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What are the Key Features of Democracy?

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  • Last Updated : 15 Mar, 2022
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Democracy is a form of government in which citizens choose their rulers. One of the most fundamental characteristics of all democracies is that citizens choose their government. Students can utilize democracy to tell the difference between democratic and non-democratic governments.

Myanmar, for example, has a non-democratic administration that is not elected by the people.No one questioned the choice of the country commanding officers to rule the country. Dictators, like Chile’s Pinochet, are not elected by the people, and monarchs are no exception. Saudi monarchs reign because they are members of a royal line, not because they were elected or selected by the people. 

Importance of Democracy

For the following reasons, democracy is crucial:-

  1. Impress with the quality of decision-making, which is founded on consultation and debate. A democratic choice involves a lot of people, discussions, and gatherings. If a group of people puts their brains together, they can point out potential blunders in any decision. When most judgments are made through discussion, the odds of making rash or reckless conclusions are reduced. People have the freedom to protest and even force the government to reverse its decision if it is not in accordance with their views.
  2. Provides a mechanism for dealing with differences and conflict – By allowing residents to express their opinions, it ensures that all citizens have certain basic rights. In a democracy, all citizens have the right to pick and replace their representatives if their preferences are not being met. In the parliament, all members have the right to express their views. It guarantees citizens the freedom to practice any religion they want.
  3. Better than other forms of government at correcting errors – There is no guarantee that mistakes will not be made in a democracy. That is something that no type of government can guarantee. In a democracy, mistakes cannot be buried for long periods of time. There is a place for public discussion and correction of these errors. Either the rulers must amend their decisions or the rulers must be replaced. This could not happen under a non-democratic government.
  4. Enhances citizens’ dignity – It is founded on the notion of political equality. Whether affluent or poor, educated or ignorant, all citizens share the same status. If individuals are not subjects of a king, they are rulers. The monarch must rule or act according to the wishes and needs of the people. If the people don’t like the monarch, they can change him through elections.

Features of Democracy

  1. This rule doesn’t follow by Pakistan. A military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan in October 1999. For becoming the president of the country, he overthrew the democratically elected government. It also held a referendum in the country that granted him a five-year extension in 2002.  After passing of this ‘Legal Framework Order’ elections, it may be held to the national and provincial assemblies and elected representatives that granted some powers. But he rested with military officers in final power that’s why we cannot conclude it in a democratic country. It also happens in many dictatorships and monarchies. Thus, we can conclude that the final decision-making power must rest with the people who elect in a democracy.
  2. Elections are held in china for electing the country’s parliament after every five years, called Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (National People’s Congress). The approval of the Chinese Communist Party must be needed for a candidate before contesting elections. The Communist Party formed the government.   After every six years, elections are held in Mexico to elect its President because of independence in 1930. But every election was won by a party called PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) until 2000.  Reading these examples means people cannot elect their rulers. Thus, it must be based on a free and fair election where that currently has a fair chance of losing power.
  3. The fundamental principle of political equality is based on this feature. Denial of the equal right to vote have many instances.  Women did not have the right to vote in Saudi Arabia until 2015. People belonging to the Russian minority found it difficult to get the right to vote because Estonia has made its citizenship rules. In Fiji, the vote of an indigenous Fiji has more value than that of an Indian-Fijian is termed as the electoral system. Definitely not a democratic government. Thus, it means each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value in a democracy.
  4. In 1980, Zimbabwe attained independence from White minority rule, and from then the country has been ruled by the party that led the freedom struggle, ZANU-PF. Since independence, the country ruled by its leader Robert Mugabe. ZANU-PF won the elections if it was held regularly. Because of its popularity, President Mugabe always used unfair practices in elections. There was a law to criticize the President that has right limits. The government controls television and radio by giving the ruling party’s version.  The government harassed those journalists who went against it but not for an independent newspaper. Not a democratic government. Thus, the constitutional law and citizens’ rights set democratic government rules must be within limits.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Explain the statement “China’s election does not represent people’s verdict”.

Answer: 

This statement implies that-

  1. Elections are regularly held in China for electing the country’s parliament after every five years which is termed as Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (National People’s Congress).
  2. To appoint the President of the country, the National People’s Congress has the power.
  3. China elects nearly 3000 members and some members are elected by the army.
  4. Before running for office, a candidate must gain the permission of the Chinese Communist Party.
  5. Elections were held in 2002-03, and members of the Chinese Communist Party or eight minor parties were allowed to run.
  6. The Communist Party is in charge of the government.

Question 2: Explain this statement by three examples “Zimbabwe shows that in a democracy popular approval of the rulers is necessary but it is not sufficient”.

Answer: 

Three examples are-

  1. Since independence, the country ruled by Robert Mugabe. ZANU-PF won the elections if it was held regularly. Because of its popularity, President Mugabe always used unfair practices in elections.
  2. They disrupt meetings and harassed the Opposition party workers. Against the government, Public protests and demonstrations are declared illegal.
  3. The government controls television and radio by giving the ruling party’s version. The government harassed those journalists who went against it but not for an independent newspaper.

Question 3: Give a reason why Saudi Arabia, Estonia, and Fiji cannot be termed as democratic?

Answer:

Each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value in a democracy but Saudi Arabia and Estonia do not follow this principle. Women did not have the right to vote in Saudi Arabia but people belonging to the Russian minority had difficulty getting the right to vote in Estonia. In Fiji, the vote of an indigenous Fiji has more value than that of an Indian-Fijian is termed as the electoral system.

Question 4: Explain three conditions that a democratic government applies to the way is run after the elections.

Answer:

The three conditions are-

  1. To express their views, form associations, and protest, people should have freedom.
  2. The Constitutional law governs the country and in the eye of the law, everyone should be equal.
  3. An independent judiciary respects and protects the people’s rights and orders that are obeyed by everyone.

Question 5: How did Pakistan’s President, General Pervez Musharraf, come to power? 

Answer:

In October 1999, a military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. He overthrew the democratically elected government and declared himself the Chief Executive of the country.

General Pervez Musharraf changes his designation from the Chief Executive to the President of the Country. It also held a referendum in the country that granted him a five-year extension in 2002 and a referendum based on malpractices and fraud.

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