What are the different forms of power sharing in modern democracies? Give an example of each of these. 
(a) Power is shared among different organs of government—the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. This represents horizontal distribution of power allows different organs of government placed at a same level to exercise different powers.
None of the organs can exercise unlimited power resulting in a balance of power among various institutions. For example, Although judges are appointed by the Executive, they hold the power to check the functioning of Executive or laws made by the legislatures.
(b) Power can be shared among governments at different levels – a general government, usually called federal government, for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. The Constitution clearly lays down the powers of different levels of government.
Such division of powers involving higher and lower levels of governments is referred to as vertical division of power. For example, In India, there is a division of jurisdiction for both the levels of government (Central Government and State Governments) as per the Indian Constitution.
(c) Power can be shared among different social groups, such as the religious groups, linguistic groups, socially weaker sections and minority communities. For example, Community government in Belgium
(d) Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power. For example, In a democracy, there are interest groups such as those of merchants, leaders, industrialists, farmers, workers, etc.,
who also have a share in governmental powers, either through participation in governmental committees or by influencing the decision-making process.
State one prudential reason and one moral reason for power sharing with an example from the Indian context. 
Prudential reason : Power sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups which often lead to violence and political instability. For example, Reserved constituencies in assemblies and Parliament for minorities and women.
Moral reason : Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects. People have a right to be consulted on how they are to be governed. For example, Decentralisation of powers
After reading this chapter, three students drew different conclusions. Which of these do you agree with and why? Give your reasons in about 50 words.
Thomman – Power sharing is necessary only in societies which have religious, linguistic or ethnic divisions.
Mathayi – Power sharing is suitable only for big countries that have regional divisions.
Ouseph – Every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions.
We are in favour of Ouseph that every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions.
Reason : Power sharing helps in leading efficiency. In a democracy, all the citizens must be free to choose among various contenders for power. Everyone has a voice in the shaping of public policies. Therefore, it follows that in a democracy political power should be shared most of the citizens.
The Mayor of Merchtem, a town near Brussels in Belgium, has defended a ban on speaking French in the town’s schools. He said that the ban would help all non-Dutch speakers integrate in this Flemish town. Do you think that this measure is in keeping with the spirit of Belgium’s power sharing arrangements? Give your reasons in about 50 words.
No we do not think that this measure of putting a ban on speaking French in schools of Belgium is in keeping with the spirit of Belgium’s power sharing.
Reason : This is a Flemish region and about 59 per cent of population living in this town speaks Dutch. The ban on speaking French in the town’s school may lead dispute between the two communities. It ignores the cultural diversities and regional differences.
The imposition of will of the majority on the minority is against the principle of accommodation. So this measure is not in keeping with the spirit of Belgium’s power sharing arrangements.
Read the following passage and pick out any one of the prudential reasons for power sharing offered in this.
“We need to give more power to the panchayats to realise the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the hopes of the makers of our Constitution. Panchayati Raj establishes true democracy. It restores power to the only place where power belongs in a democracy – in the hands of the people. Giving power to Panchayats is also a way to reduce corruption and increase administrative efficiency. When people participate in the planning and implementation of developmental schemes, they would naturally exercise greater control over these schemes. This would eliminate the corrupt middlemen. Thus, Panchayati Raj will strengthen the foundations of our democracy.
Giving power to Panchayats is a way to reduce corruption and increase administrative efficiency. When people participate in the planning and implementation of developmental schemes, they would naturally exercise greater control over these schemes.
This would eliminate the corrupt middlemen. Thus, Panchayati Raj will strengthen the foundations of our democracy.
Different arguments are usually put forth in favour of and against power sharing. Identify those which are in favour of power sharing and select the answer using the codes given below? Power sharing:
A. reduces conflict among different communities
B. decreases the possibility of arbitrariness
C. delays decision making process
D. accommodates diversities
E. increases instability and divisiveness
F. promotes people’s participation in government
G. undermines the unity of a country
(a) A, B, D, F
(b) A, C, E, F
(c) A, B, D, G
(d) B, C, D, G
Consider the following statements about power sharing arrangements in Belgium and Sri Lanka.
A. In Belgium, the Dutch-speaking majority people tried to impose their domination on the minority French-speaking community.
B. In Sri Lanka, the policies of the government sought to ensure the dominance of the Sinhala-speaking majority.
C. The Tamils in Sri Lanka demanded a federal arrangement of power sharing to protect their culture, language and equality of opportunity in education and jobs.
D. The transformation of Belgium from unitary government to a federal one prevented a possible division of the country on linguistic lines.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) A, B, C, and D
(b) A, B and D
(c) C and D
(d) B, C and D
Match List 1 (forms of power sharing) and List II (forms of government) and select the correct answer using the codes given below in the lists :
- Power shared among different organs of government
- Power shared among governments at different levels
- Power shared by different social groups
- Power shared by two or more political parties
A. Community governments
B. Separation of powers
C. Coalition government
D. Federal government
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 or 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