please keep up the good work you are doing in spreading the word. Thank you.

      Bhanu Dhamija


  4. Dear Sir

    Please accept felicitations on your most amazing work on the Presidential form of Government & why India needs it. It provides great insight as well as historical perspective on its importance and why its suits to India.

    I’m planning a seminar at one of the major universities here on the Presidential form of government and the idea is to start a debate leading to a series of seminars. Can I please have your email address as Ill be seeking guidance and your invaluable advise if you kindly allow.

    Best Regards
    Dr Syed Khawar Mehdi


    1. Thank you for your generous words, Dr. Mehdi. I wish you great success in your efforts to bring the presidential form of government to Pakistan. This system will make governments more directly accountable to the people, and thus strengthen Pakistan’s democracy. If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to reach out to my email forwarded to you.

      Bhanu Dhamija


  5. National Debate on the Issue of Presidential System in India


    Though quite late I was fortunate enough to have stumble upon what could only be called a very well researched and cogently argued work on the merits of a presidential system in India. The references cited ranging a span of around 500 years of literature on various aspects of law and political science right from John Locke and Montesquieu up until contemporaries like Granville Austin and Arun Shourie deserves a hats-off.

    In a lot of ways I feel that India is a lot similar to the United States, be it the diversity in ethnicity, regional emotions, spirit of democracy and enterprise. Literature on Constitutions often cite two types of federalism viz Coming Together or Top Down federalism of which we are attributed to being top down federalism as if a strong centre created states in India for the sake administrative convenience. But regionalism in India is so strong that self touted unifiers of India like Nehru ultimately had to succumb to regional pulls resulting in linguistic states which he was vehemently opposed to. This makes me think of us being a sort of third kind of federation i.e a Brought Together federation.

    But I deeply lament the fact that this excellent work of yours may ultimately get confined to intellectual circles and upper middle class bookworms. I really wish to see this discourse gain wider audience and more quality debates and hopefully as an entry in some party’s election manifesto atleast in the near future. All the opposition that comes across to this concept can be threefold
    1. Infallible and informed makers of our constitution
    2. Recipe for dictatorship
    3. Basic structure doctrine.

    If there is a national mood in favour of such a change and the Supreme Court corrects its course that the true basic structure is one of democracy and not the system that enforces democracy per se a wider political debate especially among the hopefuls of high office and mainstream media can spur what can be nothing short of a constitutional revolution.I really hope we can work towards it and your work finds its rightful conclusion.

    Thank You
    Dr. Shyam. S


  6. Dear Sir.

    I went through your thoughts on presidential form of govt.Thanks for bringing out a well thought idea.

    While I do believe the presidential form is good, I think we can make a form of govt better than even presidential form.

    I used to write a blog before titled ( You can have a look.Though title says so I’m not against democracy. Also I’m not maintaining it actively due to lack of time. The following is a summary of the institution I think is the best;
    1. Parliament/Congress can be replaced by a smaller panel of sector specific experts.Too many lawmakers are not required.They don’t add value,simply fight for the sake of their party.
    2. Let the panel of experts discuss bills.Let the fate of the bills be decided by logic rather than vote. Let each statement be assigned a weight age based on strength of argument.Only in cases where it fails, majority vote can be made.Invite ideas from the public.Since only logic matters any argument can be considered eligible.
    3. Let candidates for President be shortlisted by proven leadership expertise like for ex being a CEO of successful company for 15 yrs, or head of a successful municipal corporation for 10 years and so on.Nominations can be sent by the citizens.
    4. Let the people directly vote for the President.Let him appoint the various heads of each state/city. The various heads will be local people and will appraise the President of local progress in say 6 months or so.
    5. Let a panel of experts do a review of the progress made by the President after say 5 years and whether he should run for the presidency again.They will decide his shortlisting into the candidates list.

    This is a rough sketch. The details need to be elaborated further. My opinion is that too many checks put roadblocks into efficient execution by the President.With independent judiciary there will be sufficient check.

    Salient features;
    -> Parliament replaced by experts panel
    –> Logic over majority voting
    –> Executive selected by the President
    –> President candidates shortlisted based on achievements.
    –> No party/political factions based rule

    Please let me know what you think of this. Probably we can evolve a form of govt better than US or UK models.


  7. Dear BhanuDhamija,
    In your book “Why India Needs Presidential Democracy” you have very well analyzed the subject. It is a well researched book and
    I congratulate you for your pain staking efforts. Your comments that our Parliamentary Democracy is nothing but a Parliamentary anarchy
    is most appropriate. In fact, I will go one step further, that our system has now been so fine tuned by our politicians that we can as well say
    that our democracy literally means of the politicians, for the politicians and by the politicians.

    For nearly 4 decades now, I have been writing a lot on the topic and have almost relentlessly carried a campaign for a truly Presidential
    Democracy as a Better Alternative. My first book “Presidential Democracy – A Better Alternative?” was published way back in 1979 and
    it was very well received. People from various walks of life including Shri J.R.D Tata, Shri Nani Palkhivala, Babubhai Patel – Ex- Chief
    Minister of Gujarat, Shri Chimanbhai Mehta – Ex-Cabinet Minister and many others have all had endorsed my stand.

    Presently, now also several prominent intellectuals and politicians including Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Shri Arun Shourie,
    Shri Shanthakumran, Baburao Marandi etc. are all in the favour of change of the system.

    The success of the Presidential Democracy as adopted by the USA is mainly because of the separation of the powers. The executive
    does not form a part of the legislature. The legislature has also got its own role to play, whereas our present system has provided so much
    scope for the members of legislature to enjoy power and their main target is to get the Minister’s Gaddi at any cost. The million dollar question is how
    will these politicians ever agree for the change? Our politicians are so comfortable in the present system. Will they endorse a
    truly Democratic Presidential System? We will require a very strong public opinion.

    The intellectuals and politicians like Shri Shashi Tharoor, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Shri Arun Shourie, Shri Baburao Marandi etc. must
    all come together cutting across the party lines and they should whole heartedly take up this issue on priority basis in their parties with their
    other colleagues.

    The intellectuals also will have do something beyond the lip services. Our Industrialists are so busy with their own affairs and they are always
    concerned to get things done and beat the system. Most of them are not ready to see the larger interests of the country. Are they ready
    to play their role in bringing about the change in the system?

    I am thankful to you for your endorsement of Forum for Presidential Democracy and also by putting videos which we have prepared
    for the common man to understand the advantages of truly Democratic Presidential vis-a-visa our present model.

    Jashwant B. Mehta


  8. Dear sir
    I cannot truly express how happy I feel to have stumbled upon this excellent piece of work and to have known that there are other people too who share my concern on this subject. As a student of both political science and law, I have had an opportunity to comparatively analyse different political and legal systems around the globe and as a result of it I have come to nurture a feeling that most of the problems facing Indian society today have their roots in the ill-conceived design of its political structure. As rightly pointed out by you, Presidential system can prove to be the elixir that India needs to purge itself of poor governance. I hope this proposal see the light of day very soon.


  9. Bhanuji, I am also deeply attached with the movement along with Mr JaswantMehta as member of the core committee. I participated with him in making of the documentary on the subject, which is on youtube and also on our website. I highly appreciate your efforts and congratulate you for the same. We ought to work in tandem and try to maximise the awareness on the matter involve important politicians to support our views. I will read your book and interact with you.


    1. Thank you. Mr. Mehta and your Forum for Presidential Democracy have made important contributions. I look forward to working with you toward our common goal. Our faith is in the Indian people; the politicians are too comfortable in the existing system.


  10. Mr Bhanu Dhamija, you have written a very good book based on extensive research. I would like to add from my research for my second doctorate on Constitution of India that the Indian Constitution is null & void ab initio because it was never voted by the People of India in whose name it was adopted on 26th November 1949 because the First Lok Sabha came into existence only in April 1952. The Constituent Assembly, as you rightly pointed out in your book, was NOT an elected body but a Nominate Body. Therefore, there is an urgent need for taking a serious look at the fraud played by the Nehru on the People of India …


    1. Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to write.

      If you summarize your findings and views in an article of about 1000 words, we will post it here on You can email it to

      Also, review my series of articles on this topic at HuffPost India. Here’s the link…

      I urge you to actively engage in this cause.

      Thank you.

      All the best,
      – Bhanu Dhamija


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