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UNIT III DEMOCRATIC POLITICS Lesson 1 Power Sharing MCQQ.

.1 How many people speak French and Dutch in the capital city of Brussels? a) 60 percent French 40 percent Dutch b) 50% Dutch 50% French c) 80% French 20% Dutch d) 80% Dutch 20% French

Q.2 How many times leaders of Belgium amended their constitution? A) Two times C) Four times B) Three times d) Since time

Q.3 Which one of the following is correct regarding power sharing? A) It leads to conflict between different groups. B) It ensures the stability of the country. C) It helps to reduce the conflict between different groups. b) Only B is true c) Both A and B are true

a) Only A is true

d) Both B and C are true Q.4 Which was the only official language of Sri Lanka? a) Tamil c) Sinhala (b) Malyalam (d) none of the mention above

Q.5 Which community was rich and powerful in Belgium? a) German (b) French

c) Dutch Answers key of MCQ : (1) c (2)

(d) none of the mention above

(3)

(4)

(5)

Short Answer questions Q.1 What was a community government? Q.2 What was the political problems faced by Belgium? Q.3 Explain the ethnic problem of Srilanka. Q.4. How did the Sri Lankan and the Belgium governments try to solve the ethnic problem? Ans. 1. The Belgium leaders tried to solve the ethnic problem by respecting the feelings and interests of different communities and regions, whereas the Sri Lanka Government tried to solve the problem through majoritarianism. 2. The Belgium solution helped in avoiding civic strife, whereas the majoritarianism in Sri Lanka led to the civil war. Q.5. Explain the prudential reasons for power sharing. Q. 6. Explain the moral reason for power sharing. Q. 7. What is power sharing? Q. 8. Mention the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to achieve majoritarianism. Long Answers questions Q.1 How Belgian government solved its ethnic Problem ? Ans : The Path of accommodation adopted in Belgium. Dutch and French speaking ministers shall be equal in the central govt. Many Powers of the central government have been given to state govt. The state govt. are not subordinate to the central govt.

Brussels has a separate govt. in which both the communities have equal representation. There is a third kind of govt. called community govt. elected by the people belonging to Dutch, French and German no matter where they live. Q.2 What is majoritariamisum? How it has led to alienation of majority community in Sri Lanka? Ans- Define the term majoritarianism. A belief that the majority community should be able to rule the country in whichever ways it want, by disregarding the wishes and needs of the minority community is majoritarianism. In srilanka mainly there are two communities- Sinhala and Tamils the leaders of the sinhala community sought to secure dominance over the govt. by virtue of their majority. Sinhala has been recognized as the official language of the country by disregarding Tamil. Government followed a preferential policy favouring Sinhalased in university positions and govt. jobs. The govt. encouraged and protected Budhism. The distrust has turned into a civil war that has caused a set back to social cultural and economic life of SriLanka.

CIVICS

Lesson No. 1 Power Sharing Summary :

Power sharing: Power sharing is the distribution of power among the organs
of the government like legislature, executive and judiciary. It is an intelligent step to ensure the stability of political order. Besides, power sharing also includes sharing at the different levels like union, state and local.

Ethnic: A social division based on shared culture. Mostly people belonging to


the same ethnic group believe in their common descent because they have similarities of physical type or culture or both. They may not have the same religion or nationality, e.g, French speaking, Dutch speaking, Sinhala speaking, etc.

Majoritarian: A concept which signifies a belief that the majority community


should be able to rule a country in whichever way it wants is known as Majoritarian. In this type of rule they disregard the wishes and needs of the minority.

Community Government:

A type of Government which is elected by

people belonging to one language community is called community government. Dutch, French and German speaking no matter where they live. This is a very specific type of government in Belgium. It deals with cultural, educational and language related issues.

Civil War: A violent conflict between opposing groups within a country is


known as civil war. Sometimes it becomes so intense that it appears like a war.

Prudential: It is a set of reason which favors power sharing. It is based on


prudence, or on careful calculation of gains and losses. Prudential reasons stress beneficial consequences.

Checks and Balances: A system in which each organ of the government


checks the others which results in a balance of power among various institutions. It ensures that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power.

Vertical Division of power: It is a type of distribution of power which


involves the higher and lower levels of government such as central, provincial and regional levels.

Reserved Constituencies:

It is a system in which constituencies are reserved in the Assemblies and the Parliament for minorities in order to give them a fair share in power. elected and forms a government it is known as the Coalition Government. This is another form of power sharing.

Coalition government: when the alliance of two or more parties gets

Power

Sharing in Belgium

Belgium is a small country in Europe.

Division of Population (Ethnic Composition of the People in Belgium )


The ethnic composition of Belgium is very complex.

Flemish (Dutch speaking): 59% Wallonia (French speaking): 40% Remaining 1 % speak German. In the capital city Brussels, 80% people speak French, while the rest speak Dutch . State the two sets of reasons in favour of power sharing. Or What are the prudential and moral reasons for power sharing? Prudential Reasons: Power sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. Since social conflict often leads to violence and political instability, power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order. Imposing the will of the majority community over the minority may look like an attractive option in the short run, but in the long run it undermines the unity of the nation. Tyranny of the majority is not just oppressive for the minority, it often brings ruin to the majority as well. Moral Reasons: Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy.

A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects. People have a right to be consulted on how they are to be governed. A legitimate government is one where citizens, through participation, acquire a chance in the system. State the basic reason for the tension between the French speaking and Dutch speaking communities in Belgium. ( Answer ) : The minority French-speaking community is economically and educationally well-to-do in comparison to the Dutch-speaking majority. The minority French-speaking community was relatively rich and powerful. This was resented by the Dutch-speaking community who got the benefit of economic development and education much later. This led to tension between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities during the 1950s and 1960s

For accommodating the interests of the minority and the majority, Belgium adopted a unique system of power sharing.
How did the Belgian Government resolve the ethnic diversities and tension between them? Or How was power shared between the people in Belgium? The Belgian Government recognized the existence of regional differences and cultural diversities. Between 1970 and 1993 they amended their constitution four times to work out an arrangement that would enable everyone to live together within the same country. The arrangement they worked out is different from any other country and is very innovative. The Belgian Model of Governance The French and Dutch-speaking ministers are equal in the central government. Some special laws require the support of majority of members from each linguistic group. Thus, no single community can make decisions unilaterally. Many powers of the central government have been given to state governments of the two regions of the country. The state governments are not subordinate to the Central Government. Brussels has a separate government in which both the communities (French and Dutch) have equal representation. The French-speaking people accepted equal

representation in Brussels because the Dutch-speaking community has accepted equal representation in the Central Government. A community government exists. It is elected by people belonging to one language community Dutch, French and German-speaking no matter where they live. This government has the power regarding cultural, educational and language-related issues. . This kind of governance has prevented a civil strife between the two different linguistic communities. Power

Sharing in Sri Lanka :

The Ethnic diversity of the people in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has a diverse population with 74% Sinhala speakers and 18% Tamil speakers. Among Tamils, 13% are called Sri Lankan Tamils and the rest Indian Tamils. ( Among Tamils, there are wo subgroups. Tamil natives of the country are called Sri Lankan Tamils. The rest, whose forefathers came from India as lantation workers during colonial period, are called Indian Tamils.) Most of the Sinhala-speaking people are Buddhist, while most of the Tamils are Hindus or Muslims. There are about 7 % Christians, who are both Tamil and Sinhala. (Name the conflicting group of people in Srilanka: Sinhala-speakers and the Tamil-speakers .) So in SriLanka the problem was who is going to hold power and enjoy the economic benefits.

State the basic reasons for the tension ( Civil War ) between Sinhala and Tamil speaking people in Sri Lanka. Or Why do the Sri Lankan Tamils feel alienated in their country?

Sri Lanka emerged as an independent country in 1948. In Sri Lanka, the Sinhala community enjoyed a bigger majority and could impose its will on the entire country. As a result, the democratically elected government adopted a series of majoritarian measures to establish Sinhala supremacy. In 1956, Sinhala was recognised as the only official language of Sri Lanka; thus, disregarding Tamil.

The governments followed preferential policies that favoured Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. A new constitution stipulated that the state shall protect and foster Buddhism. All these government measures, coming one after the other, gradually increased the feeling of alienation among the Sri Lankan Tamils. They felt that none of the major political parties led by the Buddhist Sinhala leaders was sensitive to their language and culture. They felt that the Constitution and government policies denied them equal political rights, discriminated against them in getting jobs and other opportunities and ignored their interests. A feeling of alienation was seen among the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Sri Lankan Tamils launched parties and struggles for the recognition of Tamil as an official language, for regional autonomy and equality of opportunity in securing education and jobs. But their demand for more autonomy to provinces populated by the Tamils was repeatedly denied by the Sinhala dominated government. By 1980s, several political organizations were formed demanding an independent Tamil Eelam (state) in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka. The distrust & these differences between the two communities turned into widespread conflict. It soon turned Sri Lanka into the state civil war. (any four) In Sri Lanka, the idea of majoritarianism crumbled the country in a civil war. What were the majoritarian measures adopted by the Sri Lankan Government? In 1956, Sinhala was recognised as the only official language of Sri Lanka; thus, disregarding Tamil. The governments followed preferential policies that favoured Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. A new constitution stipulated that the state shall protect and foster Buddhism. Why Power Sharing is Desirable? To avoid conflict: It reduce the possibility of conflict between the various social groups.
Since social conflict often leads to violence and political instability, power sharing is a good way to ensure political stability.

Imposing the will of majority community over the minority may look like an attractive option
in the short run, but in long run, it undermines the unity of the nation.

Tyranny of the majority is not just oppressive for the minority, if often brings ruin to the
majority as well.

Spirit of democracy: Power sharing is the basic spirit of democracy.

A democratic rule involves the sharing of power with those affected by its exercise, and those
who have to live with its effects.

A democratic government is chosen by the people. So they are to be governed. A legitimate government is one where groups, through participation acquire a stake in the
system.

Power sharing is the very essence of a democracy as participation of citizens is an essential factor. An intelligent sharing of power among legislature, executive and judiciary is very important to the design of a democracy.

Power Sharing : Power sharing is important because it reduces the conflict between different social groups. Social conflicts often leads to violence and political instability Power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order. A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects. People have a right to be consulted on how they are to be governed. A legitimate govt. is one where citizens, through participation, acquire a stake in the system. Principle of Democracy : One basis of principle of democracy is that people are the source of all political power. The basic principles of power, sharing include1. Government of different political parties, i.e., a coalition government. 2. Protection of minority rights. 3. Decentralization of power.

Different forms of Government : Power is shared among different organs of govt. such as the legislature, executive and judiciary.

Power can be should among governments at different levels a general govt. for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. The idea of power sharing has emerged in opposition to the notions of undivided political power. In modern sharing democracies, power sharing arrangements can take many forms such as: Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. Each organ checks the others. This results in a balance of power among various organs. This is a horizontal division of powers, as it allows different organs of government placed at the same level to exercise different powers. Ministers and government officials exercise power but at the same time they are responsible to the Parliament or State; and although the Judges are appointed by the executive, they can check the functioning of executive or laws made by the legislature. Power can be shared among governments at different levels: a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. Such a government is called federal government. This is a vertical division of power, as the central government delegates its powers to the state governments and they in turn delegate it to the smaller governing bodies and institutions. Power may also be shared among different social groups such as the religious and linguistic groups. In some countries, there are constitutional and legal arrangements whereby socially weaker sections and women are represented in the legislatures and administration. Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power. This way the power is shared among different parties that represent different ideologies and social groups. When two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections, this kind of power sharing can be direct. If their alliance is elected, they form a coalition government and thus share power.

Explain the power sharing arrangements among the political parties and pressure groups. In a democracy, power is also shared among different political parties, pressure groups and movements.

Democracy provides the citizens a choice to choose their rulers. This choice is provided by the various political parties, who contest elections to win them. Such competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand. In the long run, power is shared among the different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups. Sometimes, this kind of sharing can be direct, when two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections. If their alliance is elected, they form a coalition government and thus share power. In a democracy, various pressure groups and movements also remain active. They also have a share in governmental power, either through participation in governmental committees or having influence on the decision making process. Describe the power sharing among different social groups. Power may be shared among different social groups, such as the religious and linguistic groups. Community government in Belgium is a good example of this arrangement. In some countries, there are constitutional and legal arrangements whereby socially weaker sections and women are represented in the legislatures and administration. Describe the horizontal distribution of power. What are its advantages? Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. We call this horizontal distribution of power because it allows different organs of government placed at the same level to exercise different powers. Such a separation ensures that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power. Each organ checks the others. This results in a balance of power among various institutions. Similarly, although judges are appointed by the executive, they can check the functioning of executive or laws made by the legislatures. This arrangement is called a system of checks and balances. Describe the vertical division of power. Or What is meant by federal division of power? Power can be shared among governments at different levels a general government for the entire country and overnments at the provincial or regional level. Such a general government for the entire country is usually called federal government. In India, we refer to it as the Central or Union Government. The governments at the provincial or regional level are called by different names in different countries. In India, we call hem State Governments.

This is called federal division of power. The same principle can be extended to levels of government lower than the State government, such as the municipality and panchayat. Division of powers involving higher and lower levels of government is called vertical division of power.

Explain the difference between horizontal and vertical power sharing. Horizontal Power sharing 1. Under the horizontal power sharing power is shared among different organs of government such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. 2. Under horizontal distribution of power, organs of the government are placed at the same level to exercise different powers. 3. Under horizontal each organ checks the other. Vertical Power sharing 1.Under the vertical sharing power, power is shared among the different levels of the governments. 2.The vertical division of power involves the highest and the lower levels of government. 3.Under vertical power sharing the lower organs work under the higher org. Describe the power sharing among political parties, pressure groups and movements. Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power. In contemporary democracies, political competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand. In the long run, power is shared among different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups. Sometimes this kind of

sharing can be direct, when two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections. If their alliance is elected, they form a coalition government and thus share power. In a democracy, we find interest groups such as those of traders, businessmen, industrialists, farmers and industrial workers. They also will have a share in governmental power, either through participation in governmental committees or bringing influence on the decision making process

How is a federal government better than a unitary government? Explain with examples of Belgium and Sri Lanka. Federalism is a system of government under which power is divided between central authority and its various constituents units. The Belgium leaders tried to solve the ethnic problem by respecting communities and regions by establishing a federal government, whereas Sri Lanka government tried to solve the problem through majoritarianism. The Belgium solution helped in avoiding the civic strife, whereas the majoritarianism in Sri Lanka led to the civil war.

Questions : 1. What do you mean by power sharing? 2. Name all the different organs of govt.? 3. What do you mean power sharing in a country? 4. What do you mean by majority? 5. What are different forms of power sharing in modern Democracies give an example of each of these.

Extra QuestionsQ.1 why is power sharing good for democracies? Q.2 why power sharing is Desirables. Q.3 Explain different forms of power sharing in modern democracies . Q.4 Explain the drawbacks of majoritarianism. Q.5 it is possible to change the power sharing arrangement? If so How?