Forms of power sharing:
The idea of power sharing has emerged in opposition to the notions of undivided political power. For a long time it was believed that all power of a government must reside in one person of group of persons located at one place. It was felt that if the power to decide is dispersed, it would not be possible to take quick decisions and to enforce them. But these notions have changed with the emergence of democracy. One basic principle of democracy is that people are the source of all political power. In a democracy, people rule themselves through institutions of self-governance. In a good democratic government, due respect is given to diverse groups and views that exist in a society. Everyone has a voice in the shaping of public policies. Therefore, it follow that in a democracy political power should be distributed among as many citizen as possible.
In modern democracies, power sharing arrangements can take many forms. Let us look at some of the most common arrangements that we have or will come across.
1. Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. Let us 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 a balance of power among various institutions. Last year we studied that in a democracy, even though ministers and government officials exercise power, they are responsible to the Parliament or State Assemblies. 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.
2. Power can be shared among governments at different levels- a general government for the entire country and government 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 them State Governments. This system is not followed in all countries. There are many countries where there are no provincial or state governments. But in those countries like ours, where there are different levels of governments, the constitution clearly lays down the powers of different levels of government. This is what they did in Belgium, but was refused in Sri Lanka. This is called federal division of power. The same principle can be extended to levels of government lower than the Stage government, such as the municipality and panchayat. Let us call division of powers involving higher and lower levels of government vertical division of power. We shall study these at some length in the next chapter.
saving score / loading statistics ...