Elections are an integral part of a democratic state. The argument is sometimes put forward that participatory democracy should be the basis for a whole political system, a replacement for parliamentary democracy. Representative institutions based on one person one vote determine the principles and general direction of an elected government. Participatory democracy can monitor the work of the executive and state apparatus. The importance of process Take waste. The same principles of daily and ongoing democratic processes could be applied to education, transport, and social services.
Formally, representative democracy does have the final say. Participatory democracy, in a complementary relationship to electoral power, thus has the potential to move societies further towards the democratic ideals of popular control and political equality. I believe that a strong and aware civil society keeps their elected representatives on their toes, by asking questions through organized interest groups all of whom press their causes on government, sometimes through political parties and through independent lobbies.
Participatory democracy provides a real alternative, or complement, to elected power: a distinct and organized public sphere in which the demands of the people can be articulated, developed and negotiated between each other, and finally negotiated with the local or other relevant state institutions. Conditions for participatory growth In order for participatory democracy to attain legitimacy and reinvigorate democratic politics as a whole, certain conditions need to be in place.
The aim for participatory institutions is essentially to share decision-making power with government, to exercise some control over the work of state institutions and to monitor the implementation of government’s decisions. The process must get results; in the sense that these parties are able to use their electoral legitimacy to emphasize the importance of the participatory process. If participatory democracy spreads, the institutions of representative government may lose some power to the new participatory sphere.
The new systems of managing public resources through a combination of electoral and participative democracy bring an overall gain in democratic legitimacy and as a result, potentially, in democratic power. I believe that participatory democracy and the election process should be in the forefront in advocating transparency among government officials and their constituents. It is also important that citizens should be more aware and involved because the main argument of a democracy is the constant participation of people with regards to political debates and decisions.
Without the people’s involvement, government leaders will not hold positions of power in the first place. Grassroots parties that are well represented inside the halls of congress should not just advocate the things that they think are important, but they also should stand as role models for the people who do not have the chance everyday to sit in a position of power. It is inevitable in a democracy that sometimes elections become an issue in itself. With this in my mind, I believe that people who go out to vote and those who pass on the opportunity to vote must always respect the final verdict whether it favors them or not.
Yes, it is an issue because sometimes it is very easy for people to point fingers and start up a rumor that an election is fixed. For me, the only solution for this issue is to improve the way elections are being held. As a voter myself, it would also help if we encourage our society to go out and vote. Apathy sometimes can backfire on us. We should take care of our rights as citizens and voters to be more aware of the situation and act accordingly. By doing so, we protect ourselves from being short changed by the very institution, which the sole purpose is to protect us.
Courtney from Study Moose
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