Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Democracy in the 21st Century - Debate


Somebody said: "Democracy is the rule of the majority, by and for the majority....but who wants to be ruled by the majority?"

What happens if you are one of the minority.....as an individual or as a nation? Various forms of government have been tried throughout history.....theocracy,oligarchy, dictatorship,democracy and in all cases the people's democratic voice has been drowned out or stifled.

So is much-vaunted democracy the perfect answer to equitable, just and ethical government?
Certain western nations would like to impose their democratic system of government on every other nation in the world as a cure for the world's political ills. Under former President Suharto Indonesia claimed to be a democratic country, and the governing party chose and approved the opposition candidates. The Philippines, ruled by an elitist oligarchy, a political dynasty intent on staying in power come what may, is vaunted as a democratic country. Democracy comes in a number of guises.

It took 400 years for democracy to evolve in the United Kingdom but even so the system has its faults. One political party gains the majority of votes yet all the people are not represented. In the coming general election the Conservatives are predicted to win power and form the government of Great Britain, yet the majority of the people of Wales will not have voted for them and neither will the great majority of the people of Scotland (see this). The majority of people in these nations will vote for opposition parties, namely Labour, Plaid Cymru, SNP, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. Three candidates stand for a constituency, for example. One wins, and the remaining votes are discounted.

Another point is that democracy is claimed to be the best form of government, but is it suited to every nation and every circumstance? Can it work well in a country that has no tradition of democracy? In many instances the process of democracy is bedeviled by endemic corruption. A country benefits from the quality of its leadership, not necessarily from its form of government. An example may be the government of Singapore under Lee Kwan Yew, or Malaysia under Dr Mahathir Mohamad. One solution might be a gerontocracy - a Council of Elders, perhaps, where the nation is guided by a group of wise, experienced men and women who are chosen, not by party affiliations, but for their devoted and altruistic service to the country, as well as for their undoubted integrity, and approved by a consensus of the people whom they truly represent.

Comments welcome...

Related Topic: Programme for Scottish Independence

FURTHER READING:                   http://www.idea.int/news/editorial_june08.cfm



Anonymous said...

Ideal government was one for the people by the people with all the people, but it will never happen because some of those people will have the power, power rules always has been.

I went to a meeting in labour down i go to the meeting, three steps, my wheelchair does not like steps, so i say how do I get it, and somebody said well learn to walk.

I went to a plaid meeting and guess what they used the same dam rooms, so i said how do i get in, and the answer was well we do not get many people in wheelchairs. I went to a Tory meeting and i was told that you should have phoned up and told us you were coming.

I'm now not a member of any party first time in 43 years, who will i vote for at the next election nobody.

The minority which I'm part of seem to be the ones people talk about a lot but fact is nobody gives a shit unless of course i was rich.

The majority of this country does not vote and you have to ask why, answer they could not care a dam, bit like me at the moment

debatepopular said...

Very good ejemplos.Yo your concepts and I think democracy should be additions to the guarantee. A sort of council of democracy to secure them in all aspects. Like a slap on the wrist for those who govern in the event that their decisions affect democracy.