Power Sharing DP

Category: Education

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CBSE Class X, Democratic Politics Lesson, Power Sharing


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Power Sharing :

Power Sharing As practiced in Belgium and Sri Lanka


Belgium Smaller than Haryana Borders with France, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg Size and Ethnic Composition

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59% speak Dutch and live in the Flemish region. Walloon Region Brussels Ethnic Composition of the Nation Flemish Region 40% speak French and live in the Walloon Region 1% speak German and live in the Walloon Region

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80% in the capital speak French but they are minority in the country 20% in the capital speak Dutch but they are majority in the country Ethnic Composition of Brussels

Reasons for tension between the two communities:

Reasons for tension between the two communities The minority French were rich and powerful The majority Dutch got the benefit of economic development much later.

The Belgian Model of Power Sharing:

The Belgian Model of Power Sharing Between 1970 and 1993 the constitution was amended four times to accommodate social and cultural diversities. This was done by sharing power as follows. There shall be equal representation from both communities in the central council of ministers The majority Dutch accepted this arrangement because they were minority in the nation

The Belgian Model of Power Sharing:

The Belgian Model of Power Sharing Some special laws require the support of majority from both the communities Many powers of the Central Government have been transferred to State Governments and the State Governments are not subordinate to the Central Govt. There is third form of Govt. called ‘Community Govt.’ It is elected by people belonging to one language community – the Dutch, the French and the German speaking no matter where they live. The community governments have power regarding cultural, educational and language related issues.

The Belgian Model of Power Sharing:

The Belgian Model of Power Sharing Brussels has a separate Govt. with equal representation from both the communities. The majority French in Brussels accepted equal representation in Brussels because the majority Dutch accepted equal representation in eh central government.

Advantages of The Belgian Model:

Advantages of The Belgian Model Though complex, the model has worked well so far. It has avoided civic strife between the two communities. The European Union chose to have its parliament at Brussels as Power Sharing was practiced successfully

Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka About the same as Haryana Just a few kms away off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu Size

Social Composition :

Social Composition Sinhala Speakers: 74%. They are mostly Buddhists Tamils Speakers: 18%. They are Hindus and Muslims 13% 5 %

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka:

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka After independence in 1948, Sri Lanka adopted a series of majoritarian measures to establish Sinhalese supremacy over the Tamils In 1956, an Act was passed to recognise Sinhala as the only official language

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka:

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka In 1956 an Act was passed which recognised Sinhala as the only official language. Sinhala speakers were preferred both for university positions and Govt. jobs. Sinhala L anka

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka:

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka Constitution was amended to protect and strengthen Sinhala Language.

Effect on Tamils:

Effect on Tamils The Tamils felt isolated They thought that even the constitution was against them. None of the Political parties ever considered their needs. The Tamils formed groups, organisations and parties to fight for rights

Effect on Tamils:

Effect on Tamils Their demands for recognition to their language and separate state with autonomous status were repeatedly neglected. This made some groups like the LTTE to take violent actions.

The Civil War:

The Civil War Civil war thus broke out between the Tamils and the Sinhalas Thousands of people on both the sides were killed. Thousands of Tamil families went out of the country as refugees

Why is power sharing desirable?:

Why is power sharing desirable? Prudential Reasons It avoids conflicts between different social groups. The absence of power sharing can result in division of the country. Imposing will of the majority on the minority might appear to be an attractive option but it can be counter productive and can come in way of national integration as it happened in Sri Lanka The tyranny of the majority brings ruins both to the minority and the majority (as in Sri Lanka)

Why is power sharing desirable?:

Why is power sharing desirable? Moral Reasons Power sharing is the very essence of democracy. In an ideal democracy as many people as possible should get a chance to enjoy power. People are affected by all the policies of democratic politics and they have to live with the effects. Hence citizens need share in power. A legitimate govt. is one where citizens, through participation, acquire stake in power.

Forms of Power Sharing:

Forms of Power Sharing Horizontal OR Check and Balance System Each of these organs is placed at the same level to exercise different powers None of them has unlimited power thus maintains balance. Each one of them keeps watch on the functioning of the other two. Hence it is called Check and Balance System

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The Central Govt. is set up for the whole nation. The state/provincial govt. is set up for each provinces/states. The central govt. transfers/shares some of the powers to/with the state govt. (as in Belgium) In a big country like India, this type of two tier system is not sufficient. So we have the third tier – the Local Self Govt. Both the Central and State govt. have transferred power and resources to the Local bodies. Vertical Power Sharing

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Socially weaker sections also have to have share in power. Community govt. in Belgium is one example for this type of power sharing. In India, it is done by way of reservation. Constituencies and seats are reserved for women, SCs and STs. Thus power is shared among different social groups. Power Sharing among different social groups

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Power Sharing among Political parties, pressure groups and movements No political party enjoys power for ever. It is for the people to decide who should be in power. With the emergence of coalition govt. many parties share power at the same time. Pressure groups and movements have share in power by exerting pressure on the govt. They exert pressure by various means and get policies framed in their favour.

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