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COALITION GOVERNMENT

  • The term 'coalition' is derived from the Latin word 'which means ’to grow together Thus, technically, coalition means the act of uniting parts into one body or whole. Politically, coalition means an alliance of distinct political parties.
  • Coalition politics or coalition government has been defined in the following way: When several political parties join hands to form a government and exercise political power on the basis of a common agreed programme/agenda, we can describe the system as coalition politics or coalition government’.
  • A coalition is formed when many splinter groups in a House agree to join hands on a common platform by sinking their broad differences and form a majority in the House

FEATURES OF COALITION GOVERNMENT

The features or implications of coalition politics or coalition government are very well summarised by J.C. Johari in the following way:
1. A coalition implies the existence of at least two partners.
2. The purpose of a coalition adjustment is to seize power in our country, we have seen coalitions coming up either before the elections or after the election . The pre-poll coalition is consider advantageous because it provides a common platform to the parties in order to wooed electorate on the basis of a joint manifesto.

FORMATION OF COALITION GOVERNMENTS:
the first four Lok Sabha elections (1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967), the Congress party secured the required majority to form the government at the Centre. Even though there was a split in the Congres party in 1969, the minority government of Indira Gandhi man agreed to continue with the outside support of the CPI, the DMK and other parties. Again, the Congress party won the 1971 elections and formed a single-party government.

MERITS OF COALITION GOVERNMENT:
The various advantages or strengths of the coalition governments are as follows:

1. There is an accommodation of diverse interests in the functioning of the government. A coalition government acts as a channel to meet the expectations and redress the grievances of different groups.

2. India is a highly diversified country. There are different cultures, languages, castes, religions and ethnic groups, and all these get represented in the coalition governments. This means that a coalition government is more representative in nature and it better reflects the popular opinion of the electorate.

3. There is consensual decision-making in the coalition governments.

4. Coalition politics strengthens the federal fabric of the Indian political system. This is because a coalition government is more sensitive and responsive to the regional demands and concerns than the single-party government.

DEMERITS OF COALITION GOVERNMENT:
The various disadvantages or weaknesses of the coalition governments are as follows:

1. They are unstable or prone to instability. The difference of opinion among the coalition partners on policy issues leads to the collapse of the government.

2. Leadership of the Prime Minister is a principle of parliamentary form of government. This principle is curtailed in a coalition government as the Prime Minister is required to consult the coalition partners before taking any major decision. The critics have called them as "Super Prime Ministers’ or Ultra Prime Ministers'

3. There is a possibility of the smaller constituents of the coalition government playing the role of a "Kingmaker. They demand more than their strength in the Parliament.

4. The leaders of regional parties bring in the regional factors in the national decision-making. They pressurise the central executive to act on their lines; otherwise, they would threaten to with-draw from the coalition.

5. The size of the Council of Ministers in a coalition government is generally quite large. This is because the ministry has to reflect all the constituents of the coalition.

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FAQs on Laxmikanth Summary: Coalition Government - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

1. What is a coalition government?
Ans. A coalition government is a type of government where two or more political parties join together to form a ruling alliance. It usually happens when no single party wins a majority in an election, and parties need to collaborate to have a working majority in the parliament.
2. How does a coalition government work?
Ans. In a coalition government, parties negotiate and form an agreement known as a coalition agreement. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of their collaboration, including the distribution of ministries, policy priorities, and decision-making processes. The coalition partners work together to govern and implement their shared agenda.
3. What are the advantages of a coalition government?
Ans. Some advantages of a coalition government include: - Increased representation: A coalition government reflects a broader range of political views and provides a platform for more diverse voices to influence policy decisions. - Stability: Coalitions often result in more stable governments as parties work together to maintain the alliance and avoid sudden changes in leadership. - Consensus-based decision making: In a coalition government, parties need to find common ground and reach consensus on policy matters, leading to more inclusive decision-making processes.
4. What are the challenges of a coalition government?
Ans. Challenges of a coalition government may include: - Policy disagreements: Parties in a coalition may have different ideologies and policy priorities, which can lead to conflicts and difficulties in implementing their agendas. - Coordination issues: Coalition partners need to coordinate and collaborate effectively, which can be challenging due to differing party structures, cultures, and leadership styles. - Instability: Coalitions can be fragile, and if disagreements become too significant, it may lead to the collapse of the government and the need for new elections.
5. Is a coalition government a common practice?
Ans. Yes, coalition governments are quite common in many countries, especially those with proportional representation electoral systems. These systems often result in a fragmented political landscape, making it difficult for a single party to secure a majority. Therefore, coalition governments are formed to ensure a working majority and to accommodate diverse political interests.
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