Democracy is a type of governance where people participate in making laws and rules; “it is the political regime where people will become the law of the country” (Lane and Erson 2). This article will give a description of what is democracy, types of democracy, systems of democracy and its benefits in public administration.
Democracy can be viewed as a majority rule. When democracy is implemented, there is no favor given to any person or a group of people. All people are treated equally while assigning positions and only consensus determines if a person qualifies for a position or not (Lane and Erson 2).
Characteristics of democracy are based on “separation of powers i.e. legislative power, executive power and judicative power, the constitution, laws, decrees, elections, political parties and referendums” (Democracy 1). Democracy is beneficial in that it enhances economic growth, good health, and environmental conservation. It also promotes peace in a country. This makes it important in formulating policies and public administration.
Systems of Democracy
There are three major systems of democracy namely, direct democracy, presidential democracy and parliamentary democracy. Direct democracy gives equal rights to its members where the head of state is elected from the people in the government periodically.
All parties are included in the government and laws are made through a special procedure which finalizes with a referendum e.g. in Switzerland. Presidential democracy is where the president is elected by the citizens and is given a lot of power in the government and can oppose a proposed law e.g. USA and France.
Parliamentary democracy is whereby the head of state is either a king or a queen. The government is made by members of parliament who have the power to dismiss it. Their laws are made by the government which is composed of the leaders of different parties e.g. Germany, UK and Spain (Democracy 1).
Types of Democracy
There are five types of democracy. The liberal democracy came up from the West after people had suffered in the Western countries because of unfair policies which were being applied.
The citizens were seeking freedom when they decided to unite and decide what laws were going to guide them in their country. It came into action through reaching citizens at their places of work, schools and media. This type of democracy gives each citizen his/her rights other than a group of people.
This is in contrast to the liberal-republican type which recognizes group and gives them their rights e.g. in Canada, Switzerland and Belgium (Smooha 424). In this case communities can have their own individual rights. The multicultural democracy is where the laws recognize different community practices but they do not make them administrative.
This moderately assimilates the citizens. Consociational democracy is whereby people are more equal in distribution of resources and power. Lastly, ethnic democracy is where rights are given on group basis. The least of the groups may hold a protest to oppose a law (Smooha 426).
Democracy involves many citizens in deciding who rules and which laws will be used in a country. It is beneficial because it gives freedom and reduces violence amongst the people. Countries may decide to have direct democracy, presidential democracy or parliamentary democracy. They also choose from five types of democracy namely, liberal democracy, liberal-republican democracy, ethnic democracy, consociational democracy or multicultural democracy.
Democracy. Different systems of Democracy. Democracy, n.d. Web. http://www.democracy-building.info/systems-democracy.html
Lane, Jan-Erik and Erson, Svante. Democracy. New York, NY: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Smooha, Sammy. Types of democracy and modes of conflict management in ethnically divided societies. Haifa, 2002. Web.