The Power and Authority of the Government Essay examples

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The Power and Authority of the Government

Power can be seen as the capacity of a government to get its citizens to comply with it. Power is quite broadly used and can even be seen as obedience as this shows a deliberate self restraint of citizens that might otherwise resist the government. It has a direct connection with authority as authority carries the implication that the institution that has power is supported in its decisions by a substantial amount of people and therefore should be obeyed whether or not the individual agrees with it. A government can have power, but it must be somewhat representative to have authority.

The distinction between power and authority can be seen in our system
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There are differences in the types of authority however. In a democratic country, authority is found within the constitution that gives legality to the law. However, in the Islamic republic, authority has a far greater bearing on religion and expresses the divine will of the Koran. So in a sense, power can be exercised in the short term and not necessarily agreed with, but in the long term, authority must be gained by adhering with the current cultures and political environment at the time.

There is an opinion that a government does not require authority and can exercise power alone. The faculty of having power can give an institution the right or the authority to use it. In a dictatorship it is arguable that the leader can have power without authority, as even though the people may disagree they are too fearful of what will happen if they do not obey the government at the time. Even though the stable political systems of the American and English institutions are legitimatised by authority, the emergency powers of the president in the American system and his ability to veto, which are not representative powers, show that there are still cases where power proves its ability without authority. This is similar to the non-consultation to the cabinet in British politics, the prime minister has the power to do this as leader of
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