The core feature of parliamentary democracy is government responsibility to the legislature. The most important instrument by which parliament can express its lack of support for the government is the vote of no confidence. This mechanism remains significantly under-studied, and research on votes of no confidence calls out for systematic attention. It is also timely because parliamentary democracies are making it procedurally harder for parliament to terminate the government. Through developing and conceptualising a series of indicators that affect the relative ease with which parliament can challenge and terminate government, this study proposes the first ever framework for analysing votes of no confidence. It then empirically locates countries in the framework and discusses those that have shifted over time. The goal of this study is to begin to fill an academic lacuna concerning, arguably, the defining feature of parliamentary democracy.
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- No confidence vote
- constructive vote of no confidence
- executive–legislative relations
- government termination