Basic Concepts of Democracy

Added on - May 2021

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DEMOCRATIC RULE1Democratic RuleStudent Name:Student ID Number:Subject Code:Word Count: 2023
DEMOCRATIC RULE2A democratic rule entails an institutional setting that permits free participation through afree, fair and inclusive electoral process. As explained by Robert Dahl, a democratic deal mustfollow two fundamental principles- political contestation and participation. In politicalparticipation, all the citizens who are eligible to take part in the voting process should be allowedto vote (Lindberg et al., 2014, p. 159). In a democratic rule, individuals should have the freedomto converge and express their feelings on political matters without fear of victimization by thegovernment.Moghadam (2013, p. 393), expounds thatdemocratic governments that guaranteecivil rights and electoral freedoms are called liberal democracies. Also, democracies can bedivided into two- direct and representative. This essay has discussed the core features ofdemocratic rule and the major threats to democracy in the society with an assessment of the stateof democracy in the current era.In a direct democracy, all the laws and policies are made directly by the vote of thecitizens instead of elected representatives. All the people are treated equally and given a directchance to influence the policy-making process(Haskell, 2018, p. 4). Conversely, in arepresentative democracy, there is an establishment of a representative who acts as anintermediary between the citizens and the policy outputs of a nation(Woldendorp, Keman &Budge, 2013, p. 48). Through an electoral process, a single person or a group of people areelected by the citizens to make decisions on their behalf. A representative democracy can furtherbe divided into parliamentary and presidential systems while a direct democracy may form asubcomponent of a mixed regime.In a parliamentary system, more power is placed on the legislative branch of thegovernment. This type of democracy is widely used in Germany and United Kingdom andinvolves voters selecting their parliamentary representatives(Esaiasson & Holmberg, 2017, p.
DEMOCRATIC RULE312). The winning party with the most significant number of parliamentary representatives thenselects the head of state (prime minister, premier or chancellor).Bergman & Damgaard (2013, p.13), explain thata vital characteristic of this system is the split executive consisting of the headof government and the state. The head of government is responsible for controlling all thepolicymaking agendas and legislative processes whereas the position of the head of state isceremonial. Also, the electoral system is based on proportional representation, whereby they windifferent seats on the basis of the proportion of the votes won. Therefore, when a parliamentarysystem succeeds in representation, it loses in stability and efficiency.The presidential system is another component of representative democracy. Unlike inparliamentary democracies where elections are conducted in stages, the presidential systementails the voters selecting members for both the legislative branches and the executives at thesame time(Magalhães, 2014, p. 77). Besides, the results of the legislative composition have noinfluence on the executive branch's composition. Presidential democracies are few and locatedmainly in the Americas (Central America, North America, and South America). For example inthe US, it is easy for a party to have a majority in the Congress and for a different party to winthe position of the presidency. Furthermore, there is no fusion of power in this system, and thepresident cannot be removed from power by the Congress except in cases of criminal conduct.Finally, there are some countries which practice forms of democracy which do not fit aseither parliamentary or presidential. (Diamond, 2015, p. 8), explains that suchdemocracies canbe termed as mixed systems. For instance, in some countries, a president is elected following therules of direct democracies, whereby the executive gain authority to exercise a broad range ofpowers, but can be removed from office just like in parliamentary system. For example, the
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