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.