More than half of the independent countries are democratic in nature. And most of these countries don’t a smooth system, there are ups and downs in such countries. So is democracy actually helpful to us? Let’s find out more about democracy in the contemporary world.
Democracy in Chile
Under President Salvador Allende, Chile had a democratically elected government. It was during the 1970’s. There was a liberal government for the workers and the poor citizens of Chile. A lot of welfare policies were adopted by the government. For example, emancipating the poor such as milk for the children, restricting the entry of foreign companies, and distribution of land to landless farmers.
But in 1973 a Military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet bombed the President’s house and President Salvador Allende died. After the assassination of President Salvador Allende, General Augusto Pinochet became the President of Chile and ruled it for the next 17 years. During his presidency, anyone who supported Allende was killed.
However, there was a restoration of democracy in Chile and Military General Pinochet’s dictatorship came to an end in 1988 after a referendum.A democratically elected government was formed as the army’s role in the Chilean government was eradicated. In the year 2006, the first female President of Chile was elected and her name is Michelle Bachelet.
Democracy in Poland
Democracy in Poland is young and a Third wave phenomenon. No other party than Polish United Workers’ Party ruled Poland as they were not allowed to do so. No other party could take part in the political system of the country. The employment rate was bad. The government in Poland was supported and controlled by the government of the Soviet Union (USSR), a vast and powerful communist state.
The workers of Lenin Shipyard in the city of Gdansk went on a strike on the 14th of August, 1980. The movement became so strong that it gave into the demands of with Lech Walesa (leader) resulted in an agreement in April 1989 for free elections. Solidarity contested all the 100 seats of the Senate and won 99 of them. In October 1990, Poland had its first presidential elections in which more than one party could contest. Walesa was elected President of Poland.
Question For You
Q1. In which of the following cities of Brazil, an experiment in combining decentralization and participatory democracy was carried out?
- Sao Paulo
- Porto Alegre
- Rio de Janeiro
Sol: The correct answer is option ‘c’. The city has set up a parallel organization operating alongside the municipal council, enabling local inhabitants to take real decisions for their city. The nearly 13 lakh people in this city get to participate in making the budget for their own city. The city is divided into many sectors or what we call wards. Each sector has a meeting, like that of the gram sabha, in which anyone living in that area can participate.
Q2. Which of the following statements is true about today’s contemporary world?
- Monarchy, as a form of government, has vanished
- The relationship between different countries has become more democratic than ever before
- In more and more countries, rulers are being elected by the people
- There are no more military dictators in the contemporary world
Sol: The correct answer is option ‘c’. Democracy in modern usage is a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body, such as a parliament. It is sometimes referred to as “rule of the majority”. Democracy was originally conceived in Classical Greece, where political representatives were chosen by a jury from amongst the male citizens: rich and poor.