Some countries, particularly those governed by the parliamentary system, tend to have a ceremonial head of state.
In constitutional monarchies, those tend to be Kings or Queens. But in parliamentary republics, those tend to be democratically-elected Presidents.
- Estonia: President is elected by Parliament, whose power is narrowly defined by Constitution.
- Finland: President is elected by popular vote, and wields limited executive power alongisde Cabinet.
- Germany: President is elected by the federal convention, and requires Cabinet approval to exercise most powers.
- Iceland: President is elected by popular vote, and is bound by convention to defer executive decisions to the Cabinet.
- Ireland: President is elected by popular vote, but does not possess executive power.
A common critique of this system is that a ceremonial President does not do anything, and is essentially a pointless office. Some might even argue that a country can very well function without them.
What are some strong arguments which justify having a ceremonial President in a democratic republic?