Consider the following two statements on power-sharing and select the answer using the codes given below: A). Power-sharing is good for democracy. B). It helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. Which of these statements are true and false? (a) A is true but B is false (b) Both A and B are true (c) Both A and B are false (d) A is false but B is true

Answer: The correct answer is option (B) – Both A and B are true.

  • The possibility of conflict between social groups will be reduced if the power is shared.
  • Power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order, since social conflict often leads to political instability and violence.
  • Although minorities will be oppressed due to the tyranny of the majority, it usually brings ruin to the majority as well.
  • In the long run the unity of the nation will be undermined, if the will of the majority community is imposed over other minorities, although it looks like a good option in the short run.

The below points about Belgium, demonstrates how power sharing was done, thereby maintaining the unity of the nation.

  • In Belgium,the existence of cultural diversities and regional differences was recognised by the Belgian leaders.
  • To make sure that unilateral decisions are not made by one single community, the support of a majority of members from each linguistic group is needed as per some special laws.
  • Many powers of the central government have been given to state governments of the two regions of the country.
  • To enable everyone to live together within the same country, to work out an arrangement, the constitution was amended four times, between 1970 and 1993.

The below points demonstrate how lack of power sharing led to divisions and violence in Sri Lanka.

  • A series of MAJORITARIAN measures were adopted by the democratically elected Government, to establish Sinhala supremacy.
  • By virtue of the majority of Sinhala community, the leaders of this community wanted to have dominance over the Government.
  • To favour Sinhala applicants for government jobs and university positions, preferential policies favouring one community was followed by the governments.
  • This sustained discrimination over many years, ultimately led to Civil War in Sri Lanka, killing many innocent lives.

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