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...their attention. They assist at the determining crisis; they arrest or help it. Whether the Government will go out or remain is determined by the debate, and by the division in Parliament. And the opinion out of doors, the secret pervading disposition of society, has a great influence on that division. The nation feels that its judgment is important, and it strives to judge. It succeeds in deciding because the debates and the discussions give it the facts and the arguments. ButUnder a Presidential government, a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns.It is not incited to form an opinion like a nation under a Cabinet government; nor is it instructed like such a nation. There are doubtless debates in the legislature, but they are prologues without a play. There is nothing of a catastrophe about them; you can not turn out the Government. The prize of power is not in the gift of the legislature, and no one cares for the legislature. The executive, the great centre of power and place, sticks irremovable; you cannot change it in any... Bagehot, Walter
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