Morgan Park Academy
High school - Junior
Democracy is a form of government in which citizens elect representatives and have the freedom to participate in the decisions that may affect the way their government operates. Various types of democracy exist in the world — for instance, the government of the United States consists of three different branches: executive, a legislative and judicial branch. The citizens elect a president (executive), senators and representatives (legislative). Another dominant form of democracy in Europe is parliamentary democracy that also prevails in Australia and Canada. Citizens in this system of government elect representatives to a legislative parliament to make specific laws and decisions for the country. However, a significant difference between American democracy and most of the European democracies is that the majority of countries in Europe have a much more dynamic party landscape whereas the United States solely relies on the two-party system: the Democrat and Republican parties. Democracy protects the human rights of people, prevents the government from supreme authority over citizens and promotes prosperity by maintaining a distance between the citizens and government.
Growing up in Hong Kong gave me a distinct perspective on different types of government especially because China is ruled by the communist party. The one country, two political systems means Hong Kong is a partially democratic city where the Hong Kong government administrates all areas of government besides foreign relations and military defense. The Chinese national government handles these two functions. Why democracy is vital would be how it enables to limit a minority from ruling the majority. Democracy also tends to work better when people are educated and have a broader understanding from numerous fields of study as it would allow voters to select their representatives wisely under any rigorous circumstances. Hong Kong is an excellent example as to how democracy would adequately function and thrive if the government were solely democratic.
According to Pearson, the Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Educational Attainment of Hong Kong was ranked inside the world's top 5 best educational system. Besides, the total government expenditure on education in 2018-19 estimated about $113.7 billion, an increase of 28 percent from HK$88.5 billion in the previous financial year. Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-Po predicted that the 113.7 million invested in education makes up around 20.0 percent of the entire government expenditure. In a place like Hong Kong where the government devotes a substantial amount of money into education, no wonder why Hong Kong’s average IQ is top 3 in the world. The results of the Hong Kong government spending so much effort on education has a crucial impact on the citizens’ political view and their votes taking up to fifty percent of the election-deciding Hong Kong’s legislative council. Education also gives citizens the skills and confidence they need to become active members of their societies and hold their governments to account.
In contrast to China’s fundamental political system that permits the state to have full control and power over citizens, Hong Kong government does a better job of paying attention to the majorities voice instead of just following a minority’s order. No wonder why the population of Chinese immigrants across the world are in a continuous rise throughout the years because of the economic hardships Chinese people face back home. Although it is debatable whether China is gradually fading away from communism, instead slowly transforming into a socialist country, many businesses in China are based on relationships, and people that might not have any connection in the industry will undoubtedly experience an arduous journey. Therefore many people chose the path for a fresh start and a way to escape poverty to seek fortune in foreign countries that spark off a massive population of Chinese immigrants throughout history. If the government doesn’t care nor represent citizens interest, how is any country going to thrive under a political system likewise?
Hong Kong also consists of the most billionaires in Asia and has the highest degree of economic freedom from 2016 to 2018 out of 186 other countries around the globe. Although one could argue that other forms of government have a stable economy, there are only a few countries with authoritarian systems of government that have achieved high levels of growth in the long term. The reason behind why Hong Kong might have the highest degree of economic freedom relates to an economic system called “ Laissez-faire.” Which is a theory that states a country’s economic functions best when there is no interference by the government.
Controversially, Hong Kong would be the best fit to represent this economic system in the real world as the government rarely regulates or intervene private property owners which is a privilege not many countries in different continents get. Therefore, Hong Kong is the perfect example in real life as to how a democratic government could benefit the citizens by promoting prosperity with the distance between the citizens and government. Apart from the economic freedom in Hong Kong, a democratic government also allows people to move out of poverty easier. As citizens all have an equal say on laws that govern how the economy works in a democratic society, thus poorer people can vote for lower tax rates and minimum wage laws which enables the less fortunate to have at least some sort of economic power in a society rather than nothing.
To live in a country with democracy is essential because it allows nations to acquire wealth through exchanging goods conveniently with foreign countries. Especially trading resources in developing countries can stir a significant growth in the economy. Poverty-stricken citizens can have an equal say in society compared to other forms of government in a global perspective. Democracy also tends to function better as a form of government when education is offered widely to citizens as shown from the previous pieces of information on the outrageous numbers Hong Kong government pay for schools in a city that only take up less than 3000 square kilometers of land. Summing up, democracy enables individuals classified in any social classes to have a higher success rate on being economically stable due to the flexibility of the political system whilst citizens rights are still being protected by the government.