What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

An attempt is being made here to understand ‘what is Democracy?’ and the features of Democracy. Democracy can be broadly defined as a form of government where rulers are elected by the people. The representatives are elected through free and fair elections. Salvadore Allende and Bachelet of Chile are considered democratic as they were elected by people. An authoritarian government is where the rulers exercise unlimited powers and people have no say in decision making. Most countries of the world today claim to be democracies, but these claims are not always true. Several countries pretend to be democracies, but lack all essential values of a true democracy. The best example was of Pakistan under Musharraf.

A prerequisite for a successful democracy is a free and fair electoral competition, where many parties can participate. But in countries like China, only the Chinese Communist Party can participate in the election. In Mexico, Institutional Revolutionary Party always wins the election using many dirty tricks. In an ideal democracy, each citizen should have one vote. The elected government ought to respect the rights of the people and the rule of the law.

There are certain merits and demerits of both democratic governments and non-democratic governments. But merits of democracy outweigh its demerits, making it the most preferable form of government. Democracy does not imply to government formation alone. It has a much broader meaning. It implies that whenever a decision needs to be taken in a family, classroom, etc. all those who are likely to be affected by it, should be consulted.

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