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What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

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  • Last Updated : 15 Mar, 2022
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Democracy is a type of governance in which the people have the power to consider and determine laws (direct democracy) or to elect representatives to do so (representative democracy). Who is considered a member of “the people,” and how authority is shared or delegated by the people, has evolved through time and at varying rates in different nations, but over time, more and more citizens of democratic countries have been involved.

Freedom of assembly, association, and expression, inclusivity and equality, citizenship, consent of the governed, voting rights, freedom from unjustified state denial of the right to life and liberty, and minority rights are all essential elements of democracy. 

What is Democracy?

A form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people is termed democracy. One of the chief factors of all democracies is that people choose the government. Democracy helps students to demarcate between democratic and non-democratic governments.

For example, from the non-democratic government, people do not elect rules in Myanmar. In charge of the army of the country took over as rulers and in this decision, people said nothing. Dictators like Pinochet (Chile) are not elected by the people and apply to monarchies also. The king of Saudi Arabia rules because they are born in the royal family, not because of the condition that people opt them or choose them to rule.

Why Democracy?

Democracy is essential for the following reasons:

  1. The quality of decision-making, which is based on collaboration and debate, will astound you. A democratic decision necessitates a large number of people, conversations, and gatherings. A group of people can point out potential mistakes in any decision if they pool their minds. When the majority of decisions are reached through discussion, the chances of reaching hasty or risky conclusions are lowered. People have the right to protest and even force the government to reconsider its decision if it does not meet their expectations.
  2. Allows residents to voice their thoughts, ensuring that all citizens have certain basic rights. If their preferences are not being realized, citizens in a democracy have the freedom to choose and change their representatives. All members of parliament have the right to speak their thoughts. It ensures that citizens are free to practice any religion they choose.
  3. In a democracy, there is no guarantee that mistakes will not be made.No government, no matter how powerful, can ensure that. Mistakes cannot be hidden for lengthy periods of time in a democracy. There is a forum for public debate and correction of these inaccuracies. Either the rulers’ decisions must be changed or they must be replaced. A non-democratic government could not allow this to happen.
  4. It raises citizens’ dignity because it is based on the principle of political equality. All citizens have the same status, whether they are wealthy or poor, educated or uneducated. Individuals are rulers if they are not subjects of a king. The monarch must rule or act in accordance with the people’s wishes and demands. If the people don’t like the monarch, elections can be held to replace him.

Characteristics of Democracy

  1. Constitution: 
    • It is a supreme law of the land that states the fundamental rights and key obligations of the government. On its citizens, Enshrined in the constitution includes the civil and political rights and limitations of state power.
    • It plays an important significant role in USA and responsibility through the process of deciding the needed for helping the people and for good governance.
    • Every citizen in the country provides equally and requires aspirations ensuring the common people’s needs and welfare.
    • In any country, it has two major parts termed Federalism and unitary. These are the types of government presentative levels and administrations of government.
    • It allows for power to be shared evenly at the local, state, and national levels in Federalism type of government.
  2. Popular Sovereignty:
    • The responsibility for power lies with the adult citizens of society in a democracy who are allowed to freely engage in the selection of processes to freely be able to choose their own representatives of choice through voting or elections.
    • It has one main goal and its purpose has been to show the significance of democracy.
    • Every country in the world of the government which falls through democratic characteristics must always obtain its power from the people.
    • A process does that takes place every five to four years is termed as elections, which gives them the ability’s to select, replace or reelect members of parliament and government officials entirely.
  3. Majority Rule:
    • It follows the decision-making approach of majority rule in the way it is processed in democracy and focuses on individual human fundamental rights within the same state and country.
    • All critical levels of the liberal government operate within borders of democracies and are accessible to the public, population and people ensures this. By the majority, the legislature is responsible for passing the laws.
    • For the people in Democracy, it decentralizes the central government at different local and regional levels in which governments at all levels are responsible and accessible.
    • The decisions are taken by the executive and by majority rule as well. The majority makes its rulings and judgments for the Supreme Court. It also includes the views and the wishes of the minorities while the majority takes decisions.
    • It made decisions by consensus, accommodating both the majority as well as the opposition.
  4. Individual Rights:
    • Protecting the human rights of every citizen is the primary objective of democracies.
    • Freedom of speech Equality Freedom to choose their religion Freedom to participate and organize cultural, economic, and political events in the society includes this.
    • To contest in the elections, people of the right ages should be allowed and wish to do so.
    • Any citizen fulfilling specific criteria can participate in the election if an age limit is decided by democracy.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Explain in three ways why democracy in a country enhances the dignity of an individual?

Answer:

The three ways are-

  1. It is the basis of the principle of political equality.  All the citizens have the same status whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated.
  2. They are rulers by them if people are not subjects of a ruler.
  3. According to the wishes and the needs of the people, the ruler has to rule or work.  They can change him through election if the people do not like the ruler.

Question 2: Explain this statement by giving reasons “After every six years to elect its president, Mexico holds elections in 1930 since its independence. The country has never been under a military or dictator’s rule. But it cannot be termed as a democratic country.”

Answer:

The basic feature of democracy is a Free and Fair election but this is not in Mexico:-

  • Every election was won by a party called PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) until 2000 in Mexico.
  • To win elections, the PRI uses many dirty tricks, and to attend the party meetings in government people should be employed.
  • To vote for the PRI, teachers of government schools forced the parents.
  • Instead of criticizing them, the media largely ignores the activities of the opposition political parties.
  • It is difficult for people to cast the votes if the polling booths were shifted from one place to another at the last minute.
  • For candidates, the PRI spent a large sum of money on the campaign.

Question 3: Explain the major features of democracy.

Answer:

The major features of democracy are:-

  • People representative by final authority: The final decision-making power must rest with the people who elect in a democracy.
  • Free and fair elections: It must be founded on a free and fair election in which those in power now have a reasonable probability of losing their positions.
  • One person, one vote, one value: Each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value in a democracy.
  • Respect for rights and rule of law: The constitutional law and citizen’s rights set democratic government rules must be in limits.

Question 4: What does direct democracy mean, and why is it impossible to practice in today’s world? 

Answer:

Every citizen must be able to play an equal role in decision making which means direct democracy implies democracy. In the present day world, it cannot be practiced because-

  • A large number of people involves in modern democracies is not possible for them to physically sit together and take a collective decision. The elected representatives do not directly rule the majority.
  • To take part in all the decisions, the citizens do not have the time, the desire, or the skills.

Question 5: Explain any two arguments for democracy.

Answer:

The two arguments for democracy are:

  1. Accountable government- If it represents the needs of the people then democracy is better than any other form of government.It does not depend on the whims of the ruler or the dictator. In easy words, we can say that democracy is for the people as an accountable form of government.
  2. Deals with differences- It provides a peaceful solution to every problem in a democracy. This provides the best method of dealing with differences and conflicts. India with a diversity of languages, religions, castes, and creeds in democracy suits the needs of many countries. Every problem has the solution of leading discussions that’s why our country keeps united.

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