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Meaning and Types of Government

Explain the meaning and types of government
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
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
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
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
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
2. Union Government
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)
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
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
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
6. Communist Government
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
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.