The Best Form of Government

What are the Best Form of Government ? It’s easy to criticize “the government” in broad and indirect terms, but it’s far more rewarding to criticize the government using the proper terminology.  Now we discuses about what are the best government policy .

Tests by which Government may be Judged :-

Such are the elements of strength and weakness of the principal systems of government that are in operation to day or which have existed in the past. After this review we may naturally ask which of them is the best and which, if any, is likely to be the most generally accepted form of the future. Both questions are difficult to answer. It was a wise observation of Rousseau, when he said,

“When you ask what is absolutely the best government you have asked an indeterminable and an unanswerable question.”

The answer to the first question depends largely upon one’s conception of what is the test of a good government and what are the fundamental purposes for which governments have been established.

Naturally opinions differ as to the criteria by which the excellence of a particular form of government may be judged. Some writers have attempted to lay down certain general principles concerning the best system for all peoples and conditions of human society.

But manifestly there are no a prion standards by which any particular type of government may be given the preference over other types. The excellence of each must be judged by the degree to which it achieves the results for which it was established and which it was expected to accomplish.

Conceptions as to the ends which governments are designed to promote have varied among different peoples. With some, considerations of efficiency, economy, vigor, and promptness of action have been regarded as the primary tests. Among the Germans, for examples, this test has received the chief consideration.

Among the Americans, on the other hand, there has been a disposition to judge the value of government by the degree to Which it awakens and stimulates the interest of the citizens in public affairs, inculcates habits of loyalty and patriotism in the people, and promotes the civic virtues generally, in short, the best government is not necessarily that which is the most efficient, but that which serves in the highest degree the purpose of a school of citizenship for the political education and training of the citizens.

This appears to have been the view of John Stuart Mill, who said

“the first element of a good government is the promotion of the virtue and intelligence of the people. ”

Government, he said,

“is not only a set of organized arrangements for public business but it is also a great influence acting on the human mind and its value must be judged by its action upon both men and things The first question to be considered, he added, is how far does the government tend to foster the moral and intellectual qualities of the citizens. The government Which does this best, he maintained, is likely to be the best in other respects. The main criterion of a good government, in other words, is the degree to Which it tends to increase the sum of good qualities in the governed, collectively and individually, rather than the efficiency of the government itself as an administrative body.”

Other writers have adopted the view of the poet :

“For forms of government let fools contest, A That Which is best administered is best. ”

According to this view the mere form of a government is of secondary consideration the test of its excellence is rather the success with Which it is operated. But as Hamilton remarked, this doctrine is a political heresy because a bad form of government can hardly be Well administered, while a good one may be badly administered.


Adaptability of Government to Peoples and Conditions :-

It is hardly necessary to observe that no single form of government is suitable for all peoples or all conditions and stages of human society. In determining what is the best government for any particular society we must take into consideration the stage of development Which the society has attained, the intelligence and political capacity of the people, their history and traditions, their race characteristics, and a variety of other elements. To attempt, said John Stuart Mill, to say what kind of government is suited for every known state of society would be to compose a treatise on political science at large.

Both Mill and Bryce very properly emphasized a truth often overlooked, that after all governments are established and operated by men, they do not grow and perform their functions like trees in every stage of their existence they are what they are made by voluntary human agency, consequently their success depends mainly upon the capacity and interest of those who establish and operate them.

Monarchy is a necessary system of certain peoples aristocracy is better adapted to certain others, while democracy is still better suited to other societies. As has been pointed out, the cabinet system works more smoothly and with greater success in Great Britain than it does in the Latin countries, and it is probably a greater success in Great Britain than it would be in the United States if it were introduced here. Universal suffrage may be well suited to certain stages of society, while in others it would lead to a breakdown of government.

Federal government is excellently adapted to certain stages of political development, and to certain countries, especially those of vast extent and where there is great diversity of conditions, while unitary government is better suited to others. Confederate government and even theocracies, as appears from a preceding chapter, have their places in the development of the state No single form of government is adapted to all societies any more than a suit of clothes could be made to fit all men.

The system best suited to Sparta was not the best for Athens, what is best for a large empire is not necessarily the best for a state of small area. What was the best for England in the time of the Tudors is not the best for England to day. If mere security of life and property are the main objects to be attained, then a very different kind of government will suffice from that which is necessary when the promotion of the social well-being of the people is considered a necessary object.

If, said Lieber

“the object is to reform and reorganize the debased and nerveless population of a large country in a tropical climate as that of Egypt, the government must essentially differ from that of an industrial people who, like the Dutch, must battle with the sea?”

Government is like a house which must be adapted in construction to the peculiar purposes and needs of those who dwell in it, and it must: be altered from time to time as those needs change and multiply.

The Government of the Future :-

Manifestly it would be hazardous to indulge in speculation as to what is likely to-be the most generally accepted government of the future. It is probably safe to say that no single system is likely to become universal, considering the wide diversity of local conditions and conceptions which, prevail throughout the world and which are likely to continue to prevail until the end of time. Nevertheless, there are marked tendencies everywhere toward certain forms and away from others, which indicate that the whole world is moving along certain definite lines in its search for the best system of government.

Thus the drift is undoubtedly away from monarchical, autocratic, absolute, and hereditary forms. Most of the monarchies that survive to-day are really such only in name, being in fact republics. Traces of aristocracy, autocracy, and hereditary government still survive here and there, but they seem destined to disappear totally at no distant date. It seems very probable that all states will ultimately become constitutional, representative, democratic republics, perhaps long before the end of the present century.

It seems likely, however, that while representative government will become: universal, the bases and forms of representation will undergo important changes. There is at present wide spread dissatisfaction with the existing system of representation in many countries, and experiments are being made with new systems.

The late Professor Henry J. Ford, who in his last years devoted himself to the study of the subject, concluded that there is much to suggest that representative government is a decaying form of state, yet he thought it is largely due to a confusion of the genuine article with what is really a spurious form.

What seems likely to take place in the civilized world, he thought, is not a rejection of representative government but a weeding out of its spurious forms. This is what Mussolini claims to have done for Italy.

Outlook for Democracy :-

The most marked of all modern political tendencies has been the rapid drift toward democracy, and this form of government is now in varying degrees very nearly universal. It has in fact been carried to such lengths that even in countries where the soil is most fertile for its introduction and the conditions most favorable for its growth there is believed to be danger of a breakdown.

Lord Bryce, an ardent and sympathetic defender of democracy, did not hesitate to express in his last work the view that the prospects for its future in certain countries where it has lately been introduced are not altogether encouraging.

Although it was frequently asserted that one of the objects Of the late war was to make the world safe for democracy, democracy as a method of government has become more suspect and discredited among nations than ever before in modern times, and large sections of public opinion in democratic countries are to day clamoring for dictatorships.

But here again it is said that the trouble is not with democracy itself but with its perversion and the attempt to substitute spurious and false forms for the true and genuine article. Already there are signs of reaction in many countries, and in some of them recently it has virtually broken down.

What seems likely to happen is not either the abandonment of democracy or the increasing multiplication of democratic expedients, which in their totality will create a burden which the electorate cannot bear, but a return to a more moderate representative type.

Outlook for Federal Government :-

Whether the governments of the future are likely to be more generally federal or centralized in character is a question which is more difficult to answer. It must be admitted that the federal system with so many obvious merits not spread throughout the world to the extent which its Votaries predicted, and in the relatively few countries where it has been introduced in recent times it has assumed important modification. Which distinguish it fundamentally from the American type Whig Was the first important example. In its modified form it is in reality a combination of federalized administration and centralize legislation and this would seem to be the form which it is like to take wherever it is introduced in the future.

Outlook for Cabinet Government :-

Finally, as between the presidential and cabinet systems, the outlook appears to be distinctly in favor of the latter. Aside from certain Latin American states the example of the United States has not been imitated by other countries and it does not seem probable that it will be in the future. Even in the United States the tendency seems to be in the direction of the establishment of closer connection between the executive and legislative organs on the other hand, in the more recently established cabinet systems there is evidence of a disposition to give the head of the state more real power and a larger independence of legislative control. Perhaps the system of the future may be a resultant of the two tendencies.

The Value of Good Government :

In a sense the travail of the ages has been to find a system of government which will best serve the common needs of those for whose benefit the governments are established. The systems adopted have varied widely in different ages and among different peoples and there is still no universal con sensuous practice as to which system is the best. On one point, however, there is agreement, namely that upon the existence of a good government, more than anything else, the happiness and prosperity of peoples depend .

As Mr.Elihu Root has well said :

“The fairest and most fertile parts of the earth have been for centuries wilderness and desert because of bad government, net only lands capable of supporting multitudes in comfort and prosperity, but lands that have actually done so in the past, are to day filled with wretchedness and squalor, With ignorance and vice, because of bad government, while under good government industry and comfort flourish on the most sterile and under the rigorous climate. ”