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Meaning and Types of Government
Explain the meaning and types of government
The government is asystem or organizational machinery for organizing people. In other words, government is a group of people within a community who have power and authority to perform administrative functions. These includeplanning, making decisions and even the implementation of policies. Government can be created through elections, by force or through hereditary means. The government manages relations between people and their institutions or organizations
Types of governments
The criteria used to categorize governments isbased on how a given government has acquired its position,themeans of formation of the government and the power distribution among the three organs of the state. The most appropriate way of categorizing governments is based on how government leaders get into power. This refers toapeaceful election process or violent processes used to acquire government power. Based onthese criteria, there are only two major types of government; democratic governments and non- democratic governments
Democratic Government
A Democratic Government is aform of government whose political power is determined by popular vote. This type of government takes into consideration the consent of people in decision making, which means it acquires legitimacy from the people through free and fair elections. A good example of a democratic government is the presidential system of government in USA. On the other hand, in a Parliamentary system of government, which is sometimes known as Westminster modal system, there is a separation of power between the head of government (who is selectedfrom the elected members of parliament) and the head of state. A good example of this government is the government of the United Kingdom. In that type of government, the head of government is the prime minister who is an elected member of parliament, while in the presidential system the head of state and government is the elected president. The president can form the cabinet by appointing ministers outside the legislature. United republic of Tanzania uses both the presidential and parliamentary system of government. In Tanzania, the president is the head of state, head of government and commander in chief who comes into power through the general election.
Non-Democratic government
A non-democratic government is the form of government which normally does not come into power by popular election. It is the government which gets into power without majority will and people’s legitimacy. In most cases a non-democratic government results from military coup due to the interest of some leaders. They tend to manipulate election process by imposing dictatorship styles. In this kind of government, only one person or a small group of people take control of the government. These are people who normally have great influence due to economic or social influence. A good example of a non-democratic government is the dictatorship governments like that of Adolf Hitler of Germany and Mussolini of Italy. Other examples are those of Democtratic Republic of Congo (DRC) formerly Zaire under Mobutu Seseseko and Uganda under Idd Amin Dada. The basic feature of all non-democratic government is the absence of democratic principles.
Dominant Forms of Government in the World are:
1. Republican government
This is a form of government in which a country is governed by a president and other politicians who are elected by the people. In this form of government more power is concentrated to a single person; the president. A good example of this government is that of the United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Democtratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa.
2. Union Government
This form of government is usually formed when two or more nations are joined together. Each nation surrenders its power and sovereignty to aunitary government. For example, the United Republic of Tanzania was formed when Tanganyika united with Zanzibar. The United Kingdom is the union of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
3.Monarchical government (a monarchy)
This is a system of government whereby a king or queen rules the country. A king or queen comes into power by inheritance. Examples of monarchies are found in Swaziland, Morocco, the United Kingdom and Netherlands.
There are two types of monarchies.These are:
  1. Absolute monarchy. In this type of monarchy, a king or queen is the head of state and government. He or she forms the government and exercises power without being bound by rules. Swaziland is an example of a country which has an absolute monarchy.
  2. Constitutional monarchy. In this form of monarchy the king or queen is only the head of state. The prime minister is the head of government. The prime minister is elected by citizens in a general election. After being elected, he or she forms a government. Some of the countries with constitutional monarchies include Sweden, Japan, Jordan, The United Kingdom (UK) and Netherlands.
4. Federation
In this form of government, power is divided and shared between a national government and state governments. Member states have control over their own affairs but a central government controls national affairs. Examples of federal governments are: the Russian Federation, Nigeria and the USA.
5. Dictatorships
A dictatorship is a form of government whereby the leadership rests in the hands of an individual or a group of persons who come into power mainly through force. Dictators have unlimited authority over the people.
6. Communist Government
It is a form of government in a communist country, in which the government owns the major means of production including land. The government provides people with free health care, education and social welfare. A Communist government always results from socialist revolutions. A good example of communist government is North Korea and China.
7. Transitional Government
This is the form of government which is created temporarily by the people within a country while waiting for general government or permanent government. This happens when there is sudden change of government or leadership due to political instability in the country. However this form of government is not a formal system.
Importance of Government
Illustrate the importance of government
The followings are the importance of Government
  1. It provides citizens with social services like health care, education and safe water
  2. The government constructs and maintains infrastructure like roads, school buildings and hospitals.
  3. Maintenance of peace and order in the country is also the role of the government. The government provides security for citizens and their property through the police and the army
  4. Governments initiate and maintain relationships with other countries. The government leaders visit different countries and send ambassadors to those states. Other countries are also invited to do the same in Tanzania. Our country is a member of different international organizations including the United Nations, African Union and the Commonwealth.
  5. The government collects revenue for the development of the country. Citizens pay taxes to the government which, in turn, provides social services using the money collected.
  6. It guides the country by preparing and implementing good policies.
  7. Individual rights of citizens are protected by the government.

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