|Table of contents|
|How do We Assess Democracy's Outcomes?|
|Accountable, Responsive and Legitimate Government|
|Economic Growth and Development|
|Economic Outcomes of Democracy|
|Dignity and Freedom of the Citizens|
Over a hundred countries follow the democratic form of government. There are many features of democracy common to all but there are differences in social situations, achievements and cultures.
Example: In the USA — the world’s richest democracy, there is a wide gap between the rich, the poor. The Blacks do not get social justice. But at the same time, the United States of America, Sweden, Canada and Switzerland have the most stable democratic systems in the world. They have welfare schemes for all and a hundred per cent literacy.
Let us now think about what we can expect reasonably from democracy and examine the record of democracy.
In a democracy, there must be a government which is accountable to the citizens and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens. It should be efficient and effective.
Democratic governments are based on the idea of deliberation and negotiation, so delays take place.
Non-democratic governments do not have to bother about discussions in assemblies. They do not worry about public opinion. They are very quick in decision making and implementation.
Option A: it is a legitimate form of government, is correct. Democracy is a best form of government because of the following reasons:
A democratic government is a better government because it is an accountable form of government.
Democracy improves the quality of decision making.
Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts.
Democracy enhances the dignity of citizens.
Option A: it is a legitimate form of government, is correct.
Democracy is a best form of government because of the following reasons:
The following points show the relationship of democracy with economic growth and economic inequalities.
The truth is that what is needed is the removal of economic disparities. Development without equitable distribution of wealth is not a true democracy. Democracies are based on political equality. All citizens have equal weight in electing representatives.
But it is not so in the economic field. The poor are becoming poorer and sometimes they find it difficult to meet the basic needs of life like food, clothing, higher education and health. Democratic governments have failed in this area. In India, this is indicated by:
Democracy tries to help its citizens to lead a peaceful and harmonious life by accommodating various social divisions.
Example: Belgium and India. Democratic governments try to resolve differences, respect differences and try mechanisms which can negotiate differences.
Democracy’s Plus Point:
The ability to handle social differences, divisions and reduce conflicts. Non-democratic regimes can ignore or suppress internal and social differences.
Precaution is needed to see that the majority always works with the minority and does not try to dominate it. Sri Lanka is an example. Majority rule means different people, different groups participate in decision-making. It does not mean the rule of the majority community— a religious, racial or linguistic group.
No one should be barred from being in a majority group on the basis of birth. Every citizen should have a chance to be in a majority at some time.
Dignity of Women:
A democracy is always striving towards a better goal. People constantly demand more benefits in a democracy. There are always more expectations.
People now look critically at the work of those who hold power, the rich, the powerful. They express their dissatisfaction loudly. It shows they are no longer subjects but citizens of a democratic country.
|1. What are the outcomes of democracy?|
|2. What is accountable, responsive and legitimate government in democracy?|
|3. How does democracy contribute to economic growth and development?|
|4. What are the economic outcomes of democracy?|
|5. How does democracy protect the dignity and freedom of citizens?|