The principles of distribution of power, which is the relationship between a parliament, government, president, prime minister and courts, is an old principle already enshrined in the US Constitution. Since then, this principle has been incorporated into the constitutions and governance of many other countries. Among other things, the Norwegian constitution and many other western countries with constitutions and provisions based on democracy.
In this article I will write about this principle and how important it is for elected assemblies to control government and courts. We now see several examples that this balance being tried changed and being changed. This has major negative consequences for a democracy emanating from the people through free elections.
The precondition for a living democracy is parliamentary. That is, a government is based on a majority of the elected representatives in a parliament. Elected assemblies and democratic free elections are differently designed in countries with a democratic system of government.
A common denominator is that the government, prime minister and president are made up of a majority in parliament. In many countries with a president, he is elected in free elections. In countries with a monarchy, the common denominator is that the monarch has no political power, but only represents the country in different contexts and is a unifying symbol for the country’s inhabitants. I will later write a separate article on parliamentary and state superstructure by monarchy or republic.
There are many different elected assemblies in the countries of the world. If we now concentrate on state assemblies, a popularly elected assembly will be a parliament. The elected assembly can be structured in several different ways, but the main principle of an elected assembly is that it is composed of elected representatives with different party political affiliations and who have been elected to the elected assembly by free democratic elections. It is also very important that all the country’s inhabitants have the right to vote and that they use it when an election takes place.
The elected assembly, which I hereafter call the parliament, has often been given its mandate according to a constitution which contains provisions for how the country is to be run and governed and which also contains provisions on the rights of the inhabitants.
Parliament makes laws and in that way controls case law and courts. A country’s government must also be based on parliament. In this way, the elected representatives will govern both the courts and the government of a country.
I am writing this article based on the power relationship between parliament, government and courts at the state level. The same principle applies to other areas of public administration.
I have named the section executive assemblies. At the state level, this will be government and prime minister and president depending on the form of government. Both a government and a prime minister and a president carry out their activities on the basis of a power of attorney given by parliament. These are probably differently designed in democratic countries, but they are responsible for the day-to-day running of the country.
A country’s courts will be differently structured in the countries of the world. The main principle is that the courts should be free and independent of parliament and government, but should of course base their activities on the country’s laws given by parliament.
Much can be said about the courts’ activities, but they are usually structured so that a case can be tried several times if desired and necessary. All countries have a supreme court whose task is to define a country’s laws and deal with cases in light of it.
The Ministry of Justice and the police have an administration and lawyers at their disposal who conduct cases that are brought before the courts. Lawyers and attorneys shall assist both civilians and companies in both criminal cases and civil cases that are brought before the courts.
I have written about this in an earlier article and the importance that every prosecuted person or company have the right to get defended from an attorney. This is right directly from the constitution of a democratic country and a result of the principles of distribution of power.
The relationship between parliament, government and courts.
I have said earlier in this article how important it is that all state activity is controlled by Parliament. The activities of governments and courts must be controlled by parliament and the elected representatives if a country is to be a true democracy.
I have previously mentioned how important it is that all laws that the courts rule on are passed by parliament and that the government and a prime minister or president are controlled by parliament.
We have recently seen that this balance of power that I have mentioned has been tried to be changed and has been changed in several countries. We see this clearly in several countries in Eastern Europe that are now members of both the EU and NATO. In these countries, the president and government have in various ways gained more power at the expense of parliament and the courts. Even in the United States, we see the president and government trying to gain more power at the expense of parliament. In the United States, this is Congress. This is very disturbing from a democratic point of view.
In countries such as China and North Korea and unfortunately many other countries, there is no democratic system of government. We get a dictatorship where the head of state and the government that is appointed controls everything without any form of elected correction or control.
Then the balance in the principle of distribution of power is completely gone and the country’s inhabitants are completely without influence on the country’s system of government. Then the management of the country will be left to a small minority of the country’s inhabitants who will also fairly quickly receive large financial and other privileges. It is frightening to see how quickly this can happen in a country, and a free press will also be completely absent. Another problem is corruption in many countries. If this occurs among politicians, the country will have a big problem to deal with. It is a growing problem in many countries and will be a problem for a democratic way to govern the country if the country fail to handle it.
The constitution of the United States from 1787 is probably the first document that wrote down the principles of distribution of power between parliament, government (president) and the court system. Norway used in many ways the American constitution as a model when the Norwegian constitution was founded in 1814. It is extremely important that the principles of distribution of power is respected all over the world and of course especially in the United States who is the model for so many countries and the principals for governing a country.
My appeal to you who may read this article is that you must be vigilant against forces that for various reasons want to change the principles of distribution of power so that we no longer have a parliament passed by the people in free democratic elections or courts that do not judge by the country’s laws on a free and independent basis.
In this picture, it is also important to have a free and independent press. The press is often called the fourth state power.
In all western democracies today there is a solid democratic foundation through political parties with different priorities and interests, but we have also seen the emergence of parties that have taken place in western countries and parliaments and which most profoundly want to upset the balance I have described in this article and who do not want the country to give all citizens equal opportunities regardless of color, gender, orientation and social position in society. This is both right wing and left wing parties. I have to say that growth of right wing parties that get into parliaments in western democratic countries worries me. This is the situation in both France and Germany and seems to be an result of less faith to the ordinary democratic parties and their ability to solve all the challengers society and people face in general. Immigration from the third world makes tensions in many of the western countries, but this is only one answer of the many issues that affect the political situation in democratic countries. Another thing is the rapidly growing dividing of people that have money and possibilities to handle a complex society and those that don’t have that possibility. Such a development is a result of political priorities and can have an impact to peoples desire to preserve the democratic way of ruling a country and the principles of distribution of power.
It is different ways to take care of the democracy for us who lives in it. First of all you cannot take democracy for granted. You can engage yourself in a democratic political parties and of course be elected into different democratic assemblies. There is also different democratic organizations that work for democracy in different ways and on different grounds. Last thing to do is to engage yourself in peaceful demonstrations if this is necessary to preserve democracy in a country.