Full Name: MIKE AMON MASAMVU
School: MARIST BROTHERS NYANGA HIGH SCHOOL
Level of Study: HIGH SCHOOL (10th GRADE)
TOPIC: Is it important to live in democracy?
“People should not be afraid of the government but the government itself should be afraid of the people”, Alan Moore, an English writer, who is regarded as the best graphic novel writer in history, once said. This is because in a democratic system the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. There exists not only one theory, concept or model of democracy, but clearly a pluralism (or plurality) of different theories and models. Partially these varying theories or concepts could be integrated by a meta-theory or meta-concept; at the same time, however, it also should be acknowledged that some of those theories and concepts of democracy clearly contradict each other. Volumes of people may wonder where this word democracy came from. In etymological terms, the word democracy comes from ancient Greek (dēmokratiā), which combines dēmos, the “people”, with kratos, meaning “rule”, “power” or “strength”. Put together, the literal denotation of democracy is “rule by the people”, culminating in a popular form of government. The historic origin of democracy roots in the Ancient Greek city-states of the fifth century BC, with Athens as the most prominent example. Despite democracy having a plurality of different theories and models, l coin democracy as a government of the people and for the people clothed with the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.
Then what is the actual essence of democracy?
The principal purposes for which the People establish democratic government are the protection of their rights, interests and welfare. Democracy requires that each individual be free to participate in the political community’s self-government. Thus political freedom rests at the heart of the concept of democracy. The key dimensions of democracy are freedom, equality and control. This may be summarized as: quality of democracy= (freedom + other characteristics of the political system) + (performance of the nonpolitical dimensions). To qualify as a democracy, a given political system has to guarantee freedom and equality. Moreover it has to optimize the interdependence between these two principles by means of control. Control is understood as control by government as well as control of the government. Hence freedom and equality is common only in democratic political systems in which the governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association and belief as well as respect for their rights of minorities and woman, are guaranteed.
True democracy is fundamental because I can set my boundaries and live with others in peace and harmony since democracy as it was intended as a form of government in which all citizens vote for all things and a Republic is much more common, under which people vote for representatives, who then vote and stand for issues anytime, every time and under any circumstances with intimacy and support for their own people. This is evidenced by Iceland being one of the most democratic and harmonious country due to the supreme proliferation of democracy. People in the democracies believe it is the best form governance and l personally support their side. This is because democracy does offer some benefits such as peaceful transfer of power and prevents civil wars and violent revolutions between the various tribes of people.
Is the absence of democracy related to collective violence and war? This is now fundamentally answered in one of two ways: Yes, democracies are least violence prone and they promote nonviolence; and yes, socialist equalitarianism assures peace. Democracy is directly linked to international peace. Many horrible wars which technology has made more destructive than those of earlier periods have been caused by liberal democracies. Hence that’s why most democratic societies are as well peaceful and harmonious.
Democracy is important because it is based on the notion of “people’s sovereignty” in other words, people are the main source of power, and they can form and diffuse the government. Also democracy allows public participation in decision making. People can raise their opinions regarding their needs and grievances and on that basis, policies are formulated. Democracy is based on political equality. It means all citizens irrespective of caste, creed, religion, race or sex are considered to be equal before law and enjoy political rights. Under democratic societies, majority rules and there is also formation of opinion. In a democratic set-up actual government is carried out with the help of the party which obtains the majority of votes. Support of majority is accepted by all. The government must also provide institutions through which public opinion on various matters can be formed.
Legislature provides the most important platform to estimate and express the public opinion. However, even though the majority rules in a democratic set-up, opinions of minorities are also given respect for the voice of the people is the voice of God. The minority is encouraged to give their opinion. Democracy being a government by free discussion and criticism encourages both the positive and negative aspects of any proposal. The majority must tolerate the opinion of the minority otherwise democracy will degenerate into authoritarianism. Democracy protects the interests and demands of minority groups and all of these groups have access to the political system for they are allowed to voice out their opinions. Minorities are free from discrimination and their views are as critical as majority views. This way the system will run smoothly also continue to develop since every voice is taken into account.
Democracy provides the individual dignity by giving various rights to the individual. For example, the right to freedom of speech and expression, right to form association or union as well as right educational and cultural rights. Many years ago and still in some areas where democracy does not prevail, Christian believers died and suffer and are still dying and suffering for their faith. Thanks to the father of democracy who introduced democracy to many states and nowadays a lot of religions have emerged and it has allowed citizens to follow any religion that is meaningful to them depending on their faith and beliefs. A lot of tribes had suffered terrible racism and cruelty when they tried to practice their culture and also many children were deprived of their right to education but simply because of democracy all this has been put to a complete halt.
In democracy there is also rule of laws. This means supremacy of law over all and under any circumstance law cannot be compromised. Consequently, democracy stands as an indispensable factor of controlling government power and prevents the people who hold power from abusing it for their own gain rather than for the people’s. After a specific range of time elections are done and those in power are held accountable for what they would have done. Elections will not only help to hold a government accountable but also they let the people participate and have their say in the political process. The people will be able to influence government decisions by joining parties, joining pressure groups, taking part in legal and peaceful protests and many other ways for it is their right to do so and there are also laws which support those actions. No one regardless of whatever position or title has can go against or compromise the law. This helps stop corruption and all evil acts that occur when people breach the law. Democracy also implies open and free society. Different opinions are to be collected through dialogues, debate and discussions and then considered within the ruling party and outside the ruling party to find solutions for the problems. There is plurality of ideas to which the government has to take consideration and in this way every citizen will not only have the right to freedom of speech and expression but also the freedom after the speech.
Therefore we have seen that democracy is an essential aspect in people’s lives because it guarantees liberty, equality and fraternity in every field, with various fundamental rights regarding education, employment, religion, culture, food and livelihoods to mention only a few. To sum it up, one can say that democracy enhances and guarantees human rights which are vital for better livelihoods of the people. Overall, l feel that democracy is an extremely vital part of political systems in the modern age and it still gives people these opportunities and makes the system fair for everybody and at the same time providing prosperity to citizens and also great opportunities to contribute towards the development of the nation.