1. Introduction: Democracy and necessity of power sharing among three organs i.e., legislature, executive and judiciary for working of the government.
2. Power sharing in Belgium and Sri Lanka:
(i) Complex ethnic composition - 59% in Flemish region (Dutch language), 40 per cent in Wallonia region (French language), 1 per cent German language
(ii) In Brussels 80 per cent speak French, 20 per cent Dutch
(iii) French-speaking rich and powerful
(iv) Tension between Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities
(b) Sri Lanka
(i) Diverse population - Sinhala- speaking 74%, Tamil-speaking 18%
(ii) Sinhala-speaking people - mostly Buddhist but Tamil-speaking Hindus or Muslims
(iii) Christians 7 per cent.
3. Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka
(i) Situation in Sri Lanka and Belgium almost similar but what happened — different in two countries
(ii) Sri Lanka -
(a) Sinhala’s majority in the govt, and adoption of majoritarian measures to establish their supremacy
(b) Act of 1956- Sinhala as the only official language
(c) Preferential policies
(d) To protect and foster Buddhism
(e) Result - Distrust and conflict between two communities; feeling of alienation among the Sri Lankan Tamils, denial of equal rights, strained relations and struggles for regional autonomy but denial and ultimately a Civil War
(f) Terrible set back to social, cultural and economic life
(g) End of struggle in 2009
4. Accommodation in Belgium
Policy of accommodation -
(a) Equal number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers in central government
(b) State govts, not subordinate to the centre
(c) Community government
(d) In Brussels a separate govt, with equal representation for both communities
(e) Results - No civic strife between two major communities and no division on linguistic lines
(f) Headquarters of European Union
5. "Why power sharing is desirable?
Two reasons - prudential and moral reasons
(a) Prudential reason to reduce conflicts between social groups. It ensures stability of political order. It prevents unfair use of authority by the majority and thus help in integration of the country.
(b) Moral reasons - Power sharing is the essence or the spirit of democracy and has better outcomes. A legitimate government is one in which the citizens have a stake in the functioning of the government through participation.
6. Forms of power sharing
(a) Among different organs of government i.e., horizontal distribution of power, balance of power among various institutions.
(b) Among government at different levels i.e., central and state government.
(c) Among different social groups i.e., religious and linguistic groups, example of community government, in Belgium.
(d) Influence of political parties, pressure groups and movements on those in power.