Names: Manikuze Jean Paul
Institution: University of Rwanda
Yes, it is important.
Definition of democracy: all for a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting and participate in decision making.
Simply, it is a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
A functioning democracy is the form of government that provides its citizens with the most freedom, the most opportunity, the greatest prosperity, and the most comfortable life. It is also the most stable form and by far the most fun.
In a democracy you can choose precisely the religion that is most meaningful to you, and you can choose your spouse and your education. You can listen to any kind of music, and you are free to watch any movie and read any book that you like. You can move around freely and you do not have to ask anybody for permission to do so. You can also choose freely what kind of clothes you wish to wear.
If you belong to a minority, you are protected against assault and infringement, and you have exactly the same right to go into politics and influence society as anybody else.
If you are a woman, you have by law the same rights and opportunities as a man. Your father, your brothers, your cousins, your uncles, or your husband have no right to rule over you. You have the same right to education, training, and work, and you have the same opportunity for a free and a great life as boys and men have. You also have the legal right to make decisions regarding your body and to say "no" to sex if you do not desire it, even in marriage.
You and all others are equal before the law, you have the right within legal limits to say and write what you want short of slander and libel, and you can meet freely with anybody. You can live without fear of the authorities. The same goes for your children and your extended family.
In plain words: Democracy gives you the right to liberty, equality of opportunity, and safety, and the opportunity to earn and keep your own money and to have fun.
The desire for freedom and security is in every one of us, and so is the need to have fun. Without those three things, we cannot live a happy and meaningful life. The need for equality of opportunity is a little more problematic than the other needs, since many of us would like to be a little better off than our fellows. But equality of opportunity is a prerequisite for democracy too, and it is worthwhile, as it helps to guarantee freedom, safety and fun.
People come first: Theoretically at least, the biggest advantage of democracy is that people always come first in the system. In a democratic nation, all laws are created with the best interests of the citizens at heart. It does not serve any particular community of person; instead, a democratic nation will treat all the citizens equally. To facilitate this purpose, the heads of state are chosen by the people of the nation, in accordance to their performance and ability to serve the people.
Build performance pressure on the government: In a democracy, the people get to choose who would become their next leader. As a result, widespread unpopularity of an elected leader might lead to termination or impeachment. Naturally, keeping in mind those factors, leaders face the constant pressure to perform. There must be concrete evidence of good work before the leader can hope to be elected to office, and the work must continue in order to enjoy the position of the leader of a country.
Public voice is not suppressed: A democracy is inherently designed to ensure that there is no public uprising against the government. Yet, it is democracy that allows considerable scope for a mutiny. Since the public opinion is of utmost important in a democratic nation, outrage over the behavior of an elected leader can lead to public unrest. What’s more important is the fact that in democracies, it is legally permitted to speak up and act against the government via peaceful means.
Stable administration: In a democratic country, the administration is elected by the people at regular intervals, and the layers of government act as a check on the system as a whole. This leads to a far more stable administration than in, say, monarchy or a dictatorship. Both the later forms suffer the risk of coming to an abrupt end by overthrowing by rivals, or assassination by rivals or unhappy subjects. Moreover, having a single head of state makes it difficult for the leader to oversee the entire nation, especially if it is a large one. Layers of government at provincial, state, and central levels ensure that no area goes unnoticed and ungoverned.
Equal treatment of all: In a democracy, each citizen is treated as an equal, irrespective of sex, creed, color, faith, and influence. Due to this, everyone is equally protected by the law, and everyone is equally susceptible to prosecution by the law in case of offense. Minority communities benefit especially from this system of government, as their citizenship status grants them full rights as the rest of the community, and the prejudices of any particular community or person are not considered valid.
It prevents corruption: Democratic governments are characterized by a biparty or multiparty system. A government cabinet is also formed of representatives from all parties, in accordance to their representation. As a result, the ruling party is kept in check by the presence of the opposition, and corruption is ideally kept at a minimum. Moreover, unlike monarchy or dictatorship, complete power is not in a single hand, and, since power is bestowed by majority votes, and the government is ultimately answerable to the people for its actions, it is not beneficial to be corrupt at the cost of the nation’s detriment.
People are more politically educated: People are an intrinsic part of the democratic system. Educated voting makes for the most efficient government that people will benefit from, which acts as an incentive for people to become more politically aware. Since people have the power in their hands, they are more interested to learn of their rights and duties, making for more responsible citizens. Besides, the more they know about the current political situation, the more aware they are of the required changes and of what they can do to implement the same.
Therefore, democracy is not only important, it is vital! Simply because we're all human, we all deserve to live in a democracy that works.