Does democracy ensure freedom? I believe democracy can ensure freedom, but not always, thus my answer is maybe. For democracy is a form of government that rely on a system of law in which individuals are treated equally while having fair access to the legislative process through electing official who will act in their constituent’s interest and voice their concern. Through proper protection with legislation, individual’s freedom can be ensured. Yet the nature of democracy favour majority thus it is possible for politician to cater to the mass to secure vote and have access to the seats of power.
Democracy is unable to act if the votes are tied, such flaw can leads to politician abuse their power tilting the result either way to further his own goal. If elected official no longer voice the population yet game the system by continue to appease the majority, minority right and freedom can not be ensured. Government ultimately objective is to govern the people for the betterment of people, thus democracy reflects the need for it is form of government allowing people’s voice being heard through the elected officials. Each voter’s vote count and the majority trumps.
Elected official then go on legislate laws that regulation that resolves the population’s concern. Such fair access to the legislative process and equality before law ensure the population to be protected, the law are made by them and for them, protecting their freedom and rights. But democracy also follow majorities rule. It is possible for 49% of population to lose out simply because of the 2% difference. Yet if rights are cemented fully protected via charters, even minorities can escape such tyranny. Unfortunately, elected officials can not always complete reflect the desire of the entire population.
They are at best incomplete projection if not catering to special interest or simply the mass for the system favours the majorities, and once tied vote occurs. The decision will lie solely on those in power. For few individuals to be able make decision that influence a nation, such power can be attractive if not lucrative, for there is motive and it is not hard to imagine such corruption taking place. Once a politician is no longer serveing the voter but himself, without proper check and balance for the government to self correct such mistake.
It is to picture minorities right and freedom being sacrificed for the corrupted official to stay in power. The key all hinges on the soundness of said country’s legal system, if a government official have the power to alter laws, taking away rights and freedom as he pleases. The freedom can not be ensured. Yet, with a proper procedural fair legislative system, the inbuilt checks and balance will stop said corrupted official overstepping his position. The electoral system will kick in which official will be replaced if they do not deliver what is expected off them.
With a solid charter of rights, even minority’s innate rights and freedom can be protected against majorities for the inalienable rights protect each of us and allow us to maintain the dignity we all possess. Freedom is the concept that verges upon the condition in which individual live their life accord to their free will. For they make their own choices without facing disabling condition nor the pressure of simply fulfilling the basic necessities of life. We choose how we present ourselves to the world and how we communicate our idea and thoughts.
We decide on how to live our life, from our goal to our means of achieving said goals. Yet these seemly innate right are in fact fragile and vulnerable. The nature of government impose rules and regulation with our daily life. Our freedom is merely conditional, for we can only exercise our right and freedom to a certain extent. As matter of fact, our right and freedom can be taken away by the same law that protect our rights and freedom. But that is the truth of reality, freedom without bound is impossible. The physicality of reality impose restriction, scarcity of recourse and mortality of men.
Civilization dictates rules from punishment of crimes to shame and guilt through morality. Thus government, a form of rule, can not truly ensure freedom for its conditional and with limits. Men has long realize such limitation, yet we still yearns for such notion for we are driven by our free will and we seek create such system for we are protected from not just each others but ourselves’ own infringement of rights and freedom. Democracy is still our best attempt at this unrealistic dream, the approach is simple, for a system of law made by people for people. We strive to effectively govern ourselves and keep our right and freedom.
It is understandable to treat the question “does democracy ensures freedom ? ” in an bifurcate manner. It is easy to state the fact that democracy is simply mob rules thus two wolves can vote having the sheep for dinner against the one lone sheep’s objection. Yet it seems silly to categorize a whole country’s population into a predator/prey relationship, not to mention having a sound legal system in which inalienable rights of human beings are guaranteed can indeed prevent the two wolves ganging up on the sheep, minorities can still be sufficiently protected by law if the charter of rights allows.
Further more, freedom can only be secure via proper system of law that protect human right and freedom, types of government should not be the deciding matter for ensuring freedom. As the above paragraphs have shown, democracy either ensure nor deny freedom, while there is no true freedom under any form of government for by definition of government, restriction and restraints are naturely imposed upon individuals. I still consider limited conditional freedom preferable to none for my inalienable right are protected even against the tyranny of majorities for this rights are inalienable.
While democracy can allow favour toward the majorities and official in position of power, with proper checks and power established within the government, such issue can be self corrected. But without the legal safenet, minorities can easily been swapped up by politician’s agenda and sacrificed to the tyranny of majorities. As a partying thought, if no form of government can achieve true freedom, what is the future of democracy with our society?
Courtney from Study Moose
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