Is democracy a “must” in society as a whole?

Manuel Bernal Maldonado

ITESM Campus Querétaro

Mexico

Student : Undergraduate level

What cross in your mind when you hear the word democracy? Is it the actual state of our countries or is it the image of and ideal place to live, where every citizen has the power to decide on what is being done and to have the power of electing who is going to be the next federal representative? Well, this last part is what democracy really is.

According to Stanford University, democracy is really a government system with some key elements in its core such as:

  1. The power of choosing and/or replacing their whole government employing free and fair elections
  2. Citizen participation as a whole of their community in political and social events
  3. Human rights should be protected in all cases
  4. No matter who you are, the law will be applied equally in all citizens

When the system is ideal, these 4 elements are present but, we as humans know ideality is never accomplished, so we are seeking to have the most of this elements present in our system. Now let’s analyze each of this key elements to see why it is important to live in democracy.

The true impact people can have by choosing their governors, is huge. A clear example we can see is Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro doesn’t have too much acceptance by their own people and how is it that he continues winning the elections for Venezuela presidency? The actual situation of this country isn’t the best at any point; 34,680.07% inflation accumulated in 2018, 82% in poverty and 61.2% from the poor ones live in extreme poverty, an average of 7 kg of weight lost in the average Venezuelan due to the lack of food and medicines, and we can continue with more dramatic data but the main point of this is, even when a system is called democratic, by the actions of their own governors this whole image can change. The importance of the people acting and voting is to avoid this kind of situations. When people act democratic as they should during elections but corruption stands out, there not much you can do. Now let´s go back to 1958 when the Mexican people decided to give Adolfo Lopez Mateos the power to be the next president with 90.6% of the total votes emitted in those elections. During the 6 years of power as president, he builds and fund ISSTE, in 1960 he nationalizes the electric industry, his actions were the base to an important economic growth commonly known as “Stabilizer development”, peso was stable and economy was going well (Economista, 2018) (Botello, 2000).

Citizen participation is vital as we saw in the previous examples because no voice can be heard if it doesn´t exists but not only in politics as also in social and opinion events. The information acquired from the citizens themselves is grounded gold to the government, associations and enterprises as they are their direct target and, to know what do the people really want or need gives you the lead. A clear example of it just happened in Melbourne, Australia where the elected governor decided to give the citizens the power of deciding the local budget usage during this time. People were selected by draw among all citizens. Government gave them all the financial information needed and facilitated the communication with competent civil servants. As a result, the Melbourne council incorporate the vast majority of the civil recommendations to their local budget. We can see from this example that people can really make good decisions when democracy, transparency and organization is applied (Pritchard & Carson, 2018)

Humanitarian rights, I think, are the core of democracy as a whole. A clear example is in 1968 where a student and social movement was developed at Mexico City as CNH (Consejo Nacional de Huelga) to express their nonconformity to their government as they were giving freedom to political prisoners and about their authoritarianism regimen. They were seeking to change their policy to a more democratic one but an atrocity happened. The government repress their citizens with brutal and lethal force, they shoot against the people and punching them to death. 150 civilians were killed, 1,043 people arrested and thousands were injured. According to some studies done, democracy and all of its derivatives, is the best political regimen to protect human rights (Aristegui, 2013)

Equality is considered as the basis of democracy because equality and democracy joined is the equality of voting power and also the equality of opportunity to participate in public consultations. This can be supported by the egalitarian theories where “they acknowledge fundamental conflicts of interest and convictions in society and assert because of this lack of consensus, each person may demand an equal share in political rule” (Christiano, 2012). For years, women were considered as less capable beings inside the politic and financial world and men were considered as superior beings. This has changed throughout the years and societies were changed radically during the XX century. Along with the growth in feminine participation on economy and labor activities, we also have being testimonies of the growth in financial markets, scientific and technological improvements, communication and public life in general in which women have participated or even being the head developers. One clear example is Flora de Pablo; doctor in medicine and co-director of investigation group “3D Laboratory”. Her team investigates the physiological mechanisms that regulates the proliferation, differentiation, competition and cellular death as also their direct effect at a medical perspective of the alteration of these processes. She also is actively fighting for the recognition of women inside the investigation area of science. Another example is Rosa Menéndez as being the first Austrian women in history to preside the Superior investigation Scientific Board (CSIC) in 2017. She has developed investigations about materials and energy sources. Equality in this area along democracy has been the key to new science improvements and tools that every human has used in their life (Zabludovsky, 2007).

Democracy is really helpful to live in the ideal society along as other factors, such as less corruption, moral actions, ethic thoughts and actions are being applied in the daily basis. We as humans have the total power to change whatever factor we want to improve our life and we should fight for this ideality all united a one, as a democratic being. So YES, WE NEED DEMOCRACY.

Bibliography

  1. David M. Pritchard, Lyn Carson. (2018). Los ciudadanos deciden sobre el presupuesto: modelos participativos desde la antigua Grecia hasta hoy. 15/11/2018, de esglobal Sitio web: https://www.esglobal.org/los-ciudadanos-deciden-sobre-el-presupuest...
  2. Azucena Serrano Rodríguez. (2015). La participación ciudadana en México. Estudios Politicos, 34, 1.
  3. Gina Zabludovsky. (2007). Las mujeres en México: trabajo, educación superior y esferas de poder. Politica y Cultura, 28, 1.
  4. Manuel Aguirre Botello. (2000). LA HISTORIA DE UN VOTO ... Y ALGO MAS. 15/11/2018, de Mexico Maxico Sitio web: http://www.mexicomaxico.org/Voto/UnVotoa.htm
  5. El Economista. (2018). Venezuela sigue en picada. 15/11/2018, de La Republica Sitio web: https://www.larepublica.co/analisis/el-economista-400792/venezuela-...
  6. Carmen Aristegui. (2013). Los muertos de Tlatelolco, ¿cuántos fueron?. 15/11/2018, de Aristegui Noticias Sitio web: https://aristeguinoticias.com/0110/mexico/los-muertos-de-tlatelolco...
  7. Rocío Flores Calderón, Orlando Espinosa Santiago. (2017). Los derechos humanos como precondiciones de la democracia: evidencia desde México. IUS, 11, 1.

Thomas Christiano. (2012). Democracy As Equality. 15/11/2018, de UCSD Sitio web: http://philosophyfaculty.ucsd.edu/faculty/rarneson/Courses/christia...

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