In today’s world, Constitutional and Extra constitutional Mechanisms make Parliamentary democracy operable.
Parliamentary government is a government, By the people – for the people and of the people. Here the people choose their own representatives by means of free and fair elections. Adult suffrage, secret ballot and independent agency (the Election commission) makes this possible. This exercises of the adult franchise gives the general mass the weapon for installing a popular government.
Hung Parliament and the “party whip’ are common terms in today’s political scenario. The “Hung parliament” happens when no political party gets absolute majority and the oppositions are not sharply divided on the ideological grounds. During such situation government cannot be formed. When different political parties come together and forms the government a “coalition” government is formed. Very recently a similar situation arose in Delhi when neither AAP nor BJP nor Congress had the absolute majority. The result was formation of a coalition Govt. by AAP with the “external’ support of Congress. At the centre, since 1989 India has seen an era of “hung parliaments” which has resulted in the formation of coalition governments e.g. NDA, UPA (I & II) etc. A “Whip” is an official in a political party whose primary purpose is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. A whip’s role is also to ensure that the elected representatives of their party are in attendance when important votes are taken. In the era of coalition government the role of the “whip” has become all the more important.
It is imperative that the majority party should be tolerant of the opposition and the opposition should offer constructive criticism. The influence and strength of the Parliament depends on the caliber and conduct of its members. The members of our freedom struggle who formed the initial era of the parliamentary government in India were men of values. They had deep faith in the people’s institution and nurtured the Parliament to grow on sound lines and raised the prestige of the parliament.
Since 1980s a steady deterioration in the quality of membership and integrity of the members of parliament can be observed. The decline manifests itself in the behavior of the ministers. The members often lose their restraint and legislative violence becomes rampant (like the breaking of chairs and hitting a fellow member etc.)
However parliament still serves its purpose of giving voice to the general mass, of working for the cause of the common people. It is expected that reason and rationality would return to the members and active co-operation of the ruling party and the oppositions would be visible in near future.