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Describe the Power Sharing system of a Country

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  • Last Updated : 27 Jul, 2022
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Power sharing is a practice of the distribution of power among the organs of the government such as the legislature, executive, and judiciary. It helps in achieving the stability of political order. Power can be shared at distinct levels also such as the union, state, and local levels. In a democracy, power-sharing arrangements can take many forms, which are as follows:

  • Horizontal distribution of power: Where the power is shared among different organs of government namely, the legislature, executive, and the judiciary.
  • Vertical distribution of power: Where the power is shared among different levels, they include courts. At the district, state, and country levels the power is authorized to the district court, high court, and supreme court respectively.
  • Power sharing among different social groups such as linguistic and religious groups.
  • Power sharing is also seen in political parties, pressure groups, and movements that control or influence those in power.

Belgium is a small country in Europe. It has borders with France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg. Out of the total population in Belgium, 59% live in the Flemish region and speak the Dutch language, 40% people live in the Wallonia region and speak French, remaining 1% were Germans. In the capital city, 80% of people speak French while 20% are Dutch-speaking.

 The power-sharing in Belgium is given as follows:

  1. The constitution of Belgium has amended its constitution four times to work out an arrangement that would enable everyone to live together in one country. The arrangement is very innovative and different from any other country.
  2. The  Central Government in Belgium divided the powers equally between Dutch and French-speaking populations. Some special laws require the support of the majority of members from each linguistic group. Thus, decisions can’t be taken unilaterally.
  3. The state governments are not subordinate to the Central Government, but the powers of the Central Government have been given to the state government of the two regions of the country.
  4. The capital city Brussels had a separate government in which both the communities have equal representation. Neither of the two communities denied equal representation in the government.
  5. Apart from the Central and State governments, there exists a third type of government. This is a “community government”, it is elected by people belonging to one language- Dutch, French, and German, no matter where they live. This government has the power regarding cultural, educational, and language-related issues.
  6. This model is very complicated, but these arrangements worked well so far. It helped to avoid civic strife between the two major communities and a possible division of the country on linguistic lines.

When many countries of Europe came together to form the European Union, Brussels was chosen as its headquarters. In Belgium, the leaders realized that the unity of the country is important by respecting the feelings and interests of different communities, therefore, such a realization resulted in mutually acceptable arrangements for sharing power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Define the term majoritarian?


Majoritarian is a belief that the majority community should be able to rule the country in whichever way it wants.

Question 2: Why is power-sharing desirable?


Power sharing is good since it helps in the reduction of the possibilities of conflicts between social groups, in the broader view, power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. Therefore, power sharing is good and desirable.

Question 3: What do you mean by Coalition government?


When the alliance of two or more parties gets elected and forms a government it is known as the Coalition Government.

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