Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics Comparative Politics, typically defined as the study of the internal politics of nations other than our own, is a diverse and complex field. There is no one central tendency or approach which dominates this area of inquiry within political science: various theories, concepts, issues and methodologies are evident in the field. While it is recognized that no simple classification can be made of the literature, we are encouraged to be aware of contrasting approaches, and to engage in constructively critical ,thinking about the field. For the purposes of study, there should first be general familiarity with the history and evolution of the field. This would comprise knowledge of the work and ideas of some of the major thinkers who have shaped comparative politics. Moving from this point I am going to bring about a structural comparison between two governmental systems that are India and Macau .Both countries have their own unique types of governmental structures , judiciary and parliaments which really caught my deep interest to know more about these 2 countries , and to apply comparative method between the two governments.with special references to the geographical , structural , political legislative and judicial differences .

GEOGRAPHICAL PERSPECTIVE INDIA The home of Taj Mahal , one of the seven modern wonders of the world, India is the second most populous country in the world and the 7th largest areawise. India is home to lots of religions and is secular by nature. Here is some religious information . The banks of the Ganges river, considered as one of the holy rivers by the Hindus, is lined by religious towns like Hardwar, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh . The Bhagwad Gita is one of the most widely read Hindu religious texts. When anyone thinks of India, it is hard to escape thinking about the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi , who has inspired many people like Martin Luther King Jr.

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by his non-violent stance in attaining independence for India. Here is another image of one of the greatest statesmen . India attained independence on August 15, 1947 from the British (a day after Pakistan’s split from the Indian Union). The Indian flag is a tricoloured one (saffron, white and green) with an ashoka chakra (24 spokes representing the 24 hours of the day). This flag is a curled one with a writing of “Mera Bharat M! ahan” .

MACAU Compared to India Macau is only a small province located in south-east China, on the western edge of the delta formed by the Pearl River Delta (Zhu Jiang) and the West River (Xi Jiang), bordering the Chinese province of Guangdong. It is 70 kms (38 miles) from Hong Kong and 145 kms from Canton. Local time is eight hours ahead of Greenwich mean time. Macau covers a total area of 20.96 square kilometres which includes the Macau peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Macau is connected to mainland China by a narrow isthmus.

Two bridges, the ‘Ponte Nobre de Carvalho’ (2,600 metres long) and the ‘Ponte da Amizade’ (4,380 metres), inaugurated respectively in 1974 and 1994, connect the island of Taipa to the peninsula. The island of Coloane is reached from Taipa by way of a two kilometre-long isthmus, the right side of which is now an extensive land embankment. The total area of the enclave has been progressively enlarged through land reclamation along all waterfronts. For! example, in 1840, the Macau peninsula was, at 2.78 square kilometres, 2.5 times smaller than it is today. In physical terms, it is 63 times smaller than Hong Kong, 37 times smaller than Singapore and 5,000 times smaller than Portugal. At the end of 1995, Macau’s resident population totalled 425,000, many times smaller than that of the India’s . POLITICAL SYSTEM INDIA India, a union of states, is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government.

The Indian Polity is governed in terms of the Constitution, which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into force on 26 November 1950. The President is the constitutional head of Executive of the Union. Real executive power vests in a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as head. Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister to aid and advise the President who shall, in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha, the House of the People. In the states, the Governor, as the representative of the President, is the head of Executive, but real executive power rests with the Chief Minister who heads the Council of Ministers.

The Council of Ministers of a state is collectively responsible to the elected legislative assembly of the state. The Constitution governs the sharing of legislative power between Parliament and the State Legislatures, and provides for the vesting of residual powers in Parliament. The power to amend the Constitution also vests in Parliament. The Union Executive consists of the President, the Vice President and Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President. MACAU Consensus is the cornerstone of Macau’s political and social system.

As the Joint Declaration of April, 1987, Macau is Chinese territory under Portuguese administration and it always been historically accepted that this trading post owes its origins to the understanding achieved between both countries. The Sino- Portuguese Joint Declaration is based on the common understanding that “the economic development and social stability of Macau and the greater strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the two countries” is, in terms of its historical legacy, the most appropriate way forward for the enclave. The agreement signed between Portugal and China stipulates the creation of the Macau Special Administrative Region in accordance with the principle of “one country, two systems”. Within this autonomous region, the current social and economic systems as well as the way of life will remain intact. Article 3, paragraph 4 of the Joint Declaration states: “The Macau Special Administrative Region will guarantee, in accordance with the law, all the rights and freedoms of those living in Macau, including personal liberties, the freedom of expression, press freedom, the freedom of association and of movement, the right to strike and to choose a profession, freedom of academic research, of religion and belief, freedom of communication and the right to own private property”.

This document, binding on both Portugal and China, was the building block on which the Basic Law of the future Special Administrative Region, approved on the 31st March, 1993, by the National People’s Assembly, was based. The Basic Law will be put into force on the 20th December, 1999, when China assumes sovereignty over Macau. Article 2 of the Basic Law “grants the Macau Special Administrative Region with a high level of autonomy and independent executive, legislative and judicial powers, including that of final adjudication”. Article 9 also states that “besides Chinese, the other official language accepted for use by the executive, legislative and independent judicial bodies of the Macau Special Administrative Region will be Portuguese”. The creation of a base to sustain Macau’s future political and administrative structure, alongside the indispensable conditions required for social progress and the modernization of the enclave’s economy,has been achieved through a remarkable similarity of thinking between both the governments of Portugal and China. It has also been due to a permanent strenghtening of friendship and cooperation betweeen Portugal and the People’s Republic of China.

PARLIAMENTARY AND GOVERNMENTAL INDIA Parliament is the supreme legislative body of a country. The Indian Parliament comprises of the President and the two Houses– Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The President has the power to summon and prorogue either House of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha. The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. The first general,elections under the new Constitution were held during the year 1951-52 and the first elected Parliament came into being in April, 1952, the Second Lok Sabha in April,1957, the Third Lok Sabha in April,1962, the Fourth Lok Sabha in March, 1967, the Fifth Lok Sabha in March, 1971, the Sixth Lok Sabha in March, 1977, the Seventh Lok Sabha in January,1980, the Eighth Lok Sabha in December, 1984, the Ninth Lok Sabha in December, 1989, and the Tenth Lok Sabha in June, 1991.

Presiding Officers Lok Sabha elects one of its own members as its Presiding Officer and he is called the Speaker. He is assisted by the Deputy Speaker who is also elected by Lok Sabha. The conduct of business in Lok Sabha is the responsibility of the Speaker. The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament.

Rajya Sabha also elects one of its members to be the Deputy Chairman. Functions of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha The main function of both the Houses is to pass laws. Every Bill has to be passed by both the Houses and assented to by the President before it becomes law. The subjects over which Parliament can legislate are the subjects mentioned under the Union List in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. Broadly speaking, Union subjects are those important subjects which for reasons of convenience, efficiency and security are administered on all-lndia basis.

The principal Union subjects are Defence, Foreign Affairs, Railways, Transport and Communications, Currency and Coinage, Banking, Customs and Excise Duties. There are numerous other subjects on which both Parliament and State Legislatures can legislate. Under this category mention may be made of economic and social planning, social security and insurance, labour welfare, price control and vital statistics.Besides passing laws, Parliament can by means of resolutions, motions for adjournment, discussions and questions addr! essed by members to Ministers exercise control over the administration of the country and safeguard people’s liberties. Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha (1) Members of Lok Sabha are directly elected by the eligible voters. Members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of State Assemblies in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. (2) The normal life of every Lok Sabha is 5 years only while Rajya Sabha is a permanent body. (3) Lok Sabha is the House to which the Council of Ministers is responsible under the Constitution.

Money Bills can only be introduced in Lok Sabha. Also it is Lok Sabha which grants the money for running the administration of the country. (4) Rajya Sabha has special powers to declare that itis necessary and expedient in the national interest that Parliament may make laws with respect to a matter in the State List or to create by law one or more all- lndia services common to the Union and the States. President The President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of elected members of both Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the states, with suitable weightage given to each vote. His term of office is five years. Among other powers, the President can proclaim an emergency in the country if he is satisfied that the security of the country or of any part of its territory is threatened whether by war or external agression or armed rebellion.

When there is a failure of the constitutional machinery in a state, he can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the government of that state. Vice-President The Vice-President is elected in the same way as the President, and holds office for five years. The Vice- President is Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Council of Ministers The Council of Ministers comprises Cabinet Ministers, Minister of States (independent charge or otherwise) and Deputy Ministers. Prime Minister communicates all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation to the President. Generally, each department has an officer designated as secretary to the Government of India to advise Ministers on policy matters and general administration.

The Cabinet Secretariat has an important coordinating role in decision making at highest level and operates under direction of Prime Minister. The Legislative Arm of the Union, called Parliament, consists of the President, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. All legislation requires consent of both houses of parliament. However, in case of money bills,the will of the Lok Sabha prevails. Rajya Sabha The Rajya Sabha consists of 245 members.

Of these, 233 represent states and union territories and 12 members are nominated by the President. Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect; members are elected by the elected members of Legislative Assemblies of the concerned states. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution, one third of its members retire every second year. Lok Sabha The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of universal adult suffrage. As of today, the Lok Sabha consists of 545 members with 2 members nominated by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian Community.

Unless dissolved under unusual circumstances, the term of the Lok Sabha is five years. State Governments The system of government in states closely resembles that of the Union. There are 25 states and seven Union territories in the country. Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him. Till 1 February 1992, the Union Territory of Delhi was governed by the Central government through an Administrator appointed by the President of India.

Through a Constitutional amendment in Parliament, the Union Territory of Delhi is now called the National Capital Territory of Delhi from 1 February 1992. General elections to the Legislative assembly of the National Capital Territory were held in November 1993. Political System A recognised political party has been classified as a National Party or a State Party. If a political party is recognised in four or more states, it is considered as a National Party. Eleven Lok Sabhas have been constituted so far. Except for the short-lived Sixth and Ninth Lok Sabha, the Congress Party ruled the country.

The Sixth Lok Sabha functioned for about two years and four months and the Ninth Lok Sabha functioned for one year and two months. Even in the states, the regional parties or the non-congress parties have gained in importance …


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