Final Chapter 1 - Power sharing Po w e r sh a r i n g With...

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Power sharing 1 Chapter I Overview With this chapter we resume the tour of democracy that we started last year. We noted last year that in a democracy all power does not rest with any one organ of the state. An intelligent sharing of power among legislature, executive and judiciary is very important to the design of a democracy. In this and the next two chapters we carry this idea of power sharing forward. We start with two stories from Belgium and Sri Lanka. Both these stories are about how democracies handle demands for power sharing.The stories yield some general conclusions about the need for power sharing in democracy. This allows us to discuss various forms of power sharing that will be taken up in the following two chapters.
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2 Democratic Politics Belgium and Sri Lanka I have a simple equation in mind. Sharing power = dividing power = weakening the country. Why do we start by talking of this? Ethnic : A social division based on shared culture. People belonging to the same ethnic group believe in their common descent because of similarities of physical type or of culture or both. They need not always have the same religion or nationality. Communities and regions of Belgium Belgium is a small country in Europe, smaller in area than the state of Haryana. It has borders with Netherlands, France and Germany. It has a population of a little over one crore, about half the population of Haryana. The ETHNIC composition of this small country is very complex. Of the country’s total population, 59 per cent lives in the Flemish region and speaks Dutch language. Another 40 per cent people live in the Wallonia region and speak French. Remaining 1 per cent of the Belgians speak German. In the capital city Brussels, 80 per cent people speak French while 20 per cent are Dutch-speaking. The minority French-speaking community was relatively rich and powerful. This was resented by the Dutch-speaking community who got the benefit of economic development and education much later. This led to tensions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities during the 1950s and 1960s. The tension between the two communities was more acute in Brussels. Brussels presented a special problem: the Dutch-speaking people constituted a majority in the country, but a minority in the capital. Let us compare this to the situation in another country. Sri Lanka is an island nation, just a few kilometres off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu. It has about 2 crore people, about the same as in Haryana. Like other nations in the South Asia region, Sri Lanka has a diverse population. The major social groups are the Sinhala-speakers (74 per cent) and the Tamil-speakers (18 per cent). Among Tamils there are two sub- groups. Tamil natives of the country Walloon (French-speaking) Flemish (Dutch-speaking) German-speaking Brussels-Capital Region Look at the maps of Belgium and Sri Lanka. In which region do you find concentration of different communities?
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course SOCIAL 3so taught by Professor Stevejoyce during the Fall '09 term at Central European University.

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Final Chapter 1 - Power sharing Po w e r sh a r i n g With...

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