Democracy & America

In the world today and in America, democracy is the most valued and the vaguest political terms in the current political times and campaigns. The term democracy by definition is a governmental system in which the citizens retain and exercise the political sovereignty. This means that the citizens of a country have a direct say and would contribute in the administration of the country through one of their elected representative.
The democracy in America is controlled by two major principles that has to be observed, these are; citizens have equal access to power and are guarded the same while the second one is that, the same power guards all members to enjoy the societal freedoms and liberties. Another very clear definition of democracy is that, it is a form of government which is constituted by the people of a country and in which the supreme power of that government is vested on the same people who constitute it.
3 This government by the people lack any form of hereditary or class distinction differentiation on class basis or privileges. True democracy is voted for by the majority and one that serves and works for the interest of the people, although in any country true democracy is not being experienced by the citizens, they have a voice during elections. This allows the citizens to elect whoever will represent their particular interest and standards. 4
In the world there are three major types of democracy that are well known, namely direct democracy, representative democracy and liberal democracy; Direct democracy is a form of democracy in which the citizens have the right and the responsibility to attend meetings the national assembly and participate in the making of policies. In this case all the directly contribute and affect the decision making process. This system has representatives who drew the agendas for such assembly meetings.
In this kind of democracy all the citizens have the right to vote and hold offices and it is the duty of all the citizens in a country to actively participate in the decision making process which is determined by the majority. 5 Representative democracy is the kind of democracy that is used in the American Democracy. This form of democracy is characterized by the fact that the citizens elect their representatives who make the decisions on their behalf. Representative democracy is practiced both at the state level, local levels and eve n at the institutions levels. 6
The third form of democracy is liberal democracy which is a form of representative democracy in which the elected representatives that hold offices and have the power of decision making on behalf of the public are moderated by the rule of law (constitution). The rule of law in all circumstances emphasizes the protection of the individual rights and the rights of the minority groups in the society. The most basic rights to be protected by the rule of law are like the rights of assembly and speech, the rights to owe and use private property, the rights and freedom to religion and the right to be equal before the rule of law.
This democracy is as well characterized by elections; it is also characterized multi party systems and also an independent judiciary. These forms of democracy are being practiced in different countries and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. 7 A society that experiences any kind of democracy among the ones discussed above must meet some of the minimum characteristics. Those characteristics have to be met for a society to be referred to as democratic.
The main characteristic of a democratic society is to educate the whole society to understand what democracy is and to know their obligations, contributions and requirements as citizens in a democratic society. 8 After the education of the public about their democracy they should also experience that they have the power to choose and replace the government through free and fair elections, the citizens should be actively be involved in the politics and the civil life, the democratic government should have the ability to protect the human rights and in that society the rule of law (i.
e. the laws and the procedures) to apply equally to al citizens. All these are the minimum qualifications for a democratic society. 9 A democratic society first is characterized by a political System by which there is competition for power. Democratic societies have the mandate of to choose their leaders and to ensure that they are held accountable for their policies and conduct in office. In this due process of election the people decide who will represent them in parliament and who will head the government at the national and local levels.
This is done in a fee and fair elections. In this society the government is based on the decision of the citizens because they are sovereign. In this society the elected representatives at the national and the local levels are always consulting their electorate and work according to their needs and representatives. The principle of the public suggestion has to be observed since the public have the right and obligation to monitor their representatives business in the government and are free to criticize them.
10 This requirement for a democratic society demands that free and fair elections be held after a regular interval as prescribed by law, this elections are not to be influenced by the people in power who do not have any right to extend their time in office without asking the consent of the people. In all democratic elections al the candidates also have the right to campaign freely and to present their ideologies to the voters.
The whole process must be monitored by independent electoral observers and a committee that is to resolve any electoral disputes. 11 The second requirement to be met by a democratic society is that the citizens have a bigger responsibility to participate in public life. The society have the mandate and the obligations to be informed about public issues, they have the obligation to watch carefully how their political representatives use the powers vested on them and to give their opinions and criticism on the same.
This can only be achieved if the civil societies who represent a variety of interest and beliefs educate the public and especially women their democratic rights and responsibilities, improve their political skills, represent their common interests, and involve them in political life. In this system there is no one that should be forced to support any political party and the citizens should always be free to support any political party. 12
The third requirement for a democratic society is that every citizen in the society has some basic right that is guaranteed under the international law and the state cannot take away from them. The citizens have the rights to have their own beliefs and to communicate freely. They too have the freedom of religion; this states that everyone is free to chose their own religion and to practice their religious norms as they deem fit for them. The citizens in such societies have the right to associate with other people and to be incorporate and to be incorporated in the organizations of their own choice.
With all these freedoms and others, the state puts it upon the citizens to exercise these rights peacefully, with respect for the law and for the rights of others. 13 The fourth and last basic requirement for democracy in a society is that it be recognized as the rule of law. This rule of law protects the rights citizens, help in the maintenance of orders and helps to limit the power of government. In such a society all the citizens are treated equally under the rule of law and are not being discriminated based on their gender, race, religion or even the ethnic group.
In this society the citizens are being protected by law and should never be arrested arbitrarily, they have the right to know their charges and anybody charged with a crime has the right to a fair, open and speedy public trial by an impartial public court. 14 In a democratic society no one is above the law and the law treats people equally. Although these are the requirements of any democratic society, all the societies in the world do not prove to obey them and to defend them. Therefore democracy is only a political term which is not put into practice.
Work cited http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-a-liberal-democracy. htm Retrieved on 19th July 2008 Janda Kenneth and Et al (2004) The Challenge of Democracy: Government in America Houghton Mifflin Blaich Theodore Paul and Baumgartner Joseph Cornelius (1953) the Challenge of Democracy. Published by McGraw-Hill http://www. hewett. norfolk. sch. uk/CURRIC/POLIT/DEMOC. htm Retrieved on The 19th JULY 2008 http://college. hmco. com/polisci/janda/chall_dem/9e/student_home. html Retrieved on The July 19, 2008

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