Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Opposition in Parliamentary Democracy.

It’s believed that Indian polity has been able to sustain its democratic nature because of the constant scrutinizing by  opposition parties. A party might not be able to form the government at the center because of the lack of majority, but that doesn’t take away the responsibility of acting as a watchdog of the ruling party. When it comes to questioning the government and preventing them from taking negative strides, parliament is the most suitable platform for the opposition to leverage.
  • Power is supposed to beget its own opposition. It is the soul of democracy. Healthy opposition is very necessary in a democracy. The Opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable to the public.
  • Opposition is expected to express the will of defeated people, their anxieties, anguish and hopes, to speak for the poor, dis-empowered, minorities and the oppressed.
  • Any Government has to remain answerable to the public at all times, and a good Opposition can put the spotlight on serious issues and have them resolved quickly.
  • The way opposition parties work together can influence the outcomes. If they succeed in working together and in building the political numbers they increase their chances of toppling the government.
  • Opposition’s formal role in Parliament is to hold the government to account. That often means opposing what the government does. It always means questioning what the government is doing.
  • The other major role is proposing alternatives to what the government is doing so the public gets the benefit of political debate between different directions.
  • An active Opposition will also debate legislation vigorously in the House and during the Standing Committee process to ensure the legislation receives careful consideration.
  • Opposition is not just about opposing the Government. There are occasions when the Opposition agrees with the Government. These are where it is simply in the wider public interest that a problem is fixed, and the solution the government is proposing has wide support, and it is hard to disagree with it.
  • Opposition parties don’t have the same resources as the Government and the Executive, so they have to work twice as hard to get the same results. The Government has access to government departments and advisers to form their policies, where as the Opposition often has to go down different avenues to source the same information.
  • It’s also really important that the leader keeps a close eye and ear on what the public is saying, needs and wants. Because problems are often caused by the Government not delivering.
  • Leader of the Opposition has the additional job of working to present an alternative government, which of course involves other opposition parties, or potentially government parties that are part of government. He has to work with other parties to present an alternative government.
  • The Opposition’s role is only partly to “oppose, oppose, oppose”. The role more constructively as holding the government to account. In a positive way, opposition can cause government to adopt positive proposals.
  • Opposing the Government is most useful for an opposition in defining its own position. Oppositions get a hearing when giving a view on what the Government is doing.
  • There is a political risk to a party in loss of identity, subordinated to the common good whether in opposition or government.

My View:
In India, we have a large number of political parties. There are a few parties which have a definite socio-economic programme to work for. There are many parties which do not have any coherent programme or policy. Their purpose is simply to aspire to come to power by hook or crook. It is the duty of the opposition party to support the ruling party for the acts that are in national interest. There are unscrupulous politicians who buy the votes with money. They make false promises which they know they cannot fulfill. It is, therefore, essential that the role of money power should be entirely eliminated from the electoral process. The opposition should guide the countrymen to more desirable objectives of socio-economic achievement.

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