41) How does democracy improve the quality of decision-making?
Ans: Democracy is based on consultation and discussion. A democratic decision always involves many persons, discussions and meetings. Those who are not powerful have the same say in taking the decisions as those who are powerful. When many people put their heads together, they are able to point out possible mistakes or drawbacks in any decision. It takes time. But important decisions should be taken after proper discussion. This process may be time-consuming, but it reduces the chances of rash or irresponsible decisions. Thus the lengthy process of taking decisions on any important issue in democracy improves the quality of the decision.
42) Explain the difficulties faced by the people in a non-democratic country?
Ans: The common difficulties faced by the people in a non-democratic country are
(i) People cannot choose or change their ruler.
(ii) People cannot question the authority of the ruler or dictator.
(iii) People do not enjoy any rights. Supporters of democracy are tortured or killed. For example, in Chile more than 3000 people were killed by military.
(iv) In a non-democratic country, public protests and demonstration against the government are declared illegal. Sometimes political activists are imprisoned for indefinite time. For example, Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar spent a long time in under house arrest.
(v) In a non-democratic country, people do not have political equality. Universal adult Franchise is denied sometimes.
(vi) In a non-democratic country people may have elected their representatives, but in reality they are not really the rulers. The power of taking final decision rests with army officials. For example, in Pakistan, the real power is enjoyed by the army.
43) "Democracy is the most popular form of government emerging in modern times. Still its shortcomings cannot be ruled out." Justify the statement by assessing any five shortcomings of democracy.
Ans: Shortcomings of democracy are
(i) In the democratic form of government, leaders keep on changing, which leads to instability.
(ii) There is political competition and power play everywhere. This situation hardly follows any rules of morality.
(iii) Elected leaders are unable to contact a large number of people and can hardly guess about the real problems of the people, which results in wrong decisions, delay of work, etc.
(iv) A large number of people are illiterate. They do not know what is good for them. So they cannot decide anything properly.
(v) Democracy leads to corruption for it is based on electoral competition. To win the election, the political parties adopt their own policies and try to win election by hook or by crook.
44) How did. Musharraf establish his rule in Pakistan?
Ans: General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup in Pakistan in October 1999. He overthrew a democratically elected government and declared himself the Chief Executive of the country. Later the changed his designation to President. In 2002, he held a referendum in the country that granted him a five year extension. In August, 2002, he issued a 'Legal Framework Order' that amended the Constitution of Pakistan. According to this order, the President can dismiss the national or provincial assemblies. A National Security Council dominated by military officers supervised the work of the civilian cabinet. After passing the 'Legal Framework Order' Law, elections were held to the national and state assemblies.
45) How did Robert Mugabe establish his dictatioral rule in Zimbabwe after independence?
Ans: Zimbabwe attained independence from white minority rule in 1980. After independence, the country has been ruled by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle. Its leader Mugabe has been ruling since independence. Mugabe is popular, but also uses unfair practices in elections. Over the years, his government has changed the constitution several times to increase the power of the President and make him less accountable. Opposition party workers are harassed, public protests against the government are delcared illegal and both electronic and print media are controlled by the government. Even the government ignores the court judgements that go against it. He has reelected in 2013 at the age of 89 for another five years. His supporters characterise him as a true Pan-Africanist who stands strong against forces of imperialism in Africa.
46) Write a response to the following arguments against democracy.
(a) Army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation in the country. Therefore Army should rule the country.
(b) Rule of the majority means the rule of ignorant people. What we need is the rule of the wise, even if they are in small numbers.
(c) If we want religious leaders to guide us in spiritual matters, why not invite them to guide us in politics as well. The country should be ruled by religious leaders.
Ans: (a) The Army is for the defence of the country. Even if it is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation it should not be allowed to rule the country as its primary duty is defence and not governance.
(b) Rule of majority is democratic as it represents the views of all sections of people. Illiterate and poor people cannot be called ignorant. At least they can realize which representative is good for them. Democracy means equal opportunity to all without any discrimination
(c) This statement is wrong. We should not mix religion and politics, especially in a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-lingual country like India, Besides, many religious leaders do not have any experience of administration.
47) Are the following statements in keeping with democracy as a value? Why?
(a) Father to Daughter I don't want to hear your opinion about your marriage. In our family, children marry what the parents tell them to.
(b) Teacher to Student Don't disturb my concentration by asking me questions in the classroom.
(c) Employee to the Officer Our working hours must be reduced according to the law.
Ans: (a) The first statement is undemocratic because a girl is not allowed to give her opinion relating to her own marriage. Just as the people have the right to choose their representatives, the girl should also be allowed to have a say in the selection or choice other husband.
(b) The second statement is undemocratic because the student is not being allowed to speak and ask questions. It is the duty of the teacher to teach and satisfy the queries of the students.
(c) The third statement is democratic because it calls for the reduction of working hours according to the law. Employees should enjoy the right to work for fixed hours as fixed by international law.
48) Why is democracy considered the best form of government?
Ans: Democracy has been accepted as the best form of government in the modern world. Under this, government works for the welfare of the people. Democracy performs better regarding the removal of poverty and backwardness in a country. It offers better conditions of living. It implements policies to ensure equal opportunities for all the citizens in education and employment. Democracy is likely to respect people's own wishes and allows different kinds of people to live together. Even if it fails to deliver on some of its promises, always there is a scope to correct its mistakes. Above all, it offers more dignity to all citizens. That is why democracy is considered the best form of government.
49) Is Mexico a democratic country or not? Give arguments in favour of your answer.
Ans: Mexico became independent in 1930. It holds elections after every six years. But until 2000, every election was won by a party called PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). PRI used many dirty tricks to win the elections. It spent a large sum of money for its candidates. Opposition parties did contest elections, but never managed to win. Media largely ignored the activities of the opposition political parties. But from 2000 the scenario has changed. In the 2000 election, Vicente Fox of National Action Party (PAN) in alliance with Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) became the first opposition candidate to win the election. Vicente Fox became the President of Mexico. After him Felipe Calderone of National Action Party (PAN) again became the President. It suggests that Mexico has marched towards democracy.
50) Explain the representative democracy. Why is the representative democracy the most common form of government in modern times? Explain any four reasons. Or What is the representative democracy? Discuss its significance in the contemporary world.
Ans: The most common form of democracy in present time is that of a representative democracy. It is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected representatives representing a group of people as opposed to direct democracy.
(i) India and most of the countries follow the representative democracy. In a democracy, all the people do not rule. Direct rule by people is not possible.
(ii) In a democracy, a majority is allowed to take decisions on behalf of all the people. Even the majority does not rule directly. It rules through its elected representatives.
(iii) Representative democracy becomes necessary in the contemporary world. Because modern democracies involve such a large number of people that it is physically impossible for them to sit together and take a collective decision.
(iv) Even if they could, the citizens do not have the time, desire or skill to take part in all the decisions.
51) Elections in China do not represent people's verdict. Explain. Or Why are elections in China not free and fair? Explain any three reasons. Or Why can't the democratic set up in China be called a true democracy? Explain.
Ans: Democracy is a major concept introduced to China in the late 19th century.
In China, elections are regularly hold after every five years for electing the country's Parliament, called National People's Congress.
It has nearly 3000 members elected from all over China. Some members are elected by the army.
This National People's Congress has the power to appoint the president of the country.
Before contesting elections, a candidate needs the approval of the Chinese Communist party.
Only those who are members of the Chinese Communist Party or eight smaller parties allied to if -are allowed to contest elections in China.
The government is always formed by the communist party.
Thus, we cannot say that the elections in China are free and fair. It is always restricted by the communist party.
52) What steps were taken by PRI to win election in Mexico? Or The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) used many dirty tricks to win elections in Mexico". Justify the statement with five example. Or Describe any five dirty tricks used by PRI to win elections in Mexico. Or "Till 2000 Mexican people seem to have a choice to elect their leader but practically they had no choice." Support this statement with three suitable reasons.
Ans:The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of Mexico won all the elections from 1930 to 2000. The opposition parties did contest elections, but never managed win. The PRI used many dirty tricks to attend the elections.
(i) All the government employees had to attend the party meetings of PRI.\
(ii) Teachers of government schools advised and sometimes forced the parents for casting their votes in favour of PRI.
(iii) Media always criticised the opposition parties but ignored their good effort.
(iv) Sometimes the Polling booths are shifted from one place to another without prior notice. It tried to hamper the election procedure.
(v) Being in power, the PRI spent a large sum of money to manipulate the election and the campaign for the candidate. In Mexico people seemed to really have a choice, but in reality they had no choice, but to cast their vote in favour of the PRI.
53) Who said this : 'Democracy is the rule of the people, for the people and by the people'?
Ans: Abraham Lincoln, the former President of USA said this.
54) From which word or words, has the word 'Democracy' been derived?
Ans: The word 'Democracy' is derived from the Greek words - 'Demos' and 'cratia'. 'Demos' means 'people' and 'cratia' means 'power'. Thus, Democracy means a form of government in which the power to rule lies in the hands of the people.
55) What is direct democracy?
Ans: It is a form of government in which people directly participate in the affairs of the state. This system is possible only in those states where the population is small and all the citizens can directly participate in the affairs of the state. All the adult citizens have the right to participate in the meetings of the Assembly where all the laws are passed and decisions are taken. Today this system exists only in a few cantons of Switzerland.
56) The King of which country has declared that in future he will be guided by the advice given to him by elected representatives?
Ans: King of Bhutan has declared that in future he will be guided by the advice given to him by elected representatives.
57) What do you understand by 'indirect democracy'?
Ans: Indirect democracy has been established in almost all the modern states, because modern states are much larger in size and population than before. Here people do not directly taken part in the affairs of the state, but they elect their representatives for a fixed period. If the representatives do not work according to the wishes of the people and for their welfare, they are changed at the time of the next election.
58) Parliamentary democracy envisages representation of the people, responsible government and ....... (Select the correct option)
(a) accountability of the Council of Ministers
(b) universal adult franchise
(c) major political parties
(d) None of the above
59) Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries? Write 'democratic', 'undemocratic' or 'not sure' against each of these.
(a) Country A People who do not accept the country's official religion do not have a right to vote.
(b) Country B The same party has been winning elections for the last twenty years.
(c) Country C Ruling party has lost in the last three elections.
(d) Country D There is no independent Election Commission.
Ans: (a) Undemocratic
(b) Not sure
60) Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries? Write 'democratic', 'undemocratic' or 'not sure' against each of these.
(a) Country P The Parliament cannot pass a law about the Army without the consent of the Chief of Army.
(b) Country Q The Parliament cannot pass a law reducing the powers of the Judiciary.
(c) Country K The country's leaders cannot sign any treaty with another country without taking permission from its neighbouring country.
(d) Country S All the major economic decisions about the country are taken by officials of the Central Bank which the ministers cannot change.
Ans: (a) Undemocratic
61) Which of these is not a good argument in favour of democracy? Why?
(a) People feel free and equal in a democracy.
(b) Democracies resolve conflict in a better way than others.
(c) Democratic government is more accountable to the people.
(d) Democracies are more prosperous than others.
Ans: (d) Democracies are more prosperous than others is not a good argument in favour of democracy because countries of the Middle East like UAE and Saudi Arabia are economically strong but they have non-democratic governments, whereas India is a developing country but is a democracy. The poor countries can be democratic while the rich ones may not be. A good monarch can make his country more prosperous than some of the democracies.
62) Each of these statements contains a democratic and an undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.
(a) A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the Parliament in order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation.
(b) The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large scale rigging was reported.
(c) Women's representation in the Parliament has never reached 10 per cent. This led women's organisations to demand one-third seats for women.
Answer : (a) Passing of laws by the Parliament is democratic, whereas passing in conformity to the regulations decided by World Trade Organisation (WTO) is undemocratic.
(b) To order repoll in a constituency by the Election Commission is democratic, whereas large scale rigging is undemocratic.
(c) Women's representation in the Parliament has never reached 10 per cent is undemocratic, whereas demand by women's organisations to reserve one-third seatsfor women is democratic.
63) Which of these is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country?
(a) Opposition parties can draw attention to hunger and starvation.
(b) A free press can report suffering from famine in different parts of the country.
(c) Government fears its defeat in the next elections.
(d) People are free to believe in and practice any religion.
Ans: (d) is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country, because practicing a religion is in no way related to prevent famines.
64) How does democracy enhance the dignity of the citizens?
Ans: Democracy is based on the principle of political equality. It means that the poorest and the least educated have the same status as the rich and the educated. People are not subjects of a ruler, they are the rulers themselves. Even when they make mistakes, they are responsible for their own mistakes.
65) This cartoon was published in Canada just before its Parlimentary elections of 2005. Everyone, including the cartoonist, expected the Liberal Party to win once again. When the result came, the Liberal Party lost the elections. In this cartoon an argument against democracy or for democracy?
Ans: This cartoon is an argument for democracy. Because in democracy, the voters decide in favour of or against the ruling party. Although the cartoonist expended the Liberal Party to win, he criticised the Liberal Party which he could do only in a democracy.
|1. What is democracy?|
|2. Why is democracy important?|
|3. How does democracy promote accountability?|
|4. What are the advantages of a democratic system?|
|5. How can citizens participate in a democracy?|