Saudi Arabia is a monarchy country that bases its government on Islam. The government in Saudi is headed by a king who is the commander n chief of the armed forces. The King appoints a prince who his duty is to help him with the duties in the country. He is also the second in line to becoming the king in case of death or any issues that make the King unable to continue rule. The king is also helped by a council of ministers who are also known as the cabinet. There are 22 government ministry positions that are a part of the cabinet. They specialize in different parts of the government functions which may include education, finance, and foreign affairs. The king also receives advice from a legislative body that is known as the consultative body or Majlis Al-Shura. The council is responsible for making new laws and also amending the already existing laws in the country. The body consists of 150 members who are chosen by the king for a period of four years in which they can be renewed. There are 13 provinces in the country with each one of them having a governor and a deputy governor (Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Washington, DC).
Turkey, on the other hand, is a republic that is based on secular democratic and also pluralistic principles. It was established in the year 1923 by Mustafa Kermal Ataturk and had a parliamentary system that uses the constitution to protect the rights of its citizens. There is a division of power in terms of the tasks that are to be carried out. The three include Judiciary, Executive and Legislature. The highest power in the judiciary is Anayasa Mahkemesi, which means the constitutional court. The executive arm of the government is accountable to the Anayasa Mahkemesi which might be called in reviewing certain Legislations. The legislature consists of 550 deputies in the parliament. They are elected by the citizens through a popular vote, and they serve the country for a period of 5 years. The 550 deputies then come together and elect president to serve for seven years and his veto power is limited. Consultation in turkey can be made through the holding of referendums to pass new laws and any other issues affecting the country (Sayarı, Sabri & Yilmaz).
The research question is; “how do the two political systems affect the people of the respective countries in terms of development and their opinion in the government?”
The first strength that the monarchy government has is the making of quick decisions. This is the case in the system in Saudi Arabia. The king can make decisions very fast as compared to the democratic system that exists in Turkey. The power lies within the King, and he can, therefore, make decisions with less consultation making it faster. In Turkey, the parliament has to come into an agreement which can take a long time to reach. This might also fail with the only remaining option that of holding a referendum. Passing of urgent issues is, therefore, minimal due to the number of consultations that has to be made. This is a great advantage that all the Monarchy governments possess above the democratic government. When decision making by the government between Turkey and Saudi Arabia is done, Saudi Arabia is seen to make the quickest decisions that are either affecting the people or any other urgent decisions. Decision making in Turkey slugs and may also come with a lot of opposition making the time even more straining.
In the political system of Saudi Arabia, it can be said to be clean from fraud especially in the choosing of new leaders. The King chooses most of the posts that are available. He also chooses the prince who is going to take his place after his death. This lowers the rates of corruption like bribing when it comes to the choosing of new leaders. The choosing of the new leaders is not necessarily transparent as the king can do that by himself without having to consult. The king also has the authority to end the reign of a member if he is not contributing as agreed without having to consult anyone. The king is the final say and can choose the people that he wants in the posts. Democratic countries like turkey are marred with great levels of corruption with the politicians bribing voters to vote for them. At the end of the day, the people will suffer because the politicians might not be productive, and it will take a lot of time to get them out of power. They can embezzle funds without worry as they know that they will have just to bribe the voters again during elections.
The strength that Turkey has compared to Saudi Arabia is that the people have their opinions represented. The people choose their leaders and also can revoke laws that they feel are against their wish. The people are, therefore, determining factors when it comes to the laws and tribulations that are being set for them to follow. The people elect the 550 deputies in Turkey who translate to the electing of a president of the country. All democracies believe in the notion of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. It shows that the citizens are in full control of the government. Their opinion counts and if they are not satisfied then they can call upon the government to change and also be involved in making the changes. They are also consulted when decisions affecting them have to be addressed. In Saudi Arabia, the king can make a decision even if he has not consulted anyone. He can call upon the advisors on an issue, but the final decision lies with him. The people can express their grievances, but not with the same power that the citizens of Turkey have in making their opinion count (Kalaycioğlu, 54-70).
Weaknesses of the monarchy governments include the making of poor decisions. Since the king can make decisions without consulting anyone, it can lead to him making decisions that are not concrete at all, therefore, affecting the people negatively (Öniş & Umut, 439-456). Sometimes the king and the advisors might be wrong, or the advisors might just tell the king what he wants to hear. Most advisors do this so that they can earn higher posts and gain trust from the king which they can use to influence his making of decisions. Others can advise him to make poor decisions because they might benefit them positively while they affect the rest of the country negatively. In Turkey, there is democracy, and people are involved in decision-making. Members of parliament debate on the decisions that are going to be made on several situations. They can discuss issues for weeks, and some even translate to months. In the case that a concrete decision cannot be reached then the citizens are involved in making the decisions which have high chances of being positive. Therefore, when the two decision-making processes are reviewed it can be said that the democratic one is more effective.
Democracy is also a hindrance to developments in Turkey. There are lawsuits that are against the projects that the government is running. These projects have to be stopped so that the opinion of these people can be heard. They might not be valid, but the projects cannot go on with the lawsuits against them still in progress. Projects can lag for long periods and in some instances they are stopped completely. This has brought down the development occurring in turkey as many significant projects that can improve the economy are always stopped, and their effect is not felt. These problems face almost all the democracies apart from Turkey. Projects that have been approved by the king are undertaken whether there are people who are against them or not. The king will listen to the grievances but still the projects have a high probability of being undertaken. The king might choose to compensate a person with the complaints rather than stop the ongoing projects for a person's sake. This has made Saudi Arabia standout in development more than Turkey and other democracies. The developments carried out in monarchy governments have a very high probability of going through more than those in democratic countries (Li & Zhang).
Kalaycioğlu, Ersin. "Turkish democracy: patronage versus governance." Turkish Studies 2.1 (2001): 54-70.
Li, Yang, and Zhang.,Jin. "Political and Economic Analysis on SWFs of Saudi Arabia." Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia) Vol 6.3 (2012).
Öniş, Ziya, and Umut Türem. "Entrepreneurs, democracy, and citizenship in Turkey." Comparative Politics (2002): 439-456.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Washington, Dc. About Saudi Arabia. Retrieved on 3rd December 2014 from http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/government/
Sayarı, Sabri, and Yilmaz R. Esmer. Politics, Parties, and Elections in Turkey. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Pub, 2002. Print.