I'm currently researching about correlations of government types and its possible effects.

As of late, I've just finished parsing some wiki pages and basically made tables of indicator rankings showing every country in the list while also showing their government types.

The indicators currently used are:

  • Corruption Perception Index (2015, Transparency International)
  • Index of Economic Freedom (2016, Wall Street Journal and the Heritage
  • GDP(Nominal) (2015, IMF)

(If you're interested, the spreadsheet is available here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jdqQwip9i-tONLCQmJYYgrVUP3CtvGakevQ-gjugtOY/edit?usp=sharing)

But given that the above is probably too wide of a scope and is just very raw data, it'll probably be hard to make any proper and concrete conjectures. Given this, I'm currently thinking of focusing on countries that had undergone or is currently undergoing a change in their form of government. I'm hoping to see some sort of before and after given the transition.

As a background of why I'm doing is, I'm from the Philippines and the country has just gone through an election. The incoming administration is proposing a shift from the current unitary presidential form of government to a possible federal parliamentary form of government. I'm just trying to educate and inform myself of the possibilities. And if time and energy permits it, probably also others. Hope you can help me with this. =)

As for a question I'm pondering now: Have there been countries that transitioned from a parliamentary to a presidential form of government? Because from what I had currently researched, I've mostly found the opposite, which is most countries transitioning from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks!

And if you could suggest some other indicators to use, that would be swell. =D

  • 1
    Interesting project !! Whether Switzerland is a republic or not is debatable - see my question - but officially the country is not called a republic.
    – Bregalad
    Jun 25, 2016 at 11:20
  • Out of curiosity, what did you use to scrape this data? Wikipedia API? What wrapper? I'd be interested in doing similar things.
    – Gramatik
    Nov 13, 2017 at 14:50
  • @Gramatik, I used Python's URLlib to access and navigate the wiki pages then parsed the data from there as well. Also, 'scraping' seems to be the proper term for what I did. haha Nov 14, 2017 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


Turkey just had a referendum on this to basically move from a parliamentary system (e.g. like Australia) to a presidential system (e.g. USA). The referendum results were in favor but now of course there will be months of work to implement it.

Complete wholesale changes from one basic governance arrangement to another is relatively rare. Normally various changes are implemented incrementally or through 'back-door' means. For example, constitutionally the states are very strong in Australia, but since they transferred a number of tax power to the Federal Government in the 1940s the federal government effectively controls the main purse strings.

This gives it an amazing power of leverage over the states, not withstanding the constitutional limitations. This has been reinforced by progressive series of supreme court decisions expanding the federal constitutional powers.

  • Of course. Constitutional reform seems to be something that seldom happens. With exceptions from other countries that have placed provisions for regular updates though. But then again, if there is something I've noticed, if a country centralizes, they'll eventually decentralize and vice versa. The pendulum seems to swing from side to side, probably settling somewhere in the middle with each iteration. (Hegelian Dialectic?) Nov 14, 2017 at 17:57

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