Meaning of Democracy
Democracy: Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by people.
Aristotle: Rule by many is called democracy, rule by a few is called aristocracy, and rule by an individual is called autocracy.
Democracy is a form of government in which people get the right to elect the governing legislature. This term first appeared in 5th century to define the government system in Greek city-states.
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.
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