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The Westminster System And Corruption Essay

846 words - 4 pages

Evaluate Whether the Westminster Model System of Government Adopted by English Speaking Caribbean Countries Accommodates Corruption as a Way of Governance.

The Westminster System is a democratic system of government modelled after that of the United Kingdom, as used in the Palace of Westminster, the location of the UK parliament. The system is a series of conventions and procedures for operating a legislature.

Between 1962 and 1983, the majority of Britain’s Caribbean colonies gained independence. Yet while the colonial power had formally departed, it left in place political institutions and norms based on Britain’s Westminster model of government.

The essential features of the ...view middle of the document...

The politics of the region has traditionally been one where the winning parties make all the decisions and the losers; though they criticize and agitate, do not govern (Ryan, 1999). This system allows for what has been referred to as the ‘tyranny of the majority’ (de Tocqueville, 1981). As such, it can be argued that the two-party system is particularly inappropriate for our societies.

On one hand, the Westminster-Whitehall model has enabled many countries in the region to have reputable and consolidated democracies; the benefit of which is substantial when compared to the region’s Latin American counterparts who have had a history of authoritarianism and dictatorships. On the other hand, the fact that the region has consolidated its democracy has not had any major positive impacts on its’ level of development. This can also be explored vis a vis the Latin American region which has the emerging powers of Brazil and Venezuela making great strides in development in spite of their turbulent histories. This calls into question whether the inherited system of government has been of greater advantage or disadvantage to citizens throughout the Caribbean region.

the governing of several countries throughout the region over the past few decades has been marked by a steady increase in corruption, a lack of accountability and transparency among public officials, abuse of power by political factions and increasing crime rates.

the point must be made that the view that what is good for Britain is good for the Caribbean can no longer be regarded as tenable, especially in a region where populations are...

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