Parallels and Divergencies Between the Political, Legal, and Economics Systems of the United States and India

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The Eagle and The Tiger|
Parallels and Divergencies between the Political, Legal, and Economics Systems of the United States and India| |
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Nicholas Vignapiano|
Thomas Edison State College|

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The Eagle and the Tiger
Although there are many differences between the United States and India with regard to culture, politics, economic well-being, and legal systems, there are also many similarities that we share which bring us closer together than many people may realize. These similarities are enabling our two nations to foster strong partnerships on the international business stage. The differences between us may be simply a matter of degree and the passage of time, for while the United States has long gone through the growing pains of a nation’s formative stage, India is still within the early decades of its transition into a potential world power.

The Politics of Birds and Cats
India is a constitutional sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. It is the largest democracy on the globe. The United States of America is the name of the Federal government of the Constitutional Republic of 50 states that make up the United States of America and its territories. Both countries have a federal form of government at their heart, but in India, the federal government exercises much more control over the states than in the United States. (U.S. DOS) The United States is the world’s oldest representative democracy. Both countries gained independence from Great Britain at some point in its history: The United States in 1776 and he Republic of India in 1947. Both countries have modeled their governments on the ideals of democracy, which include justice, liberty, and equality among citizens. Three main branches of government exist in each system: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. In India, there is a President & Vice President as in the United States. The role of the president is “normally a ceremonial role”(Darlington 2) The President and Vice President are elected by an electoral college as in the U.S. Along with the Prime Minister, there is a Council of Ministers, which is similar to the Cabinet in the U.S., who are all appointed by the President with approval required from the lower house – the Lok Sabha. It is the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers that wield the most executive power in the country, as opposed to the U.S., where the President wields considerable power. The legislative branch consists of a bicameral parliament, patterned after the British system. The two houses are the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (lower house). These institutions resemble the Senate and House in the U.S. Congress, and have similar make ups as these institutions, consisting of more representatives for the lower house (House) than the upper house (Senate). The members of both houses are elected either directly (Lok Sabha + two appointed) or by legislatures of the states & union territories with 12 members appointed by the President of India (Rajya Sabha). There are many similarities as we can see, but there are also vast differences between India and the U.S. India has a multi-party system, whereas the U.S. is based, for all intents and purposes, on a two party system. The U.S. system leads to a more moderate approach by members of each party. Thus the extreme base of each party rarely prevail in national elections.. In India, the mutli-party system allows for a larger array of choices when it comes to a platform. Since in this type of system a majority win in elections is not a given, there are usually coalitions formed between parties to form a government. The voters may have more choices in India, but they are also faced with a wide variety of issues and concerns to focus on. While the complexity of the Indian voter is increased, there is flexibility in the multi-party system, as opposed to a two-party system. The dominant party in India since 1885 has been the Indian...
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