The Political System - Meaning and Important Concepts

A Pillar of Democracy

The political system in any country is that part of the state apparatus that is in charge of the legislature and the executive. It is the practice in democracies to appoint politicians in the legislature and executive to administer the country.

The political system is one of the pillars of modern democracies and without it, there can be no mechanism through decisions affecting the lives of the citizenry can be taken.

In other words, without an effective political system, the modern democracies cannot function.

Further, the politicians are usually elected by the people directly or indirectly and hence, the political system is representative of the will of the people. This means that the politicians derive their power from popular support and draw their legitimacy from the people. This is the reason elections are held periodically in democracies so that the will of the people prevails and a representative political system takes shape.

Decline in Legitimacy in Recent Times

In recent times, there has been an intense debate about the efficacy of political systems as it has been found that democracy is in retreat all over the world. This is the case in countries that are ruled by Army Juntas and Cabals whose primary role is to take over the democratic structures and impose dictatorship.

What has added fuel to the debate is also the fact that politicians in many countries have lost credibility and trust among people and hence, the dictatorships are welcomed. Of course, this is not to say that political systems are useless or are in decline because ultimately, a well functioning modern state needs the political system to be effective both to represent the will of the people and to provide the constitutional checks and balances that are integral to the modern nation state.

Political Systems around the World

The political systems can be two party like in the United States or multiparty democracies like in the case of the UK and India.

Further, the political system can elect the rulers directly as happens in the US or through a combination of direct and indirect methods as happens in the UK and in India where the elected representative are directly elected by the people and they in turn elect the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers.

Talking about these countries, there has been a concerted effort in these countries to evaluate how far the political system is effective, as policy paralysis and bad governance have undermined the popular support for politicians. Of course, at election time, the people still have to choose from the pool of candidates and hence, it is the case that the system should be changed from within rather than without.

Final Thoughts

Finally, as the saying goes, as is the King so are the people, and as are the people so is the King, the symbiotic relationship between the people and the politicians is what characterizes the nature of the democracy and hence the two way exchange is vital for a healthy democracy.

Following are the important concepts of Political System:

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Political Science