Why Democracy is the Best Form of Government Essay
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Introduction Throughout history different types of instrumental regimes have been in tact so civilizations remained structured and cohesive. As humanity advanced, governments obligingly followed. Although there have been hiccups from the ancient times to modern day, one type of government, democracy, has proven to be the most effective and adaptive. As quoted by Winston Churchill, democracy is the best form of government that has existed. This is true because the heart of democracy is reliant, dependent, and thrives on the populaces desires; which gives them the ability for maintaining the right to choose, over time it adjusts and fixes itself to engulf the prominent troubling issues, and people have the right of electing the person they…show more content…
The party most suited to the demographic concerned, are the ones voted in.
Moreover, instating the right to choose also facilitates the incentive for people to speak out against an unruly leader. When a large mass of civilians disagrees or is concerned with a party’s implementation of policies, they can extract their title from them. Just because a party is elected, does not mean that they will remain in power for the entire duration originally allotted to them. The presence of foreseeable change is crucial to a societies degree of satisfaction associated with their current governmental system. Alteration gives democracy the upper hand. For example, in Spain in 1982, when Prime Minister Leopolodo Calvo Sotelo completely terminated the party that supported what the people wanted, the people in office forcibly made him resign.
Finally, democracy is the best form of government thus far because it is susceptible to change. The role of high courts, and equal rights makes change possible. For example, if the majority impedes on a minority groups’ rights, over time, the legislature will adjust, enumerating those who were previously attacked. Overall, democracy makes the necessary refinements needed to keep up with societal developments.
Comparison to Communism The type of government that has prevailed for decades with success and liabilities is autocratic
3 - Representative Government:-
In England, Edward the First, in 1295, with a view to dealing with his impecuniosity, issued a writ to the sheriff of Northhampton. The people, of all things, were refusing to pay taxes and they were becoming belligerent. Edward was getting advise to the effect that it might be better to sit down with the people, or rather their representatives, than to let loose the royal troops. Letting the troops loose would be an act which would destroy the country's riches, a share of which the king wanted for himself. Thus, we would have seen the royal messenger riding out from the king's castle to deliver this royal writ to the sheriff of Northhampton. This royal writ of Edward's had the Latin words, elegi facis, meaning that the persons who were to sit on the people's Council (the beginnings of parliament) were to be elected headmen such as the burgesses and knights, and they were to have "full and sufficient power for themselves and the communities" which they represent; they were to come to Council -- ready, to conduct and to conclude the important business of the land.
Now, one of the most fundamental questions of politics - whether of 1295, or of modern day - is this: Should the representative, sent to the legislature -- assuming, in the first place, that he or she has canvassed the subject to be voted upon and all the far flung consequences of it -- vote the way the majority of his constituents would have him vote; or, should he vote on the basis of what he thinks is right, no matter that it may run against the majority of what his constituents would like. Edmund Burke, a most brilliant political thinker, thought that the representative should vote his conscience.
"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. ...
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion. ...
The state includes the dead, the living, and the coming generations."
4 - The Dilemma of Representative Government:-
Given human nature and the political process, full democracy, beyond the smallest group size, may simply not be workable, at all. Each of us has a right to cast a vote for an individual to represent us in the legislative assembly. The elected person then goes off to represent all of his constituents, whether they voted for him or not, indeed, whether they have even voted. How is he to look at issues and how is he to vote (assuming, for the moment, that he has a free vote in parliament). Should he vote on the basis of what he perceives the majority of his constituents want, right or wrong; or, as Burke suggests, does he vote his own conscience, vote as a "better and more informed person" than his average constituent; or does he, as it seems our system obliges, just vote the party line.
"Representative institutions are of little value, and may be a mere instrument of tyranny or intrigue, when the generality of electors are not sufficiently interested in their own government to give their vote, or, if they vote at all, do not bestow their suffrages on public grounds, but sell them for money, or vote at the beck of someone who has control over them or whom for private reasons they desire to propitiate. Popular election, as thus practised, instead of a security against misgovernment, is but an additional wheel in its machinery." (John Stuart Mill, Consideration on Representative Government.)
The problem, as is so clearly set forth by Mill, is quite aside from the further and separate problem "that issues at stake in political life are too many and too complicated and that very many of them [issues] are actually unknown both to the representatives and to the people represented."
It should be remembered, too, that any decision made and action taken in an assembly of "our" representatives can be done on the barest majority of a group; which might have been elected on the barest majority of a popular vote; which majority of a popular vote, might well, and usually does, represent a minority of the population. How can it ever be stated that any particular government measure will accord with the wishes of the majority?
5 - Democracy In Action:-
In a monarchy, or, for that matter, any state where rule is carried out by a privileged class without consulting with the masses in any direct way, it was recognized, at least in the 18th and 19th centuries, that what was needed was a submissive, a confident and a stupid people. Such people in these earlier centuries existed in predominate numbers. Sadly, yet today, even as the 21st century dawns, it is rare, even in the western democracies, to find many people who are independently working through for themselves and taking fixed positions on important political concepts such as democracy, freedom and government. For democracy to work there must, as a prerequisite, be a people educated and be a people ready to inform themselves of the great issues which face them. Unfortunately, a politically educated public, this important ingredient to the proper working of democracy, is missing.
First off, it must be recognized, that the country is not run, at least not in between elections, with the executive checking with the people by way of referenda (as the Swiss do). However, the people who possess government power and who would like to keep it, are bound to proceed on the basis of popular opinion; the difficulty is that public opinion arises as a result of an agenda which is set by minority groups to which vote chasing politicians cow, a process which is generally aided and abetted by an ignorant press.
"[Proper political conclusions] cannot be had by glancing at newspapers, listening to snatches of radio comment, watching politicians perform on television, hearing occasional lectures, and reading a few books. It would not be enough to make a man competent to decide whether to amputate a leg, and it is not enough to qualify him to choose war or peace, to arm or not to arm, to intervene or to withdraw, to fight on or to negotiate. ...
When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute. ... the public opinion of masses cannot be counted upon to apprehend regularly and promptly the reality of things. There is an inherent tendency in opinion to feed upon rumors excited by our own wishes and fears." (Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, p. 25.)
We should never hope or aim to choose a bully, but the elective process will give no guarantee that the people will not end up with one. Democracy, no matter its imperfections, is a way by which the people can bloodlessly turn out leaders; but, the democratic process will only work with the consent of the leaders. The best that can be expected of a constitutional democracy, the best that can be expected by any political system, is a process by which the people turn up a leader or leaders which are prepared to deal with both the bullies amongst us and those at our borders. Hopefully, the leader or leaders, so turned up by the "democratic process," do not turn out to be a worst set of bullies then that which might exist in an ungoverned state. If, in the "democratic process," an elected leader turns into a bully; well, then, one should not rely on democracy, except as a rallying cry, to turn him out. To turn out a powerful bully, great quantities of spilt blood are needed.
Last edited by Aarwaa; Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 01:15 AM.