A coalition government is a set of parliamentary government whereby multiple political parties agree to form a coalition so that they can reduce the dominance of a single party. The main reason for the formation of a coalition government is because no single party can be considered to have a majority in the parliament. A coalition government can also be formed when a country experiences crisis such as civil war or an economic crisis. When such a government is formed, it gets political legitimacy, and therefore it diminishes the existing political tension. The coalition government is commonly formed when a general election is conducted, and no party can get a majority in parliament.
Coalition Governments Around The World
There are several countries in the world whose government is a coalition government or have previously had a coalition government. These countries include Latvia, Lebanon, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine. The United Kingdom has also operated under coalition government where the Liberal Democrat party and the Conservative party joined hands to form the government.
The coalition government in the United Kingdom have only been formed due to the existence of a national crisis. In the last 120 years, the United Kingdom has had six coalition governments. These six coalition governments have involved two parties; the Conservative party and the Liberal party. The most famous coalition government in the United Kingdom was the one that operated from 1931 to 1940.
The coalition government in Germany has been regular since their political parties always fail to get majority seats in the national elections. These political parties in Germany are the Christian Social Union (SCU) in Bavaria, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Germany. For instance, between 1998 and 2005, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) formed a coalition government. In Germany the coalition governments have never been formed by more than two parties.
Advantages of Coalition Governments
The significant advantage of coalition government is that it provides good governance. The government makes the decision that has the interest of the majority. The coalition government always debate on policies thoroughly before they implement them. Governments that have a single party forming the majority is most likely to implement policies that are not thought widely and therefore might not be in the interest of the majority across the nation. An example of such as scenario was the implementation of the poll tax in the United Kingdom.
Disadvantages of Coalition Governments
Ideology is fundamental for any government to navigate through difficult economic and political matters. Coalition governments lack philosophies that are unifying therefore not able to have the long-term view. The coalition government may end up being unstable since they require reforms at frequent intervals. It is therefore quite difficult for such a government to deal with the major reforms that the country needs. It also takes quite a long time to form these coalition governments resulting to less for the government that has been formed to perform its required delegations and responsibilities on time.