Today, democracy is the most common system of government in which the political power is collectively decided and controlled by the people. It can literally be interpreted as ‘’rule of the people.’’
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Therefore, this means that ordinary citizens possess the ultimate authority over governmental decisions and policies. Democracy rose due to the demand from ordinary citizens to have a voice in the political form of government in hope that it would overcome the rule or tyranny of a single individual, group or characters.
With the people possessing with the ultimate political authority, democracy dissolves power and thwarts any move of dictatorial elements and other forms of authoritarian government.
Democracy has also been seen as the best means of ensuring autonomy and equality amongst all people in the society. It also sets the stage for people to voice their quandaries or frustrations through a regulated process in which the government can seek answers to address the raised issues.
Democracy goes beyond the electoral system and requires other features which include various rights or freedoms in order to develop or discover its preferences. Distinctively, freedom and equality are the main features of democracy and have generally made it as an attractive form of government.
Features of Democracy that generally makes it an attractive form of Government
It is the responsibility of every democratic government to offer its citizens freedoms which are ratified in law. In order for every citizen to have the right to vote, the freedom of speech, assembly, to form parties, pressure groups, a comparatively free media, and so on, are required in order to have a free and fair system of government.
These freedoms which are described in the Bill of Rights, forbids the government from violating these rights. In violation of these rights, any citizen can take the government to a court of law.
Since democracy is a rooted belief of an eventual election of ‘’good’’ government leaders, these freedoms do serve as a mechanism that works daily in punishing government officials incase they abuse the colossal power that lies in their hands or plainly fall short of governing according to the law.
This is basically done because democracy is unable to force the government to be law abiding on a daily basis although it produces the very same government. In a democratic society, the freedoms as written in the constitution to administrate the government due to the fact that independent judicial and law enforcement agencies are constructed within the government.
The people will therefore act within the freedoms and rights given to them to successfully control government power. Since power can only control itself, this power is significantly given to every citizen in a democratic society through the freedoms placed in the Bill of Rights.
Another main feature of democracy is brought forth by the element of equality in any given society. Equality brings justice to the people in any political or social context.
Equality is embraced intensely from the heart and this element makes it have a passionate and tenacious affect and attachment to the people in general. In situations where freedom and equality meet, they would be confounded together for the common cause for democracy.
Democracy therefore calls for any government to enact policies that will promote equality within its structures and the society as a whole. These equalities may vary from gender, religion, race, to education, and so on.
Democracy becomes attractive in any political system because the government’s main objective is to see that no individual or group is treated unfairly on any grounds. In any society or government, democracy strengthens social and political equality that would later lead to greater equality in the general conditions of life.
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Therefore, every citizen in a democratic society can pursue his or her dreams and aspirations knowing that they will be treated equally in the process of doing so, and this also makes equality a defining aspect in democratic governance and leadership. It also grounds democracy to the principle of public equality.
Features or circumstances which are unattractive for citizens to Oppose Democratization in their Country
In some dictatorial societies and governments, the people may not be allowed to know or even talk about the country’s affairs or conditions and any such remarks may lead to the people experiencing a harsh reprisal from the very same government.
This ‘closed’ system of government can also lead to the massive arrests, detention, or even assassination of various members or leaders of any civil societies groups. In these scenarios, the media is not exempted from the dictatorial policies that prohibit them from covering such issues or any contentious topics that the government sees not ‘fit’ for public discussion and reaction.
Such unattractive circumstances may lead to the commencement of various democracy movements due to the people’s dissatisfaction with the system of their very own government. Various democracies around the world have been liberated from their cocoon of fear and injustice through such democracy movements and rallies.
Under such authoritarian governments, freedom of speech is monitored to a great extent that leaves the people concerned and irritated at best. The electoral system does not give room to open competition that opposes the government and are usually occasioned by flawed results and chaos.
In these authoritarian governments, equality in relation to race, gender, religion and so on is not given any consideration when it comes to political involvement.
Women and certain races and groups are intentionally sidelined during the political process. In extreme circumstances the people are left with a country that cannot progress due to the violent political unrest that may take ages to conclude and find an agreeable solution.
Since the people have only known to be met with force under such system of governments when addressing their frustrations, they also tend to use the same force on their government and would not oppose any means that would lead to democratization in their very own country.
Is the balance sufficient to make it likely democracy will replace other forms of government or not?
Yes, the balance is quite significant and will most likely by the system of government in various countries around the world. This is because of the stained history of violence, massacres, assassinations, and so on, which marks the struggle towards a democratic country.
The aftermaths of such events are inconceivable to repeat themselves in the eyes of both government and the people at large. This potential risk cannot be assumed because the social life will be in disarray while the political leadership will not have a country to exercise the sustainable power they long for.
Also since authoritarian governments and leaderships are rare in some parts of the world, the people will not sit back and watch their democracy being taken away while the rest of the world enjoys progress and stability.
Democracy struggles are movements that fought from the strength of mind and heart, and have longevity and ambition which can last for generations and since power belongs to the people through the ballot or constant demonstrations, it is no doubt that with time it will be the popular form of government.