Which one of the following statements about power-sharing arrangements is correct?


The correct answer is option (b) – Every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions. Political power should be distributed among as many citizens as possible in a democracy. The very spirit of democracy is power-sharing. In a democracy, power has to be shared with people whose lives will be affected by the democratic rule. It is the right of the people to be consulted on how they are to be governed.

Power Sharing is Desirable – Two reasons

  • The two important reasons for power sharing are moral and prudential.
  • Moral reason emphases that power sharing is valuable and prudential reasons state that power sharing will give better outcomes.

Power Sharing – Reduces Conflict

  • Power sharing will help in reducing the conflicts between different social groups.
  • Power sharing ensures political order by reducing political instability, and violence which would have taken place if there was social conflict.
  • If the will of the majority community is imposed on minority groups, it will undermine the unity of the nation although it may look like an attractive option in the short run.
  • Tyranny of the majority will not only ruin the minority but also the majority.

Effect of Different Ways of Power Sharing in Belgium and Sri Lanka

If we consider the examples of power sharing which took place in Belgium and Sri Lanka, we can conclude the below given points which will reinforce the fact that every society needs some form of power sharing.

  • Both Sri Lanka and Belgium are democracies.
  • Although both countries were democracies, the power sharing was done differently.
  • Respecting the interests and feelings of different regions and communities was the path opted by the leaders of Belgium to maintain unity of Belgium. This thought process helped in sharing power in mutually acceptable ways.
  • The case of Sri Lanka was different. The system of power sharing adopted by the majority community by ignoring the minority community resulted in undermining the unity of the country.
  • The diverse views of diverse groups are respected in a good democracy
  • While shaping the public policies everyone has a voice.

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