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Is Democracy the best or weakest form of Government?

13 May 2012, 18:43

Greek philosopher Plato wrote:"The ignorance and incompetence of politicians, is the special curse of democracies. Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike."

With this mind why do Western Nations push so very hard for countries that haven't as yet embrace democracy to do so immediately? Is it democracy's openness and "honesty" that makes Western Powers almost self-willed in urging other sovereign governments to take it on board? Is Democracy really the best form of Government or is it the weakest of what we've ever had?

Some of us argue that democracy and liberism are the model for good governance. Then there those that claims that democracy's undergrid policies are really just softer versions of Authoritarianism.

The definition of democracy is something that is very much in dispute. Is democracy a set of ideas or is it a set of practices? Do we consider a nation to be democratic when its citizens believe in democratic ideals, or is it enough that they merely act democratic, perhaps out of the lack of any other viable political alternatives available to them?

Does democracy's success depend on how competent and informed a country's citizens are? Democracy gives power to the people right,so an informed and competent nation that stays abreast with world events and understands the political concepts of the world gives democracy real strength over all other forms of governance one would think.

What is so good about Democracy?

1.Democracy leads to liberty and liberty is good thing.

2.Liberal Democracies are less likely to use violence against their own people.

3.Democracy enhances long-run economic performance.

4.Democracies hardly ever have famines.Infact they seem to have more obese people than malnourished folks. 

5.Democracy is good for the international system by improving the lives of individual citizens.

6.Democracies produce fewer refugees.
7.Democracy gives you broad common political interest and to share such interest in electing suitable candidates for your country's presidency.
8.Demoracy creates a strong civil society,favourable economic conditions and active citizen participation in your local affairs.

What is then bad about Democracy?

1.Democracies can lead to mob rule by vote and the destruction or enslavement of minority groups.
2.Democracy can put a premium on the issuance of false information by a government in order to increase its power or the wealth of its cronies.
3.Democracy can allow those who gain control of the legislative process to pass laws that erode or even repeal the rights of property,free expression and free movement.
4.Democracy will always need to be limited to avoid impinging on the freedom of others.
5.Democracy allows for legalized murder in defence of something as mean as your own property,unfettered hate speech and the ability to buy your way with good lawyers out of criminal penalties.

It seems that no political system is either naturally suited to the task or barred by definition from performing the task of governing its own people. Two other questions still needs answering: Are dictatorships ever good and Is democracy for everyone?
Winston Churchill said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Jawaharlal Nehru, former prime minister of India, said democracy is good but added: "I say this because other systems are worse."

Former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing said: "We are witnessing a crisis of representative democracy."

Democracy versus the rest:

1.Autocratic rule promises to get things done and to do so without undue delay.Magazine writer Otto Friedrich once wrote:"Even the best-intentioned men, once they enter the jungle of power politics, have to confront the necessity of directing actions that they would, in normal circumstances, be inclined to call immoral."

2.Dictatorships promises to control the economy for the common good. The sad reality is that they do so none too successfully and at the cost of personal liberty.

Is Democracy then here today, gone tomorrow or will it last to all eternity? Time magazine once said: "It is impossible to divide the world into clear-cut democratic and nondemocratic parts. Within the so-called democracies, there are gradations of individual freedoms, pluralism and human rights, just as there are varying degrees of repression within dictatorships."

3.Communist governments promise to create a Utopian, classless society with citizens enjoying complete equality before the law. Even so the realities are that classes and inequalities still exist and that corrupt politicians fleece the common man. The result has been widespread rejection of the communist concept.

2.A History of Political Theory.
3.The Wall Street Journal. Politics and conflicts.

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