Outcomes of Democracy CIVICS
Main Topics • Features of democracy • Why do we need to think about the outcomes of the democracy • Which things we need to understand the outcomes of the democracy • Outcomes in various aspect 1. Accountable, responsive and Legitimate government 2. Economic growth and development 3. Economic outcomes of democracy 4. Reduction of inequality and poverty 5. Accommodation of Social diversity 6. Dignity and freedom of the citizen
Features of Democracy • Promotes equality among citizens • Enhance the dignity of the individual • Improve the quality of decision making • Provides a method to resolve conflicts • Allows rooms correct mistakes
Democracy Merits Demerits People are their own masters Equal and Exact Justice Government not by force Fewer conflict Slow and inefficient government Unstable government Role of money in a Democracy Incompetence
Dictatorship Merits Demerits Quick and decisive decision Efficiency National unity Stability Wrong decision Taken by the Dictator Violence at Home Suppression of Civil Liberties
Why do we need to think about the outcomes of the democracy • Over hundred countries of the World today claim and practice some kind of democratic politics; they have formal constitutions, they hold elections, they have parties and guarantee the rights of the citizens • The features of democracy may be different from one country to another country based on their socio- economic and cultural background. • Most of the people support democracy against other alternatives, such as rule by a monarch, military or religious leaders. • But so many of them would not be satisfied with the democracy in practice. • So we face a dilemma: democracy is seen good in principle, but not good in practice. • This dilemma invite us the outcomes of the democracy
Which things we need to understand before the evaluation of the outcomes of democracy • The first step towards thinking carefully about the outcomes of the democracy is to recognize that democracy is just a form of government. • It can only create conditions for achieving something. • The citizens have to take advantage of those conditions and achieve goals
Which are the major areas use for to analyze the outcomes of the democracy • Accountable, Responsive and Legitimate Government to the people • Economic growth and Development • Reduction of inequality and poverty • Accommodation of the Social diversity • Dignity and freedom of the citizen
How does democracy can produce an accountable, responsive and legitimate govt? • The most outcome of democracy should be that it produces a government that is accountable to the citizen and responsive to their needs and expectations of the citizen. • In democracy people have the right to choose their representatives who would form the government. • People also have control over their representatives as they are answerable to the citizens for the policy implemented. • They participate in the decision making process either directly or indirectly through their elected representatives. • The citizens they have the right to know them before they followed.
This ensures that the working of the government is transparent. • The opposition parties can also question and criticize the government policies. • They keep a check on the ruling party and make sure that it does not misuse power. • These measures ensure that the government formed is accountable and responsive to the needs of the people. • A democratic government is a legitimate government. • It is a government of the people. • All the voters can choose their representatives. The wining political party forms the government. But in the non democratic country the people they have no choice in the political parties. They need to accept the rule of a person or a party. • This makes democracy better as it gives people the option to choose their representatives.
What is the meaning of the transparency of a political party • The citizens have the right to examine the process of decision making. This is known as Transparency. (Graph Page No: 92)
Economic growth & Development in Democratic form of government • The people they were expected from democracy to produce good government, but in practical level many democracies did not fulfill this expectation • In the last 50 years (1950-2000) to compare with democracy, dictatorship have slightly higher rate of economic growth • But because of this reason we can’t judge democracy • Because the economic development depends on several factors like Population, Global situation, cooperation form other countries, economic priorities adopted by the country • However we can’t say that democracy is guarantee of economic development but we can expect democracy not to lag behind dictatorship in this respect • To compare with both dictator and democratic development, it is better to prefer democracy as it has several other positive reasons (Cartoon Page No: 93)
Statistical Comparison between Democracy and Dictatorship Rates of Economic growth for different countries: 1950-2000 In the case of poor countries there is no much more difference Types of Regimes and Countries Growth Rate All democratic Regimes 3.95 All Dictatorial Regimes 4.42 4.34 Poor Countries under the dictatorship Poor countries under democracy 4.28
Inequality of in selected Countries Denmark and Hungary Names of the Countries N I Top 20% Bottom 20% South Africa 64.8 2.9 Brazil 63.0 2.6 Russia 53.7 4.4 50.0 USA 4.0 6.0 UK 45.0 Denmark 34.5 9.6 Hungary 34.4 10.0
Reduction of equality and poverty • More than economic development, it is reasonable to expect democracies to reduce economic disparities (Text book 95) • Democracies are based on Political equality. All individual have equal weight in electing representatives. But in the economic sphere growing economic inequalities • A small number of ultra rich enjoy highly disproportionate share of wealth and income, as a result the national income of the country is increasing • But the bottom of the society their incomes declining, they find to difficult to meet their basic needs food, clothing, house, education and health • In actual life democracy do not appear to be very successful in reducing economic inequalities
The political parties they will not like to lose the votes of large section poor people in constituencies • However the democratically elected government do not appear to be as keen to address the question of poverty as you would expect them to • The situation is much worse in some other countries especially in Bangladesh, more than half of its population lives in poverty • People in several poor countries are now dependent on the rich countries even for food supplies
Accommodation of Social diversityWhat are the conditions under which democracies accommodate social diversities It will be a fair expectation that democracy should produce a harmonious social life. Democracies usually develop a procedure to conduct their competition, it would reduce the possibility of tensions No society can fully and permanently resolve conflicts among different groups. Democracy is the most suitable form of government for to produce this outcome Non democratic regimes often turn blind eye to suppress internal social differences Ability to handle social difference and divisions and conflicts is the merit of the democratic regimes
But democracy must fulfill two conditions to achieve this outcome • It is necessary to understand that democracy is not simply rule by majority opinion. The majority always needs to work with the minority so that government function to represent the general view. Majority and minority opinions are not permanent • It is also necessary that rule by majority does not become rule by majority community in terms of religion or race or linguistic group etc. Rule by majority means that in case of every decision or in case of every election, different persons and groups may and can form majority. Democracy remains democracy only as long as every citizen has a chance of being majority at some point of time. If some one is barred in majority on the basis of birt, then the democratic rule ceases to be accommodative for that person or group.
Dignity and Freedom of Citizenexamine with the help of three examples how dignity and freedom of citizens are best guaranteed in democracy Every society is diverse in terms of religions, language, culture and caste. But it is only in democracy that equal treatment is given to all the individuals. There should not be any discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, race religion and region. Democracy accommodate all the social diversity by guaranteeing dignity and freedom to all citizens 1. In the case of women for a long time, they were denied equal rights, justice, dignity and freedom. But democracy has ensured all these to women. Now the principle of individual freedom and dignity has a legal as well as moral force.
2. In the case of the weaker section of the society like SC, ST and OBC, special provisions have been made for the uplift so that they can live with dignity and honour and lead a free life.They are now allowed to vote and choose their representatives in the government. No particular religion or language is given any special preference. 3. In the case of conflicts among various groups are minimized by given all of them adequate representation ion the government. It is also ensured that the rule of the majority is not by those who are in majority just in number. The majority group needs to work in harmony with the minority group to ensure that interests and concerns of every group are represented in the government.