Ashley Mdichimma Igbokwe
Cane Ridge High School Nashville, Tennessee
Democracy comes from a Greek word (Democritus meaning “chosen of the people”). I would define democracy as a system of government whereby the people are given the power to rule their government by choosing who and what is best for it. This system of government founded by Cleisthenes in Athens, 510 BC focuses on the opinion and power of the people in a country or society, its gives the people most of the power to choose and make decisions for the country either by electing representatives to do it for them which is called representative democracy or by doing it directly which is called direct democracy. Direct democracy is not really seen in any country because a country isn’t going to run properly when everyone want things to be done their way without thinking of the betterness and wellness of other people in the country, the solution to this is a well constructed republic (representative democracy) where a leader is elected to represent the people and help to implement their choices and decisions.
In my opinion, I’ll say that democracy is really really important for a couple of reasons, it gives ordinary citizens the opportunity of being involved in political business. In countries ruled by dictatorships or monarchies, most of the time, the people don’t know what is going on in the country because their opinions aren’t used. The government officials take control of everything which leaves the people choiceless and they have to go by it whether they support it or not. Not all leader are bad but almost all leaders do not really do what the country thinks is good but they do what they think is good for the country and of course, almost every individual should have something in mind on what should better the country or have a decision in mind on whether they agree with the government’s plans or not, also, people may have in mind who they think is best for the country and the dictatorship or monarchies wouldn’t help to consider those thought but a well constructed representative democracy gives citizens the rights to do that through elections and voting.
Another importance of democracy is that it kind of helps to reduce violent protests which involves massive killings when against government policies. In most dictatorships, whenever citizens oppose government policies or elected candidates, they always blame it on the government and exhibit their anger by violent protests, complaints, strikes, and plenty other actions that have a very negative impact on lots of lives, families, homes and properties. But in democracies, since in most cases, the people have to vote for what happens or not, they know that they shouldn’t blame the government for it but should understand that everybody voted for what they wanted and the majority won the vote. This is what brings about he saying Majority rules, minority rights but the problem is that this saying is not implemented all the time because, in a lot of democratic systems, different riots are still carried out on the government even when the voting is carried out by the people. But most of the time, these riots and protests are carried out as a result of decisions which the people have no power to decide on and there are a lot of rules, implements and amendments which we have no access to so, in the area of violent protests and riots, I’ll democracy only helps to solve about ¼ of the problem.
Democracy also helps a whole lot in limiting the government’s powers to just delegated and enumerated authorities. Limited government is a principle of democracy which of course, other systems of governments don’t have. This helps the people protect their rights as citizens and protect them from some unlawful acts of the government like unlawful taxing, illegal taking or occupying of property without just compensation and other crimes in the constitution. This problem was heavily faced by America when they were under the power of the British between 1776 and 1783 and faced a whole lot of indiscriminate taxing and collection of property. Immediately they were able to defeat the British colony, they decided to try their best to bring lots of freedom to the people by creating the “articles of confederation”, these articles of confederation gave a lot of freedom to the citizens and limited the government in lots and lots of ways. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out for the government, their inability to tax the citizens and do many other things to the citizens resulted in a very heavy breakdown of the economy, the shays rebellion and plenty other downfalls. This however was stopped by the introduction of a new system which was no other than a Federal system and representative democracy. This brought about the not too harsh but not too free society which was the perfect society that America wanted where they citizens could be taxed but not indiscriminately and had certain rules and if i’m not mistaken, is the system of government which they live with till this day
I would like to end explaining that these important properties of a democracy which i have explained above aren’t the reality going on in most countries. I would say that most countries call themselves democracies for the sake of having the name because in many of these countries,some leaders are only in position to fulfill their own needs, squander the money of the country on themselves and make some selfish decisions for themselves while claiming that they are working for the betterment of the country. o
Other things such as rigging of elections are carried out in lots of places and this is not democracy, these are not the properties of democracy.. The importance of democracy is to eliminate actions like this and focus on the needs of the citizens by implementing their choices and decisions which is extremely important and that is the purpose of this essay. Leaders of democratic countries are advised to focus on this as much as they can. The people also have a very big role to play by exercising their universal suffrage, making sure they stand up for what is right especially through peaceful protests and lastly making sure their taxes are always paid . All these are needed from both the citizens and our honorary leaders then, we shall live by our true and very important government of the people, by the people and for the people.