Democracy produces an accountable, responsive and legitimate government:
A democracy is concerned with ensuring that people have the right to choose their rulers and have control over the rulers.
When possible and necessary, citizens should be able to participate in decision-making in a democracy. Democracy ensures that decision-making is based on norms and procedures. A citizen has the right and the means to examine the process of decision-making. Thus democracy entails transparency.
For a democracy to produce an accountable, responsive and legitimate government, it must ensure the following—
Regular, free and fair elections; Open public debate on major policies and legislation’s; Citizens’ right to be informed about government policies; A government free from corruption.
Two conditions necessary for a democracy to achieve harmonious society:
Democracy must fulfill the following two conditions in order to achieve a harmonious social life:
- Majority and minority opinions are not permanent. Democracy is not simply rule by majority opinion. The majority needs to work with the minority so that government may function to represent the general view.
- Rule by majority does not become rule by majority community in terms of religion or race or linguistic groups, etc. Democracy remains democracy so long as every citizen has a chance of being in majority at some point of time. No individual should be debarred from participating in a democracy on the basis of religion, caste, community, creed and other such factors..
Outcomes of democracy:
There are certain things that democracy must provide.
- In a democracy people have the right to choose their rulers and people will have control over them. Whenever possible and necessary, citizens should be able to participate in decision¬making, that affects them all.
- It is right to expect democracy to produce a government that follows procedures and is accountable to people. Democratic government develops mechanisms for citizens—regular, free and fair elections, open public debate on major policies and legislation’s, and citizens’ right to information about the government and its functioning.
Democracy is a better form of government than others:
- Based on the idea of deliberation and negotiation. Thus the necessary delay in implementation.
- Decisions are acceptable to people and are more effective.
- A citizen has the right and the means to examine the process of- decision-making. There is transparency.
- Democratic government is legitimate government, people’s own government.
- There is inability of democracy to achieve higher economic growth which is a cause of worry.
- Ability to handle differences, decisions and conflicts is a positive point of democratic regimes.
- Democracy has strengthened the claims of the disadvantaged and discriminated castes for equal status and equal opportunity.
Dignity and freedom of citizens are best guaranteed in a democracy:
- Dignity of women. The one way to ensure that women related problems get adequate attention is to have more women as elected representatives. To achieve this, it is legally binding to have a fair proportion of women in the elected bodies. Panchayati Raj in India has reserved one-third seats in local government bodies for women. In March 2010, the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha ensuring 33% reservation for women in Parliament and State legislative bodies.
- Democracy has strengthened the claims of disadvantaged and discriminated castes. When governments are formed, political parties usually take care that representatives of different castes and tribes find a place in it. Some political parties are known to favour some castes. Democracy provides for equal status and opportunities for all castes.
- Democracy transforms people from the status of a subject into that of a citizen. A democracy ensures that people will have the right to choose their rulers and people will have control over the rulers.
- A citizen has the right and the means to examine the process of decision-making. There is transparency in a democracy like India. In October 2005, the Right to Information (RTI) law was passed which ensures all its citizens the right to get all the information about the functions of the government departments.