Explain the Problematics of Democracy and Briefly Describe the Significance for Democratic Stability
Democracy is a governmental system in which all the subjects are in managing their affairs through the representatives to an assembly in a free and fair election (Keane 212). A democratic government is an administration of the people that embrace the rule of the majority. A democratic system of governance has four key elements: legislative system that allows citizens to choose and replace the government through free and impartial elections that are held periodically, active taking part of the citizens in the affairs of the state and civil life, preservation of all citizens’ human rights, and the rule of law that applies equally to all civilians. Democratic stability, on the other hand can be defined as the continuity of the democratic system within a certain country. A country is said to have achieved democratic stability if it is able to maintain the accepted democratic standards over time. This paper is going to explain the economic, sociological, political, administrative, and philosophical problems of democracy and to give also a brief description of the significance of democratic stability.
Economically, democracy is very problematic in th fact that the process of electing new voters involves irrational ones. In most cases, the balloters are highly unenlightened about several political and particularly economic issues but are strongly biased against few issues on which they have know-how. For instance, inadequate education in making voters foresee their community’s betterment may not enable them to vote for the betterment of that particular society. A charismatic candidate is likely to lure voting prostitutes despite being highly uninformed to vote for him or her. Financial help and other charming petty promises may also be used as the basis for luring an ordinary voter to cast his vote (Kurlantzick). As such, citizens end up electing people who do not represent the interests of the larger community.
Democratic systems are so inefficient in the sense that a few individuals in the country are involved in the process of making decisions. This is true in countries that have adopted the representative democratic system of government. In most cases, the decisions made do favour a minority and may not please the majority of the members of public in a democratic country. This results in dissatisfaction among the majority of the members of a political community who may sharply criticize and/or topple the government. It should also be noted that an increase in an industrial activity with democracy leads to an increase in the demand for welfare by the members of the public.
Economically, it may be a challenge for a democratic government to meet all the increasing demands of its citizens. The inefficiency of the democratic system leads to a serious economic problem of wealth disparity since democracy is quick to react to the wants of the middle class who constitute the majority of the population. While the middle class is consisting of the majority of the citizens in the country, they can win the support of the government in order to be able to achieve their objectives of disregarding silenced voices of the groups that are marginalized economically within a country. Since democracy is defined as the rule of the majority, the will of the citizens who compose of the majority in a democratic country may not take into consideration the interests of all members of the community (Kurlantzick). This implies that the minorities and marginalized groups in many democratic political societies are not taken care of. The policies and legislations formulated by most democracies do not always cater for the needs of the minorities and marginalized societies in a political community.
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Sociologically, the democratic system has been criticized for the lack of political education among the commoners. As a result, politicians take advantage of the voters’ irrationality since their competition is based on public relations rather than ideology (Kurlantzick). The researches indicate that good education is the basic requirement for a successful democratic system. Although education alone cannot maintain democracy, an increase in the education level of an individual tends to put his/her thinking in line with the one of most economists. Another sociological problem of democracy is compromising the benefits of the specialized society. Democracy encourages the common members of society to participate in the country’s political life. This implies that these individuals have the ability to directly manipulate the outcomes of the policies formulated by the government through such democratic procedures as polling, use of the press, and barnstorming.
Since the lack of education is a major challenge the democracy faces, non-specialist opinions will influence the outcome of policies formulated by the government. It should be remembered that educating the masses on political matters is very costly in terms of most governments, especially those of developing countries. The government policies will therefore be influenced by laymen in such fields as economics, sociology, and education. The result of the influence of non-specialist opinions on the outcome of government administration is the compromising the effectiveness of such policies. More so if the common citizens have inadequate knowledge, and the formulated policy is technically sophisticated. For instance, there is no assurance that those contending for the economic policies of a democratic government are professionals in the field of economics. Furthermore, these campaigners may not have academic competencies in particular disciplines regardless of their levels of education. This implies that a democratic government may be providing the worst for most members of the population.
Due to the fact that democratic governance is based on the desires of the greater number of the society members, the consequences of this kind of rule can be estimated. One of the consequences of it is that the majority of the country’s citizens, especially the middle class ones. They may dictate the redistribution of resources and wealth to those whom they perceive being able to increase or successfully invest welfare. According to the cynical theory of the government, monarchy will break down into aristocracy, which will later break down into democracy, which will afterwards collapse into anarchy, which degenerates into tyranny, which finally goes back to monarchy. The best illustration for this cycle of decay is France before, during, and after the French revolution up to the concluding Bourbon Monarch. Democratic systems are problematic because they do not offer political stability to the required degree. There are continual changes of policies in countries that embrace democratic systems of governance since the latter ones are elected now and again. As new governments are elected, the policies of previous governments are discarded, and the new ones are adopted since everyone wants to do things in a unique way. Even if a ruling party retains power without obstreperous protests that catch hold of the headlines, unrelenting critique from the mass media can compel the government to make changes in politics. These changes may hinder economic growth more so if they frequently affect business and immigration. Democracy is therefore not suitable for developing nations with top priorities of poverty eradication and bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.
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In countries with democratic systems of governance, the minorities are more likely to be oppressed by the dictatorship of the majority (Kurlantzick). This is the main reason as to why many democracies have constitutions on the types of legislations that can be passed by their legislatures. The purpose of such restrictions is to limit the democratic majority and their elected representatives from persecuting the minority as is the case of racial discrimination. The mob rule does not always consider the rights of the minority in any particular democracy since it will always have its way. When the voice of the minority is not heard in a democracy, such a system ceases to be democratic and becomes dictatorial instead. The only difference from other forms of dictatorship is that the democratic government becomes a form of dictatorship by the majority.
The best examples of minority oppression by the majority can be drawn from the events in Sweden and Pakistan, where the rights of the minorities were seriously violated. Despite the fact that Sweden remains the ideal example of a democratic country in the world, the minority women were oppressed when they were forcefully sterilized because of their perceived mental defects. Another reason for sterilizing these women was because they were not a pure race, which was against the will of the majority who were agitating for pure race in Sweden. Another case of minority persecutions was witnessed in Pakistan in 2014, when two Christians were lynched by the mob for allegedly burning pages of the Quran. There was little retaliation by the police despite the statement made by the president of Pakistan that he would protect the rights of all citizens in that country, be them Muslims or Christians. Some experts argue that the working of democracies is the same as that of the free markets, and that parties compete to counter the oppression of the minority by the dictatorial majority. In reality, the competition among the political parties in a democratic state is nonetheless minimal because campaigning is very costly. This implies that the opinion of the majority of the society members will always be counted in any democracy whereas the rights of the marginalized and the oppressed will always be ignored.
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Democratic systems of governance give too much freedom to their subjects. Thus, it led to the degeneration of the country into tyranny and mob rule. However, the only freedom the minorities have is balloting but not making key decisions on issues affecting their countries. Their votes are not counted implying that their voices will always remain muted. As in the case of Sweden and Pakistan, the majority made decisions on matters affecting them socially or psychologically without taking into account the rights of the minorities being oppressed. Anarcho-capitalists have come down on democracy because they believe that this system is very immoral in the sense of violating the property rights. This happens due to the fact that anarcho-capitalism agitates for the putting an end to the state and recommending the sovereignty of an individual, free markets, and private property. The fringed political ideology does not prioritize state coercion and agitates for all solutions to problems the society faces to be market based.
Too much freedom of speech and expression in democracy result in distrusting and dis-respecting the government or the sanctity of religion. Eventually, the distrust and disrespect spread to other social structures like the family and the school. In this case, the contest is between seniors and juniors within that particular social structure. Children are likely to act contrary to the expectations of their parents while students will disrespect teachers because of their perceived rights. Continuous divorces, hooliganism, and teenage crimes as well as the attainment of low education witnessed in western societies are associated with democracy. However, the above-mentioned cases are very uncommon in Asian countries that do not embrace democratic systems of governance. The doctrine of moral relativism followed by democratic systems has been blamed for being the source of moral decay in most democratic countries in the world.
Short-termism is another serious problem associated with democratic systems of governance due to frequent elections (Kurlantzick). The coalition government formed after the general elections is very unstable as it is not made at the ideological concurrence, but it majorly was created to enable a viable majority. Such opportunist alliances face the challenge of catering for numerous factions that are ideologically opposing. As a result, these coalitions are short-lived since any perceived unfair treatment of their partners will cause a rift in the coalition that will eventually lead to one partner withdrawing his or her partnership from the coalition. A change in leadership in one or more of the coalition partners will also lead to the change of ideology resulting in withdrawal from the coalition.
Decisions made in a democratic system rely on consensus. This means that it takes longer time for a democratic government to make a decision compared to a dictatorial one since the latter makes decisions unilaterally. Democratic governments are corrupt in the sense that candidates make appeals to the short-term interests of the balloters. At times, special benefits are given to specific areas where expenses are spread among all members of the body politic. Democratic governments can be very unsustainable if the associated practices of new political institutions are regarded culturally unacceptable. The populace in some nations may not support uncommon democratic practices, especially when they perceive these structures were founded due to direct foreign pressure. The issue of human rights may receive much resistance if, for instance, the government allows to create organizations that are agitating for the rights of same-sex unions in countries where such unions are regarded as taboos. Rigid communities would not accommodate others, especially the minorities with their own beliefs. Minority races are likely to be oppressed by the mob that will may not take into account the feelings and rights of these marginalized groups in the democratic process of decision making.
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Democratic stability is shown by the happiness of the majority, the constitution and laws followed by citizens of a particular country, and the interests of all people being considered. Democratic stability is of great significance to any state because adhering to the law means that the government must always uphold accountability. An accountable government is a transparent one that will attract local and foreign investors in its turn. Consequently, a democratically stable government enables the growth of the economy of a particular country. Such government is always accountable to the members of the public that ensure a reduction of uncertainty and building of credibility. Stable democracies produce stable environments and positive allurements for financing modernization and economic growth. With a stable democratic government, the economic growth is inevitable in countries that embrace the democratic system of governance.
A stable democracy ensures that there is political stability and increased predictability since democratic society is free of polarization (Giddens). This implies that all members of a particular society are free to express and articulate their political interests. Such a system treats all its subjects equally and ensures that all balloters, whether the minor or the major ones, receive equal treatment from the government. Oppression of marginalized groups will not thrive in a democratically stable government since all subjects will be given equal treatment. The fact that stable democracy is impartial means that the government is accountable to all members of the public but not a specific group of individuals. All citizens will be given equal opportunities to enter the market and compete freely without any restricting barriers. The absence of obstacles to entering the market results in a greater competition. The latter, in turn, results in a better supply, lowering of the prices, and better quality of products as well as the increased welfare of the consumers. As the barriers to entering the market are absent, a stable democracy clears the way for competition and leads to the creation of incentives for modernization and efficiency. All in all, this will lead to economic growth of the country.
The economic, sociological, political, administrative, and philosophical problems of democracy as well as the significance for democratic stability have been discussed in this paper. The continuous change of immigration and economic policies with the election of new governments can discourage investors. The lack of relevant education among the commoners has resulted in electing bad leaders based only on their charisma and public relations. Since democracy is the rule of the majority, the minorities are less likely to have their voices heard in many democratic societies. The slow decision making process based on consensus has proved that democratic governments are very inefficient compared to aristocratic systems. A stable democracy ensures that there is political stability and increased predictability since a democratic society is free of polarization. The oppression of the minorities will not thrive in these stable systems, thus ensuring that the rights of all members of the political community are protected. A stable democracy ensures a continuous and stable accountability and transparency leading to a corruption reduction and economic growth. All citizens will be provided with equal opportunities in order to enter the market and take part in free competition since there will not be any barriers.