Q.1:- What are the different forms of power sharing in modern democracies? Give an example of each of these.
(a) Power Sharing among the Different Organs of Government (i.e., Horizontal distribution of power) In this form of power sharing, power is assigned by the Constitution among different organs of government such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. This type of distribution ensures separation of powers among the organs at the same level, so that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power. Each organ puts a check n the others in order to maintain balance of power under the system of checks and balances. This arrangement is as below in India.
(b) Power Sharing among Governments at Different Levels (Vertical distribution of power sharing) In this form of power sharing, power is shared at the different levels of government.
The overall governing body for the country is known as ‘Union Government’ or ‘Federal Government’ and the government at the constituent units is known as State Government. The third or lowest level is local government, i.e., Municipalities and Panchayats (in India).
(c) Power Sharing among Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Movements In a democracy, power is also shared among different political parties, pressure groups and movements. Democracy provides the citizens a freedom to choose their rulers. This freedom is provided by various political parties which contest elections to win them. Such competition ensures that power is not always in the hand of a single person.
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, various pressure groups and movements also remain active. They will also have an indirect share in government power, either through participation in government committees or bringing influence on the decision making process. An example is the currently running UFA Government in India, which is coalition government.
(d) Power Sharing among Different Social Groups In a democracy especially, in multiethnic society, power is also shared among social groups such as religious and linguistic groups. ‘Community Government’ in Belgium is a good example of this arrangement. There are constitutional and legal arrangements in India whereby socially weaker sections and women are represented in the legislatures and administration. We have a, system of ‘reserved constituencies’ in State Assemblies and the Parliament. This type of arrangement is meant to give proper share in the government and administration to diverse social groups who otherwise would feel alienated from the government.