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Each of the states examined here has a parliamentary form of government. European parliamentarianism is strictly monistic, "rationalized", as Mirkine-Guetzevitch called it. The formation) of government is the exclusive task of the legislature or, more precisely, of the lower chamber. In this and other respects, the decline of the upper chamber of parliament observed by Mirkine-Guetzevitch has continued.
None of the constitutions considered here eliminated the Head of State, as occurred in a few of the cases in Mirkine's compilation, notably Bavaria and Prussia. However, in none of the fifteen states in question can the President of the Republic designate a government without the explicit or implicit support of parliament - not even in those systems with a strong Head of State such as Finland, Ireland, Portugal, and, above all, France. In some cases (Germany, Spain) the Head of State can do no more than propose candidates to parliament, and then ratify the result. In Sweden the entire process occurs within the parliament without so much as a strictly formal intervention by the king.
As Mirkine-Guetzevitch observed more than seventy years ago the rationalization of parliamentarian systems blurs the political distinction between parliament and government, thereby rending discussion of Government's accountability to Parliament meaningless. Rationalization is not the product of constitutional norms. Rather it results from the dominance of political life by political parties which, according to Leibholz, effectively transforms representative democracy into what he called direct, plebiscitary democracy, and is now known as the "Party State." Problems stemming from the divergence between the theoretical framework of democracy and the forms assumed by actual democracies have not given rise to important constitutional changes. Fully seven of the fifteen constitutions contain explicit references to political parties but only the constitutions of Portugal and Sweden include rules which can be seen as signs of a gradual progression toward introducing political parties into public law.
 See Mirkine-Guetzevitch Les Constitutions de l'Europe nouvelle (Paris 1928), beginning at p. 19. Mirkine-Guetzevitch's synthetic essay is an introduction to the collection of eighteen constitutional texts translated and revised by Eisenmann. It offers a good set of guidelines for an examination (also synthetic) of the current state of constitutionalism in the heart of the European Union.
 Mikine-Guetzevitch observed that "[t]he political meaning of parliamentarianism does not lie in the accountability of ministers to parliament, but rather in the fact that the parliamentary majority chooses the ministers and it is this body to which they are accountable -- that is to say, to the victorious party in the election" op cit., p. 21.
 G. Leibholz, Das Wesen de Repräesentation (1929), now in W. de Gruyter, (ed.), Die Repräesentation in der Demokratie, (1973).
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