coalition government

A coalition government, is one in which two or more parties share power (not necessarily as equals). The usual reason for this arrangement is that no party on its own has a majority in the parliament.

Coalition governments are common in countries where the electoral system is one of proportional representation. It does not appear at all in countries where the cabinet is chosen by the president rather than the lower house (such as France, the United States and Russia). Countries that often have a coalition government include the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Israel and India. Switzerland has been ruled by a loose coalition of the four strongest parties in parliament since 1959, called the "Magic Formula". Sometimes a coalition government is also created in times of large difficulties, for example war, to give the government a high degree of political legitimacy and acceptability diminishing internal political strife.