Class 9 Civics

Meaning of Democracy

Democracy: Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by people.

Features of Democracy

  • The final decision making power rests with those who are elected by people.
  • A democracy must be based on a free and fair election. The ruling party must have a fair chance of losing that election.
  • In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote should have equal value.
  • A democratic government rules within the limits which are set by constitutional laws and citizens’ rights.

Arguments Against Democracy

  • Change in leadership may lead to instability.
  • Democracy involves political competition and power play. This leaves no scope for morality.
  • The decision making is often delayed because a large number of people need to be consulted.
  • Elected leaders may not aware about the best decisions for people. More often, bad decisions are made in a democracy.
  • Involvement of electoral competition in a democracy gives rise to corruption.
  • Ordinary people may not understand the meaning of collective good and hence they should not be made a part of the decision making process.

Arguments For Democracy

  • Democratic government is more accountable to people and hence is a better form of government; compared to other forms of government.
  • Since a large number of people are consulted in the decision making process, so democracy enhances the quality of decision making.
  • Democracy provides a method to deal with conflicts and differences. In a diverse country; like India; there can be very sharp social differences and conflicts. Such differences can be resolved through democracy in a better and amicable way.
  • Democracy provides the fundamental rights to its citizens and thus enhances the dignity of the people.
  • Democracy allows to correct its own mistakes and hence is a better form of governance.