To understand why democracy is important, some questions must be answered. First of all, what does democracy mean exactly? Why is it the best form of government in the entire world?
Democracy is a wide concept. It is basically a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. In other words, it is a form of government in which the common people hold political power and can rule either directly or through elected representatives. An example of democracy at work is in Canada where people have political freedom and equality.
Why Is Democracy Important for Us?
Before talking about why democracy is important, it is essential to have a clear understanding of it. Abraham Lincoln once said, “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. This explains the basic concept of democracy. The people choose their government via regular, free, and fair elections.
In Canada, the US, and Europe, when people hear the word democracy, they often assume it is liberal democracy. Liberal democracy means that popular sovereignty is limited by the constitution, which guarantees concepts like freedoms (for example, freedom of speech) and rights (for example, the right to a fair trial). These freedoms and rights are not part of a democratic vote, yet they are essential in liberal democracy.
Liberal democracy is the most popular form of democracy, yet it is not the only one. Some countries today have illiberal democracies. People still vote there. However, liberal characteristics such as the independent judiciary and free press are usually oppressed.
Liberal democracy defenders say that these countries just pretend to be democratic while in fact, they are not. Taking away liberal rights leads to undermining elections and fear of the state.
The liberal rights and guarantees are made to make sure that no one can dominate or exploit others to any degree.
There is no other system that guarantees the right to free speech and free expression of political preference or promotes progress via fair competition.
Do We Need Democracy?
The short answer is yes, we do need democracy.
Democracy is always threatened by many forces around the world. In fact, the people themselves can be a threat to democracy when they vote and threaten liberal values.
The most popular democratic example in the world is the American system. This system has been able to endure all technological, demographic, and cultural changes for a long time. Yet, recently, this ability has been in doubt.
On the other hand, the European Union has been following a technocratic form of politics recently. Democracy in Europe has been compromised and became less responsive to the people’s needs. That is why many people feel that they are not involved anymore in the process of government.
On the other hand, certain non-democratic countries such as China have been doing better than democratic countries since they can force people to compel specific behavior without any worries about liberal rights and guarantees.
However, non-democratic countries have a weaker structure and they are always afraid of that. When people reach a certain level of anger, their actions cannot be expected.
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