The process of distribution of the power of a country or a region amongst the different parts or organs of any particular government such as the judiciary, executive, and legislature can be defined as power sharing. With the help of this process, several countries have achieved stability in the best way on their order of maintaining a political calm. Apart from that, power sharing also involves sharing of power along with the different district levels such as local, state, and union.
What are the Forms of Power Sharing?
We are living in a modern world and hence democracy would be an imitation of that as well. So, in this modern world and its democracy, there could be many different forms of power sharing.
A Horizontal Distribution: When it comes to a horizontal distribution of the entire power, there is a division of the power amongst the different organs that are present in the government. A few examples of these organs can include executive, legislature, and judiciary as well. One of the countries that practice this type of power sharing in the Government in India.
A Vertical Distribution (Federal Government): In this particular case, the power will be shared amongst the different levels of the governments. There is one country that practices this type of sharing of power and it is the United States of America. While different countries practice different ways to share power, all of these methods are pretty effective and important.
Sharing Power Amongst Social Groups: Here is one of the forms of power-sharing that you need to know about. In this case of sharing the power, it is shared amongst the different types of social groups that are present in any area or region or an entire country. There can be different social groups such as religious associations and linguistic groups as well. One of the main examples of this type of power-sharing is the community government that people use in Belgium.
Some Other Types: There are also some other types of power-sharing that people need to know about. There are some political parties that often tend to have some power. Also, with the inclusion of pressure groups as well as the movements, the distribution of power is pretty much equal. There are also some other groups that tend to have a similar influence on those who are currently in power.
Story of Power Sharing in Belgium and Sri Lanka
To understand majoritarianism and accommodation better, let us take the case of two countries, Sri Lanka and Belgium. Sri Lanka, with its varied population of two crores, is an island country. It has 74 percent of Sinhala-speaking people, who are mostly Buddhists. Out of the remaining population, 18% speak Tamil. This group can be further subdivided into Indian Tamils, who formed 5%, and Sri Lankan Tamils, who comprised 13% and are concentrated in the north and east of the country.
Sri Lanka used the idea of majoritarianism to handle this cultural diversity. After gaining independence in 1948, the Sinhalese majority attempted to remodel Sri Lanka as a Sinhalese nation-state. In 1956, the official language act, popularly known as the Sinhala only act, was enacted. Special policies supporting the Sinhala aspirins for University and government posts were created. Buddhism was made the national religion.
Let us now see what Belgium had to face.
Belgium is located in northwest Europe. Out of the total population of around 1 crore, 59% speak Dutch and live in the Flemish region. 40% speak French and are settled in the Vilonia region, and 1% speak German. In contrast, the capital city of Brussels has 80% French-speaking people and the remaining 20% speak Dutch. The French-speaking minority in Belgium were wealthy and the Dutch community hated this, leading to tensions during the 1950s and 60s. This friction was highest in Brussels where the Dutch-speaking community was a minority. Unlike Sri Lanka, Belgium took up the approach of accommodation.
Here we see that Belgium gave regard to the feelings of cultural differences, while Sri Lanka forced its domination over the minority class. Belgium ensured stability through its policy of accommodation while in Sri Lanka majoritarianism, even today continues to be a threat to its unity and growth.
This is all about power-sharing the way various governments have been formed in due course of time. Dealing with internal communal and religious problems is dealt with such precision. It all depends on what the contemporary sovereign power decides for the people of the country.