Dictatorship: Under dictatorship, all the powers are vested in a single person or in a group of people.
Legitimate government: Legally chosen government is called a legitimate government.
Transparency: To examine the process of decision making in a democracy.
Accountable government: The government elected by the people and therefore responsible to them.
Responsive government: The government in which people have the right to know the process of decision-making.
Economic Development: It is the development of economic wealth of countries, regions or communities for the well-being of their inhabitants.
Dictatorship: A form of government in which one person or a small group possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations.
Economic Inequality: It is the difference found in various measures of the economic well-being among individuals in a group, among groups in a population, or among countries.
Social diversity: It is all of the ways that people within a single culture are set apart from each other. Elements of social diversity can include ethnicity, lifestyle, religion, language, tastes and preferences.
Social divisions: When social differences amongst different communities increase and one community is discriminated because of the differences, it becomes a social division. For example, the social difference between the upper castes and lower castes becomes a social division as the dalits are generally poor and face injustice and discrimination.
The most basic outcome of democracy is to provide political and social quality to the citizens. The democracy is expected to produce a government that works according to the needs and expectations of citizens.
- 1 Assessment of Outcomes of Democracy
- 2 Democracy is considered to be successful when
- 3 The expected Outcomes of Democracy :
- 4 Political Outcomes
- 5 Transparency and Decision-Making
- 6 Legitimate Government
- 7 Economic Outcomes
- 8 Reduction of Inequality and Poverty
- 9 Democracies are based on political equality :
- 10 Social Outcomes
- 11 Accommodation of Social Diversity
- 12 Democracy accommodates social diversities:
- 13 Dignity and Freedom of the Citizens
- 14 Dignity and Freedom of Women
- 15 Dignity and Freedom of Disadvantaged Groups
Assessment of Outcomes of Democracy
The Democratic Governments are better than other forms of Governments because
(i) Democratic governments have a formal Constitution, while it is not the case in other forms of governments.
(ii) They hold regular elections, while it is not the case in other forms of governments.
(iii) They have political parties, whereas there is no such thing in other forms of governments.
(iv) They guarantee rights to citizens, while it is not the case in the other forms of governments.
(v) Such governments allow room to correct mistakes, while it is not there in the other forms of governments.
(vi) Such government accommodates social diversities, while no such thing in other forms of governments.
Democracy is considered to be successful when
(i) The rulers elected by the people take all major decisions and not the rich and powerful.
(ii) The elections offer a free choice and opportunity to the people.
(iii) The choice available to all the people is based on political equality.
Merits of Democracy :
(i) Democracy assures equality in every sphere of life like political, social and economic.
(ii) It upholds basic individual liberties like freedom of speech, etc.
(iii) Due obedience to laws.
The factors which are responsible for the successful working of democracy in India :
(i) In India, there is an autonomous Election Commission. Free and fair elections are held periodically. The people elect their representatives through the election procedure.
(ii) The local governments take care of the issues pertaining to their regions. The Panchayati Raj system enables people to participate in governance.
(iii) Freedom of press and media enables the people to be well informed about the governmental activities.
(iv) In India, there are a large number of political parties with different bases. They compete with each other to get public support. They participate in the democratic process.
(v) In India, an independent judiciary is very important for the success of democracy.
The expected Outcomes of Democracy :
(i) A government that is chosen and accountable to the people is called democratic government.
(ii) A government that is responsive to the needs of the people.
(iii) Economic growth and development reducing all forms of inequality and end of poverty.
(iv) Accommodating all social diversities.
(v) Ensuring the dignity and freedom of the individuals.
Transparency is the most Important Feature of Democracy :
(i) Democracy ensures that decision-making will be based on certain norms and procedures.
(ii) So, a citizen who wants to know if a decision was taken through correct procedures can find this out.
(iii) The citizen has the right and the means to examine the process of decision-making. This is known as transparency.
It is true some people think that democracy produces a less effective government because :
(i) Non-democratic rulers do not have to bother about deliberation in assemblies or worry about majorities and public opinion.
(ii) They can be very quick and efficient in decision-making and implementation.
(iii) But democracy is based on the idea of deliberation and negotiation. So, some delay is bound to take place.
(iv) Most democracies fall short of elections that provide a fair chance to everyone.
(v) Democratic governments do not have a very good record when it comes to sharing information with citizens.
(vi) Democracies often frustrate the needs of the people and often ignore the demands of a majority of their population
Political Outcomes of Democracy :
(i) Right to the citizens to choose their leaders and keep a check on them.
(ii) If required people can participate in decision- making either directly or through indirectly or through representatives.
(iii) It produces an accountable, responsive and legitimate government.
Accountable, Responsive and Legitimate Government
Democratic Governments in practice are accountable because : (i) It is right to expect democracy to form a government that follows procedures and is accountable to the people.
(ii) It is also expected that the democratic government develops mechanisms for citizens to take part in decision making whenever they think it as fit.
(iii) The democratic government is accountable to the people. If it ignores the will of the people, they will not elect their ruler in the next general election.
(iv) The procedures and decision-making process should be transparent for democratic government to be accountable to the people.
A democratic government can be made accountable by :
(i) Conducting discussions and negotiations.
(ii) Ensuring transparency.
(iii) Holding regular, free and fair elections.
(iv) Having open public debates.
A democracy produces an accountable, responsive and legitimate government as
(i) People have the right to choose their rulers and have control over the rulers.
(ii) Whenever possible and necessary, they should participate in decision-making on issues that affect them all.
(iii) Democracy produces a government, which is accountable to the citizens.
(iv) Democracy is based on the idea of liberation and negotiation.
(v) Decision-making is based on norms and procedures and its transparency.
Transparency and Decision-Making
(i) A democratic government is called a legitimate government because it is people’s own government.
(ii) It may be slow, less efficient and not very responsive and clean, but it is people’s government.
(iii) There is overwhelming support for the idea of democracy all over the world. People of South Asia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Nepal have no doubt about the suitability of democracy for their own country.
(iv) People wish to be ruled by representatives elected by them. Democracy’s ability to generate its own support makes it more legitimate.
Reduction of Inequality and Poverty
Democracies are based on political equality :
Democracy and the Economic Outcomes :
(i) Slow economic development and economic growth due to population.
(ii) Basic needs of life, such as food, clothing, shelter are difficult to achieve.
(iii) Prevalence of economic inequalities.
(iv) Poverty is still a big issue.
(v) Allocation of resources in few hands.
(vi) Unjust distribution of goods and opportunities.
Accommodation of Social Diversity
(i) Democracies develop a procedure to conduct their competition. This reduces the possibility of social tensions becoming explosive or violent.
(ii) No society can fully and permanently resolve conflicts among different groups. But we can certainly learn to respect these differences and can evolve a mechanism to negotiate these differences.
(iii) Ability to handle social differences, divisions and conflicts is thus a definite plus point of democratic regimes.
(iv) Example: Belgium has successfully negotiated differences among its ethnic population. This reduces the possibility of tensions.
The roles of citizens in a democracy are as follows :
(i) Citizens exercise their rights and freedoms and get benefited from the democratic setup.
(ii) They must be aware of their rights and duties.
(iii) They should be aware of the issues and problems the country is facing.
(iv) They must cooperate in maintaining law and order.
(v) People must consider other‘s needs and interests also.
Dignity and Freedom of the Citizens
(i) To promote the dignity and freedom of the citizens, all individuals should be treated as equal. Once this principle is recognised, it becomes easier for individuals to wage a struggle against what is not acceptable legally and morally.
(ii) Claims of the disadvantaged and discriminated for equal status and equal opportunity should be strengthened. Inequalities and atrocities lack moral and legal foundations.1
Dignity and Freedom of Women
Dignity and Freedom of Disadvantaged Groups
Democracy stands much superior to any other form of government in promoting dignity and freedom of the individual –
(1) Every individual wants to receive respect from fellow beings.
(2) The passion for respect and freedom are the basis of democracy.
(3) Democracy in India has strengthened the claims of the disadvantaged and discriminated groups for equal status and equal opportunities.
(4) It provides methods to resolve conflicts.
Democracy leads to peaceful and harmonious life among citizens
(i) Democracy accommodates various social divisions.
(ii) Democracy reduces the possibility of tensions becoming explosive and violent.
(iii) Ability to handle social differences and conflicts among different groups is a plus point of democracy.
(iv) Democracy develops procedure to conduct healthy competitions among different groups in a society.
(v) Democracy respects differences and provides mechanism to resolve them.
(vi) Democracy always accommodates minority view.
Democracy is seen to be good in principles but not in practice because of the following reasons:
The decision-making process in a democracy is time-taking, whereby justice delayed is justice denied.
The tyranny of the majority overrides the will of the minority.
Corruption and red-tapism dominate the functioning of democracies.
An illiterate and uninformed electorate fails to give itself a legitimate and accountable government.
The role of charismatic leaders and dynasties politics dominates political cultures.