Outcomes of Democracy
Accountable, responsive and legitimate government
The most basic outcome of democracy is that it produces a government that is accountable to the citizens, and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens.
Democratic government can apparently be less efficient than a non-democratic government. This happens because a non-democratic government does not need to arrive at consensus among a diverse set of people. Democracy functions on the basis of deliberation and negotiation and hence decisions are often delayed. But this does not mean that a democratic government is less efficient.
A non-democratic government may be able to take decisions in no time. But one needs to assess if those decisions are acceptable to the masses or are they really solving people’s problems.
A democratic government is more transparent than a non-democratic government. A citizen has the right to know the processes which were followed while taking a decision in a democratic government. Thus, a democratic government is more accountable and responsive to its citizens.
A democratic government is legitimate government because it is elected by the people. This is the reason that democratic governments are thriving in most of the countries.
Economic growth and development:
Data for the fifty years between 1950 and 2000 suggests that dictatorships have slightly higher economic growth. In most of the democracies, the economic growth is somewhat slower. But there are many democratic countries which are among the economic superpowers of the world. This shows that economic growth does not depend on the form of government only. Other factors also decide the trend of economic growth; like population size, global situation, cooperation from other countries, economic priorities of the country, etc.
When we look at several other positive outcomes; alongwith a reasonable economic growth; then democracy is always better than dictatorship.
Reduction of inequality and poverty:
Economic inequality has been increasing all over the world. In India, a larger portion of the population is poor and the number of rich people is less. Moreover, there is a large difference in the income of rich and the poor. In most of the countries, democracy has failed in reducing economic inequalities.
Accommodation of social diversity:
Every society is full of diversities and conflicts are bound to happen among various sections. It is impossible to fully rule out the possibility of conflicts. Bu democracy normally develops a procedure by which there can be a healthy competition among different sections of the society. People can learn to respect the differences and learn to resolve conflicts in an amicable manner. In most of the democratic countries, social diversity is accommodated peacefully. There can be some examples where social diversity is still a big problem; like in case of Sri Lanka.
Dignity and freedom of the citizens:
Democracy has succeeded in ensuring the dignity and freedom of its citizens. Let us take example of India. There are many social groups which had faced a long history of oppression. Due to democratic process, a sizeable portion of these people have been able to move up the social ladder and are in a position to assert themselves.
Equality of Women
Because of democracy, women could be able to wage a struggle for staking their claim to equality. In most of the democratic countries, women have succeeded in getting equal status in the society. This is not the case in most of the autocracies.
Caste based inequalities had been quite predominant in India. But thanks to the democratic process, such cases have reduced to a bare minimum. People from all castes can be seen in every sphere of life.