Democracy is a system of government in which the entire population or qualifying State representatives have the opportunity to vote directly on issues or send anyone they nominate to make such decisions on their behalf. It is a governing structure in which rule comes from the people rather than from the military or state. Simply put, the leaders are chosen by the people.
America’s founding fathers did also hate the notion of democratic rule. In one of the federalist papers, James Madison suggested that this form of government could lead to confusion, chaos, and injustice. They were afraid that a popular government would eventually perish because that happened more often than not in the world.
What history does not always note is that during the early years of its existence the Roman Empire once had a functioning democracy. Even to this day, you can still visit the Forum, where their meetings and votes were held. Also, Vladimir Lenin believed that the goal of communism was democracy, using a tyrant to govern the proletariat until such time as this status became possible.
Now many agree that democracy is the best form of government available today because it gives every person the right to have a voice. These are the advantages and disadvantages to think about.
List of the Advantages of Democracy
1. It protects the interest of citizens.
As previously stated, the citizens in a democratic country are given the right to vote on political, social and economic issues, particularly the representatives they want to be in charge of making major decisions, such as the president. This can greatly protect the people from anything they would disagree to occur.
2. It prevents monopoly of authority.
Due to the fact that the government is bound by an election term where parties compete to regain authority, democracy prevents the monopoly of the ruling authority. And, the elected ruling party would make sure their policies will work for the people, as they will not be able to remain in power after their term with bad records—they will not be re-elected.
3. Democracy does not create a centralized power base for ruling over the people.
The United States uses a centralized form of governing, but there are equal powers distributed between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Voters have an opportunity to change their elected officials every 2-6 years as a way to control their destiny.
In a direct democracy, every decision would be placed to a vote for a supreme level of control. Either way, there is no centralized power that can dictate what people can or cannot do. Every branch of the government must agree on the process. Then each community can make decisions with their voting power to overturn unwanted rules and regulations to evolve life over time.
4. It makes for a responsible and stable administration.
When there are elected and fixed representatives, a more responsible government is formed. Thus, democracy can be efficient, firm and stable. Its administration is ruled and conducted with a sense of dedication, and people under this system discuss matters and problems thoroughly to come up with sensible decisions.
5. The structure of democracy works to reduce issues with exploitation.
All government formations are sensitive to exploitation because of the people who get elected into powerful positions. The contrast with democracy is that the authorities are distributed more equally within it. The ruling documents in this structure create checks and balances to assure that no single person receives supreme power over the legislative process.
Democracies prevent elected officials from ignoring the needs of the general population to help themselves. It challenges them to represent the needs of each community so that everyone receives an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams.
6. It imparts political education to the people.
One argument in favor of democracy is that it can serve as a training school for citizens—they are driven to take part in state affairs. During elections, political parties propose their programs and policies in support of their candidates through public meetings, demonstrations, television, radio, posters, and speeches by their leaders to win public favor. All of these can impart political consciousness among the people.
7. Democracies usually grow faster economically than other forms of government.
The freedom offered in the structures of democracy allows the general population to seek any result they want. Although legal barriers exist to prevent one person from hurting another, this governing structure grants the freedom to look for different employment opportunities, schools, or even places to live. The choice remains with your voice.
You get an opportunity to seek what you are enthusiastic about in this life. The structure of democracy makes it possible for everyone to stay fruitful with their work because they are always employing their strengths. That is why the gross domestic product of a country which features constitutional arrangements is typically larger.
8. It promotes equality.
Generally, democracy is based on the rule of equality, which means that all people are equal as far as the law is concerned. Every person has the right to experience and enjoy equal political, social and economic rights, and the state is not allowed to discriminate him on the standard of sex, class, religion, and property.
9. It promotes change.
This political system can promote changes in the government without having to resort to any form of violence. It tries to make citizens feel great and even provides them with a good sense of participation and involvement.
10. Democracies give people a chance to become personally involved with their government.
Because the government in a democracy is under the control of the people and their voice, then it is up to each individual to decide their fate. People can choose to vote in whatever way their morality dictates. Some even give voters the option to not vote if that is what they feel is the best way to express their opinion. Every ballot is an opportunity to express one’s personal opinion.
11. It brings a feeling of obligation towards the citizens.
The ruling authorities owe their success to elections by the citizens, so they would feel grateful to and socially responsible for them. This can serve as their motivating factor to work for the citizens, for they have the right of choosing their government.
12. It helps make good citizens.
Democracy aims to create an ideal environment that is conducive to personality improvement, character cultivation, and good habits. As per the experts, this political system seems to function as the first school for good citizenship, where individuals can learn about their rights and duties from birth to the time of death.
13.There is more consistency available in a democracy than other government structures.
There is more unity in the governing process with democracy because the general population holds the right to vote on resolutions. Each person gets the chance to express their view at their polling stations by casting a vote. That process allows each community to continue pursuing the specific results that they feel are helpful, or they can switch directions to try something new.
The structure of democracy makes it possible for everyone to come together in a way that forms society in ways that are helpful for virtually all people.
14. It allows a little chance of revolution.
Since this system is based upon the public will, there will be little to no chance of public revolt. Elected representatives conduct state affairs with public support, and if they do not work efficiently or do not meet the public’s expectations, they will probably not do well during the next elections. Democracy or other popular governments often function with consensus, thus the question of revolution would not arise.
15. People identify with their government to create a stronger level of patriotism.
The structures of democracy are unique because they allow everyone to fight for the things that they want in life. Each person can pursue their dreams, working to mold society in a vision that meets their expectations. Even when that idea runs counter to what the majority wants or falls outside of an expected window of morality, there is an ability to express those ideas assuming that others are not hurt by such an effort.
That is why there are more loyalty and patriotism present in democracy. Even when there is disagreement in the community, everyone still has the common ground of their nation to fall back upon when forming their identity. Everyone contributes in their own way, which this governing structure celebrates. Other governments can dictate those choices.
16. Countries that use democracy are less likely to enter into armed conflicts.
As democracy has come through Europe once again, the levels of warfare between the major nations on the continent have decreased significantly. There have been fewer conflicts in the past 50 years than at any other time in history. Although the United States is an exception to this advantage because of the country’s status on the global stage, most nations who focus on a democracy avoid battles instead of chasing after them.
That means there are fewer issues with violent rebellion within democratic societies as well. Decisions must route through various legislative bodies or the people, which reduces the pursuit of the war on a whim. There are fewer coup attempts within this governing structure as well.
17. Democracy transitions power smoothly while establishing legitimacy.
Democracy creates an appropriate structure of government for every person because voters select who will be in charge or how policies are made if a direct form of governing is in place. This process demands that each candidate for office declare before their voters the reasons why they are the best person to represent each community.
By winning an election, it becomes possible to establish legitimacy for political candidates or referendums that other forms of governing cannot provide. When leaders change in democracy, the checks and balances offered by this format make it possible to produce smooth transitions when power changes hands. There are fewer arguments about who becomes the replacement for any position. This outcome occurs because each job is either directed by the people or filled by someone who won an election.
18. It encourages centrism more than extremism.
Even in this current wave of populism that is happening around the world, the format of democracy encourages people to come to the center more often than it favors the extreme. There are times when a complete majority of a single party can win an election, but even then, there can be enough disagreement within the ranks that compromises must happen.
This process makes it possible for voters or their representatives to aggregate the different needs of each community toward a coherent policy that protects the needs of everyone. That ensures that the interests of each segment of society can receive the protection they need while providing a higher level of accountability for the governing actions which occur.
19. The quality of decision making is improved.
20. Equal and fair justice
In a democracy, no one is above the law, and everyone is equal before it. So equal justice is theoretically possible to all.
List of the Disadvantages of Democracy
1. It might allow misuse of public funds and time.
Democratic governments can lead to wasted time and resources, considering that it takes a huge amount of time on formulating laws and requires a lot of money to be spent during elections. It is also highly possible that the country will be ruled by incompetent and irresponsible leaders who will just spend public funds for their own tours and recreation.
2. It instigates corruption.
Those who are elected to power might resort to unethical means for personal interests and engage in corrupt practices. During their tenure in office, they might take advantage of authority for personal gains, putting the interests of the masses at the backseat.
3. It risks the wrong choice of public servants.
Truth be told, not all individuals under a democratic government are aware of the political and social circumstances in their country. In a voting system, the majority wins, and there is no distinction between the votes cast by the literate and the illiterate. People may favor a candidate based on other factors other than pure and required capability. Taking these things into consideration, the elected official may not always be the perfect person for the seat, leading to erroneous decisions.
4. It allows not exercising the right to vote.
Sadly, in some democratic countries, people fail to exercise their right to vote. Perhaps, they are reluctant to do it or are just less aware of the impact of their votes. Or, perhaps they do not see it as a privilege and take the process less seriously.
5. It may put more emphasis on quantity, rather than quality.
Another disadvantage of democracy is in terms of providing services—it tends to put more emphasis on quantity, rather than quality. Also, considering that the system might be governed by irresponsible and incompetent leaders, equality might be in question for only the rich and famous might be prioritized more than the poor.
6. It can take longer to make decisions.
Because it takes longer to make decisions, it will also take longer to implement them. Unlike in a monarchy where one person is making decisions that are implemented quickly, democracy requires majority voting in implementation, thus it is relatively less prompt in taking actions.
7. It may involve immoral practices during elections.
To lure the masses, election campaigns might involve immoral practices, where candidates would use muscle power to draw the majority of votes, even trying to tarnish their opponents’ reputation. Money and power may be abused to influence people to disregard opposing parties.
8. No protection for the common man
There is no protection for the common man as the leaders themselves try to misuse or misbehave in public. Even security personnel and police treat injustice differently. They favor those in power or wealth and neglect or even cause trouble to those who are sick or weak socially.
9. Divide and rule
The leaders try to play divide and rule games. They, divide the people based on religion, caste, languages, etc. and try to gain votes to get power though there are not worthy to rule the state or country.
10. Unfair businesses
They encourage unfair trade practices to get support for election campaigns. This we can see as most politicians support rich people in return for monetary benefits like party funds etc.
11. Addiction for power
The sole motto of the politicians is to get into power and cling to it. There are very few leaders who work for the benefit of the country. Democracy is meant to elect one who is eligible and has sufficient experience to rule and lead the nation forward. But parties compete for power without even having the right candidate for the post. So they use different means like money, protest, and strikes for publicity.
Also due to these politically provoked strikes and protests, the common man is at a loss. During attacks, the shops and markets remain closed. When these raids run for a week and even months, income sources suffer. But in spite of this, the parties aim at their publicity but not the plight of an ordinary man. And if someone questions this, they say it is freedom of speech and their right to protest as provided by democracy.
So in one way, too much freedom leads to conflicts instead of prosperity.
12. Dynastic politics
Ignorance of the masses is taken for a ride. Freedom means anyone can be elected by masses to rule. But we can see there are also dynastic rules. Grandparents and grandchildren of the same family are positioned for power. This can be viewed in a few countries. This is because they exploit the masses emotionally.
In the past during kings rule, the successors of the throne were rude to the people. They did not even know the lay problems of the common man. So they could not provide a peaceful rule. Democracy is a way to overcome this issue.
The intention in a democracy is that anyone elected by the common public should govern the nation. But the dynasty families make up a party, and all their party workers work for them. Thus the very basic idea of democracy is destroyed. Even people also vote for them as they are brain fed by media and party workers. Hence you will see selfish and less capable people taking power in their hands.
Even you can notice film actors getting into power with no much exposure. This is because people fail to foresee the consequences of such a rule. They vote just without any thought of the future. They do for their caste, or film heroes or media created gods.
13. Media misuse
In dictatorial and communal rules you can notice, journalists cry for their freedom and rights. But in democracy, media try to fool the people such that they can influence the voting behavior. In many countries, media channels work for some or another party. They even have no value for nation prospects. They even make news which can be problematic to the countries security. Their goal will be just to portray one leader as evil and others as the right to favor their choice of election results. This is possible because few political parties or leaders control the media.
14. Lack of justice
Democracy is one wherein there is a delay in prosecution. You can notice that in kings rule, the punishments are not only severe but very fast after the crime. But in democracy, the sentence can be declared after all those involved in the case become old or even die. So freedom can seem to be eviler.
15. Unfair participation
Not all people participate in voting. They do not utilize their right to vote due to lack of interest or laziness. Sometimes, they also do not vote if the candidate of interest is not available. In recent US elections, the black Americans did not vote as they did not have a candidate of interest. In the previous elections, they voted for Obama who was not white.
Politicians try to gain votes by emotional manipulation of people’s minds. This is quite common in the name of nationalism, secularism, claims to stop something, achieve long-standing demands, etc. This makes people get connected emotionally to that party or leader. Doing so, people vote them without thinking of other factors which can be misused.
17. Disturbance in public relations
Every person’s perception of a political party varies to a certain extent. This includes the members of a family. A husband would like to vote for one part while his wife for another party. Similarly, this happens between brothers, sisters, friends, etc. This variation in preferences could sometimes lead to heated debates and even discord in relationships.
Some people stay away from their homes during elections. The reason for that was to avoid mental stress during elections. They would return home once voting is over. Thus, the democratic form of political affiliation can lead to troubles in relationships.
18. The voice of the people technically ends with the election.
Once a representative is elected, the voice that people have in their government is technically over. People can still write their elected officials, make appointments to speak with them or confront them at town hall meetings, but they have no control over how the vote will actually be.
19. Elected leaders do not know the best interest of people leading to bad decisions.
20. The bad influence of political parties and lack of awareness may lead electorates to make the wrong choice.
It is important to take note that political systems have their own downsides, and people have different views about them. But by weighing their advantages and disadvantages, which in this case is a democracy, you can come up with a well-informed understanding if it is best for the people or not.
There is never a time that isn’t right to share the love. Do well to share these messages with friends and loved ones.