Country vs. Govt. vs. Administration

Make the distinction between government, administration and country. Iran is not developing nuclear capability — the Iranian government is. America did not invade Iraq — the American government did. The Sri Lankan government did not foul up the peace process, the present administration did.

A country’s people have only a LIMITED level of control over it’s government. When electing administrations, they often have to choose the lesser evil. It is true that a country’s people are partly responsible for what is done by the government they elect, but one must try to avoid phrases such as “[country] did [action]”.

What tends to persist from administration to administration, I attribute to “government” (my definition). Every Sri Lankan administration has been semi-socialist, therefore we can say Sri Lanka has a semi-socialist government. But the present administration is more socialist than the previous.


One Response to Country vs. Govt. vs. Administration

  1. Government and Administration run parallel. The present government is the present administration, and the present administration in the current government. One cannot detach the two, even under your definition.
    I agree with your 1st para…the part about America vs. American Govt, and Iraq vs Iraqi Govt. I also agree with the fact that, despite it being the good people of the country who used their Universal Adult franchise to elect a govt, they have limited control over the actions of that govt. (unless you count seemingly fruitless protests and demonstrations…)
    But, you cannot say that what persists from administration to administration can be termed as, ‘Government’. Maybe it could be called the ‘style of government’ or the ‘trend in political ideology’. But, unlile what you say, we cannot call Sri Lankan ‘Government’ as being a semi-socialist one, purely because the previous many administrations have tended towards it. Essentially, ‘government’ is what the present administration is. And that government ends with that administration. Which is why I think that you’ve made a very interesting point here, until you came to the last paragraph. But it would be interesting if you could further elaborate on YOUR definiton of ‘government’ as you’ve referred it to be.
    On a more technical note, the previous govt. (the UNP regime) was far from being semi-socialist. It was barely centre, leave alone left-from-centre. It is true that most of its policies were development oriented, and pro-growth HOPING FOR pro-poor outcomes (‘trickle-down’ economics). But it was by no means a semi-socialist govt./administration/whatever. If at all, it was quasi-capitalist/monetarist and at best, neo-liberal. For evidence, refer the ‘Regaining Sri lanka’ policy document, outlining all the market reforms and liberalisation agenda. Those are the hallmarks of such a govt.

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