Westminster system

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The Westminster system is a system for elected legislature and executive, founded on the British model. Typically, a Westminster system country will have a largely ceremonial head of state. In the UK, this is the monarch, but it can also be an elected President. In such a system, the leader of the party with the largest number of seats in the legislature is appointed Prime Minister, or similar title, who then forms a government from serving members of the legislature. This is in contrast to the American model, where the cabinet must be from outside the legislature.


  • The government always has a plurality, and usually a majority in the legislature.
  • The head of state is largely ceremonial.
  • Real power rests with an indirectly elected head of government.