Outcomes of Democracy

Outcomes of Democracy

We know that India is a democratic country. It is because of the presence of democracy in our country that we get the rights that we get. So, naturally, democracy is a better alternative than tyranny. So, what is a democracy and what are the outcomes of democracy? Let’s study more about the Outcomes of Democracy.

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Outcomes of Democracy: Introduction

In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” So, in a democratic country, the government is elected by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. Let’s study more about the outcomes of democracy.

Presence of Democracy

Outcomes of Democracy

More than hundred countries, across the world, follow the democratic form of government. There are a number of features of democracy that are common to all nations. However, there are certain differences in social situations, achievements and their cultures. Let’s understand this with the help of an example.

The USA is the world’s richest democracy. In the USA, there is a wide gap between the rich, the poor. The Blacks do not get social justice. Despite that, the United States of America, Sweden, Canada, and Switzerland have the most stable democratic systems in the world. These countries have a number of welfare schemes for all. Moreover, the literacy rate in such countries is 100%. Now, let’s understand what we can expect reasonably from a  democratic nation and examine the record of democracy.

Accountable, Responsive and Legitimate Government

In a democratic nation, the government is accountable to the citizens. It is responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens. Moreover, the government is efficient and effective. The democratic governments work on the principle of deliberation and negotiation, so delays take place.

Do delays make government inefficient?

A non-democratic government does not bother about the discussions in assemblies. They never take public opinion and are quick in decision making and implementation. On the other hand, the democratic governments, follow all the procedures and then come to a decision. As a result, the decision is more effective and acceptable to people.

The decisions that are quick are usually taken without the approval of the majority of people. As a result, there are problems and conflicts within the nation.

Why Democracy?

In a democracy:

  • the decision is based on norms and procedures
  • decision making is transparent i.e. a citizen has the right to examine the entire process of decision making
  • government is accountable to people and the people have the right to hold the government accountable

Points against democracy

Every coin has a flip side. Democracy too has some negatives. Here are some of them. In reality,

  • the right to question the process of decision making is absent
  • government is not accountable
  • there isn’t any mechanism to hold the government accountable
  • decision making is not based on norms and procedures

Areas where democracy is successful

Democracy is successful in holding:

  • free and regular elections
  • creating conditions for open public debate

Where does the democracy fall short?

There are certain aspects where democracy falls short. So, democracy, on the whole, falls short in:

  • holding elections that offer a fair chance to everyone
  • not every decision comes forward in a public debate
  • sharing information with people rarely happens
  • democracies have never been free of corruption
  • the government has failed to pay attention to the needs and expectations of people

However, despite all this, a democratic government is still better than a non-democratic government. It is a legitimate form of government. Most importantly, democracy is people’s own government. This is the primary reason for its popularity. People across the globe only which to be ruled by the representatives elected by them.

Economic Growth and Development

The biggest failure of democracy is that it lags behind dictatorships in economic growth. In a country, the economic growth depends on:

  • Size of the population of a country
  • Co-operation from other countries
  • Global situation
  • Economic policies adopted by the country

Reduction of Inequality and Poverty

In every country, what really is needed is the removal of economic disparities. So, any development that happens without an equitable distribution of wealth is not a true democracy. Democracy is solely based on political equality. Every citizen has an equal weight in electing representatives.

However, the same is not true in the economic field. The poor usually become poorer and often find it hard to cater to the basic essentials of life like food, clothing, higher education, and health. Democracies have massively failed in this regard.  So, the idea is to remove this gap between the rich and the poor.

Question for you

Q1: What are the conditions under which democracies accommodate social diversities?

Answer: Democracies accommodate social diversities when it is well understood that democracy is not just the rule of the majority and that the rule of the majority is not just the rule of a single religious or social community.

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Outcomes of Democracy
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