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Essay on Democracy Essay

Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time

Introduction

            Even though the concept of democracy form of governance has long been in existence for centuries, it was the emergence of country state government system which gave birth to the rise and flourish of democracy that we enjoy today. In the modern day, almost three quarters of the world countries claim to be democratic. As accepted this form of governance may seem to be, still it has some inherent flaws as a system of governance. Most of the critics of this form of government claim that democracy is morally corrupt, humanly unfair, economically inefficient and humanly unfair. It is because of this view that Winston Churchill said that, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those that has been tried from time to time.

Democracy definition

            According to the English oxford Dictionary, democracy is defined as the system of government by all the eligible members of the state or the whole population. One time US president, Abraham Lincoln, summed up the very essence of democracy as it being, the government of the people, by the people and for the people (History Place 2012). This of course was an idealist view and in regard to the current system, we can say that the true democracy was only demonstrated in 1918 when the representation of people act gave women the right to vote or they were declared as eligible voters. Before this act enactment or reform, democracy in Britain was only afforded by the rich and in fact up to the end of the 18th century, only about two percent of the population were entitled to vote. Following a number of vital reforms in the break of the 19th century, voting rights were extended slowly that lead to the culmination of the third Reform Act of 1884 that saw all men acquiring votes. This is the time that we can term as the crucial turn of event that led to the democracy that we all enjoy today.

            There are differences to the democratic forms of government that exist today. In UK, we have the centralistic form of government where decisions are made in the capital and the local authorities are demanded to act according to these decisions and rules. In contrast to this, the federal government of Germany gives a lot of power to the federal state and this is the same form of democracy that is practiced in the United States (Dobson, 2012)

Other forms of government

            As we know, democracy is not the standardised form of government that is practiced all over the world. There are many other alternatives that are apparent in other countries. For example in the republic of Korea, there exists a totalitarian regime. This form of government is solely based on ideology. This ideology claims the general validity for all the life aspects and often tries to replace religion. A totalitarian form of governance does not tolerate any kind of deviation from the known ideology and any person who attempts to oppose this ideology is persecuted. This was of course the form that was adopted by the Nazi Germany that led to the political opponents being persecuted and tortured and also detained in the concentration camps leading to the genocide of the ethnic minorities who were in line with the Nazi policy.

            Even though the authoritarian form of governance is linked to the totalitarian regime, they have no distinct state ideology and they also grant some cultural and economic freedoms being careful not to jeopardize their policies. The goal that the authoritarian regime takes as being the most important is the maintenance of power along with personal enrichment on the cost of the population and the country as a whole (democracy-building website, 2005.).

            There are other forms of government that are apparent and the one that is of particular interest is the Theocracy form of governance that is practiced by the Republic of Iran. This is known as “government by God”. This is where the official policy is governed by divine guidance or by people or official regarded as divinely guided, or it is simply pursuant to the doctrine of a specific religion or a religious group (merriam-webster online encyclopaedia 2012).

            With regard to the UK’s democratic form of governance that we have in place, its success can be determined by how the government interpret what we as people wants. The recent changes like the Scottish devolution along with the creation of the Welsh assembly sends light that if democracy is for the people, then such constitutional changes can be termed as integral and also successful part of practice of democracy.

            As we said earlier, the literal meaning of democracy is the government of the people, for the people and by the people. But when the concept of democracy is mixed up with that of governance, this is really not the case even though we get the supporters of democracy pretending to be so. When the people are told that democracy is the rule by the people, then that’s a fallacy. If there is governance that is over those people, than there exist no government or governance by the people. Owing to this argument, the democracies that are adopted by many countries for instance the western countries are in fact oligarchies in every detail. But the people who are the main subjects believe that there are free and become apathetic of the same and they do not see any further need for revolution. The formation that is surely oligarchy is the one that makes democracy to be termed as the worst form of government like Winston Churchill termed it. Below the arguments that point out the worseness of the democratic form of government are discussed. Among these are democracy and economic instability and Democracy as a vehicle of chaos and anarchy. Also the connection of police violence in Canada and democracy will be discussed in details citing the main features of the issue, the advocates of the issue and also the perspectives of the issue.

Democracy breeds Economic instability

            The frequent changes of power that follows the democratic concept of carrying a general election after a term period of four or five years is a major source of economic instability for the countries that practice democratic form of government. Prior to election, each political party comes out with their manifesto of how they will govern the nation. A political party that wins the election may not be the one that was previously on power. When a new political party takes power they bring other policies that were not the ones adopted by their successor. This leads to frequent changes of policies with regard to the country’s economy. These changes can not only highly daunt investments but also affects corporate and individual businesses, hence limiting the country’s economic growth. The short and limited duration that a certain political party takes power also leads to short term policies. This comes in because the politicians have the idea that they are in power for a limited time period and so they adopt

This leads to frequent changes of policies with regard to the country’s economy. These changes can not only highly daunt investments but also affects corporate and individual businesses, hence limiting the country’s economic growth. The short and limited duration that a certain political party takes power also leads to short term policies. This comes in because the politicians have the idea that they are in power for a limited time period and so they adopt short term policies that will bring immediate gratification for the citizens so that they can win their votes for the next general election. These policies are adopted even though they could be disadvantageous in the long-run. This means that the democratic nations mostly will sacrifice their short term pains for the long run gains. This adversely affects the economy of the country. In most cases, the economies are the ones that suffer because policies are not given that time period to be tested and tried before they are adopted. Only come with a policy that will proof to be effective to the common people even though it could be disastrous in future. The

These policies are adopted even though they could be disadvantageous in the long-run. This means that the democratic nations mostly will sacrifice their short term pains for the long run gains. This adversely affects the economy of the country. In most cases, the economies are the ones that suffer because policies are not given that time period to be tested and tried before they are adopted. Only come with a policy that will proof to be effective to the common people even though it could be disastrous in future. The ever rising debt of the UK and Us and many of other democratic countries could be attributed to the economic instability that is brought about by short-termism which is the main flaw of the democratic form of government.

These changes can not only highly daunt investments but also affects corporate and individual businesses, hence limiting the country’s economic growth. The short and limited duration that a certain political party takes power also leads to short term policies. This comes in because the politicians have the idea that they are in power for a limited time period and so they adopt short term policies that will bring immediate gratification for the citizens so that they can win their votes for the next general election. These policies are adopted even though they could be disadvantageous in the long-run. This means that the democratic nations mostly will sacrifice their short term pains for the long run gains. This adversely affects the economy of the country. In most cases, the economies are the ones that suffer because policies are not given that time period to be tested and tried before they are adopted. Only come with a policy that will proof to be effective to the common people even though it could be disastrous in future. The ever rising debt of the UK and Us and many of other democratic countries could be attributed to the economic instability that is brought about by short-termism which is the main flaw of the democratic form of government.

This means that the democratic nations mostly will sacrifice their short term pains for the long run gains. This adversely affects the economy of the country. In most cases, the economies are the ones that suffer because policies are not given that time period to be tested and tried before they are adopted. Only come with a policy that will proof to be effective to the common people even though it could be disastrous in future. The ever rising debt of the UK and Us and many of other democratic countries could be attributed to the economic instability that is brought about by short-termism which is the main flaw of the democratic form of government.

            The free market economists like Milton Friedman believed that democracy produces inefficient economic systems. These economists argue that if the government were to make effective economies, they need to make what is generally regarded as unpopular decisions, for instance mass privatisation; removing the rights of the workers and also deregulation especially a time like this of economic austerity. This example is the one that is termed as ‘governing paradox’ (Flinders, 2010, p. 311). Mostly, this is what is seen as inherent contradiction between capitalism and democracy in that, as economic agents, all individuals are expected to act in their own interest but when it comes to casting their votes, they are expected to act in the interest of the society.

            The critics are perhaps rights when they say that democracy can lead to ineffectual government. This can be traced many years ago when Aristotle started establishing typologies and categorising political systems. According to him, democracy was a ‘perverted’ form of governance or rule by many.

Democracy as a vehicle of chaos and anarchy

            The ancient great thinkers and philosophers like Plat, Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes were very critical on the flaws that come by with the democracy form of governance. They saw the concept of democracy as an unlimited freedom and liberty for all which is a tool of manipulation that can culminate into chaos and disorder in the society. Despite democracy being the most popular form of governance in today’s world, this form of government is prone to the manipulation of wild politicians and other stakeholders who are out to use it as a tool to acquire power and accumulate the country’s wealth for their selfish interest hence create anarchy and chaos to the society as a whole. For instance, Tomas Hobbes saw democracy as a form of government that permits reckless liberty that will usually undermine the law conservation and the societal order. Most of the politicians usually will exploit the antagonism between the economic classes and the dissimilarity in the ethnic groups to turn them into votes for their political parties. Instead of intervening for good and for the passions of the people, these politicians unruly politicians will obviously fun them so that they can be seen as the heroes. Firstly, they monopolize the media and use it to propagate these courses. This eventually pokes holes into the community and creates differences that eventually results into chaos and riots in these groups. In the year 2006 for instance, two major national wide riots erupted in the country of France. The first was in economic in nature and started in the month of February and the next was both religious and ethnic erupted in November the same year. These riots are among the examples that can be brought about by the diverse opinions within the nation.

For instance, Tomas Hobbes saw democracy as a form of government that permits reckless liberty that will usually undermine the law conservation and the societal order. Most of the politicians usually will exploit the antagonism between the economic classes and the dissimilarity in the ethnic groups to turn them into votes for their political parties. Instead of intervening for good and for the passions of the people, these politicians unruly politicians will obviously fun them so that they can be seen as the heroes. Firstly, they monopolize the media and use it to propagate these courses. This eventually pokes holes into the community and creates differences that eventually results into chaos and riots in these groups. In the year 2006 for instance, two major national wide riots erupted in the country of France. The first was in economic in nature and started in the month of February and the next was both religious and ethnic erupted in November the same year. These riots are among the examples that can be brought about by the diverse opinions within the nation.

For instance, Tomas Hobbes saw democracy as a form of government that permits reckless liberty that will usually undermine the law conservation and the societal order. Most of the politicians usually will exploit the antagonism between the economic classes and the dissimilarity in the ethnic groups to turn them into votes for their political parties. Instead of intervening for good and for the passions of the people, these politicians unruly politicians will obviously fun them so that they can be seen as the heroes. Firstly, they monopolize the media and use it to propagate these courses. This eventually pokes holes into the community and creates differences that eventually results into chaos and riots in these groups. In the year 2006 for instance, two major national wide riots erupted in the country of France. The first was in economic in nature and started in the month of February and the next was both religious and ethnic erupted in November the same year. These riots are among the examples that can be brought about by the diverse opinions within the nation.

For instance, Tomas Hobbes saw democracy as a form of government that permits reckless liberty that will usually undermine the law conservation and the societal order. Most of the politicians usually will exploit the antagonism between the economic classes and the dissimilarity in the ethnic groups to turn them into votes for their political parties. Instead of intervening for good and for the passions of the people, these politicians unruly politicians will obviously fun them so that they can be seen as the heroes. Firstly, they monopolize the media and use it to propagate these courses. This eventually pokes holes into the community and creates differences that eventually results into chaos and riots in these groups. In the year 2006 for instance, two major national wide riots erupted in the country of France. The first was in economic in nature and started in the month of February and the next was both religious and ethnic erupted in November the same year. These riots are among the examples that can be brought about by the diverse opinions within the nation.

            Democracy can be said to be a pluralist system of power distribution that is set to distribute power among the many and diverse competing groups even though not equally. Even if democracy can be said to be somehow worse, it achieves a greater level of political equality amongst the citizens than any other form and hence reflects the fundamental belief that all individuals or humans are all born equal and so the consent of governance should originate from the governed (Dahl, 1998). In addition, this form of government allows individuals to protect their self interests. The nature of humans dictates that each and every individual desires some control over their needs and wants and John Stuart Mill said that the ability to protect ones interests protects us from evil in the hands of others. The competition that exists between different groups of people within the society is exactly what differentiates democracy from authoritarianism. As it was argued by (Flinders, 2010), “Difference is good”. The discussion and debate along with the exercise of the right to freedom of speech act as the pillars upon which democracy is formed. Inherently, democracy is a system of rights. By definition, democracy grants both civil and political rights to the citizens so that they can fully participate in the democratic process.

The nature of humans dictates that each and every individual desires some control over their needs and wants and John Stuart Mill said that the ability to protect ones interests protects us from evil in the hands of others. The competition that exists between different groups of people within the society is exactly what differentiates democracy from authoritarianism. As it was argued by (Flinders, 2010), “Difference is good”. The discussion and debate along with the exercise of the right to freedom of speech act as the pillars upon which democracy is formed. Inherently, democracy is a system of rights. By definition, democracy grants both civil and political rights to the citizens so that they can fully participate in the democratic process.

            So as for all the citizens to participate and hear the voice of their people, it is then very vital to grant these citizens the right to the freedom of assembly that is not provided for in the totalitarian nor in the authoritative regimes. The belief of equality is also one of the building pillars of democracy and thus enforcing and establishing the rights gives this a greater degree of equality than any other non-democratic form of government. In fact, granting these rights helps shield the minority from persecution and also allow them to also protect their interests. The society that we are in these days is made up of heterogeneous groups, all which represent different and varied interests; all these must be respected and recognized. If we do not observe this, we will obviously be committing ourselves to rule by an elite or selected few who think that their interest are over those of the other people.

The police violence and democracy in Canada

            In Canada, the use of police force and violence has become one of the greatest concerns to the society. Many civilians and students are becoming more concerned about the force that is applied by the police in most encounters with the citizens in different situation. Following some of the bad encounters the people had with the police officers, many people are now tending to think that police in most of the time act to deprive the people their constitutional rights and hence they are violating the rule of democracy. The critics say that police sometimes employ much power to the civilians by use of violence and force. On the other hand, the advocates of this say that the police are entitled to use any power to stop crimes and also secure the people’s wellbeing.

            For years the violence and force that has been used by police officers and the local authority in Canada has been not only of major concern but also a significant issue that has to be addressed for democracy to be realised. It all commences when a police officer abuse the powers that has been delegated to them by the state and constitution. In Canada, it has become obvious that each day in and day out there must be a case where a police officer has employed excessive power to the civilians.

            As the literacy levels are increasing all day, people are becoming more aware of their democratic rights and the voices are becoming united daily. The authorities and the officers are in place to protect, help and promote safety in communities. There many people who are filing complaints daily against the police officers who are causing violence and using unnecessary force during arrest. In many instances in the city, we have seen how two or three police officers beat up a defenceless citizen using their batons or how they mistreat women and teenagers. These are all the cases that are act against democracy of whom the people should be enjoying, owing to the fact that this is a rule for the people, for the people and by the people. The heightened technology and the media has promoted the awareness that the police are culminating violence by abusing their powers. This has created fear and mistrust by the people towards the police departments. In accordance to the penal law guidelines, the police are only justified to use force that is only necessary to prevent homicide or a crime.

The advocates

            The advocates for the police usage of power and force term the police as an armed force for participation and protection. They declare the power of the police by them being armed forces; then, they demonstrate their power by stating protection and express their community connection by stating that they participate. First these officers have the delegated power by their weapon that they carry and the ability that this weapon has to make other people to comply to the law. They argue that, by the fact that police have been given the mandate to protect; they must in any means pursue this goal even if it means use of excessive or unnecessary powers. Finally, the participation concept emphasizes the relationship between the officer and the community. To ensure that the communities are safeguarded effectively, they are free to use any power whether it means to deprive a person his/her constitutional rights or not.

How we can improve democracy on this issue

            The police officers also being one of the citizens, they should strive to serve the communities they are in with their best interest at heart while safeguarding the democratic rights of the civilians. The police officers are the officials that are mandated to impose the laws while preserving order in the society and they should not act in a manner that may culminate violence or in any case deprive any individual his/her democratic rights. In the cases that the police officers are called into some stressful and dangerous events that may involve violent altercations, that must be controlled. We as the citizens also do not want to see our streets run by criminals who terrorize other people. It is true that in some cases police officers are allowed to use force but not in all the situations or self created situations geared at harassing a civilian or depriving him/her his/her democratic rights. Let us all observe the law.

References

Abraham Lincoln. The Gettysburg Adddress. Available

http://www.historyplace.com/speech/gettysburg.htm. Last assessed 05 June 2012

Dahl, Robert A. On Democracy. New Haven: Yale UP, 1998. Print.

Dobson, William J. The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy. New York: Doubleday, 2012. Print.

Flinders, Matthew V. Democratic Drift: Majoritarian Modification and Democratic Anomie in the United Kingdom. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.

Johnson, Marilynn S. Johnson, ed. Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in Canada. Beacon Press. p. 365. 2004.

Loree, Don “Corruption in Policing: Causes and Consequences; A Review of the Literature”. Research and Evaluation Community, Contract and Aboriginal Policing Services Directorate. Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2006

Peterson, Amsterdam.Democracy, Policy and Economic development. Stockholm: Stockholm Press, 2005.

Stein Ringen. Three Priorities to Improve UK Democracy,2007

Theocracy. Available: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theocracy.Last accessed 05 Jude 2012

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