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What is a Coalition government?

Last updated date: 29th May 2024
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Hint: The term ‘coalition’ is derived from the Latin word ‘coalitio’ which means ‘to grow together’. Thus, technically, coalition means the act of uniting parts into one body or whole. Politically, a coalition means an alliance of distinct political parties. Now let us learn more about the coalition government.

Complete answer:

A coalition government is a form of government in which political parties cooperate to form a government. The usual reason for such an arrangement is that no single party has achieved an absolute majority after an election.

The coalition government is actually a group of advisors formed when different political parties unite in the supervision and regulation of a country. We can call it a temporary association, which is formed when no single political party gains a clear majority and as a substitute competing parties negotiate to work together. Such situations usually happen during crisis periods, like war, or a political breakdown. 

Members of all parties in a coalition government are appointed to a cabinet. Cabinets based on a group of parties that command a majority in parliament tend to be more stable and long-lived than minority cabinets. While the former is prone to internal struggles, they have less reason to fear votes of no confidence. Majority governments based on a single party are typically even more stable, as long as their majority can be maintained.

In our country, the very first every successful coalition administration that completed the entire 5-year term (1999 to 2004) was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister. There is one more talk about a coalition, Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), consisting of 13 separate parties ruled from 2004 to 2014 (two terms) with Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister.

- A coalition government might also be created in a time of national difficulties or crises. Example: during wartime, economic crisis.
- It can also be created to give a government a high degree of perceived political legitimacy or collective identity.
- Coalition government play a role in diminishing internal political strife.

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