Democracy is best defined as the government of the people, by the people. The classical example of democracy is that of ancient Athens, where the whole populace would meet in the marketplace to vote on decisions. It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others have been tried. In my opinion, democracy is not a perfect system, but it is the best form of government when compared to others and is the most effective among all different types of government. In a democratic government, power is given to the people.
This allows the people to have a direct say in who governs them, via the votes cast by every adult member of the population. As such it ensures that a government is made up of those who are truly representative of the people, satisfying the population of electing a government that will think about them, care about them and provide for them. Furthermore, when power is given to the people, the people will be more careful when using their power as they will have to bear the consequences if the leader elected is corrupted or not a wise leader.
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By giving power to the people allows decisions to be made according to the will of the people and also prevents the abuse of power. Citizens are kept informed by the media and are thus fully capable of making an informed decision. Furthermore, the will of the people is far more representative of different groups in society than the condescending rule by elites, who have no understanding of different ways of life. Only the citizens of a country understand what kind of leader they truly needs and in a democratic country they will have the ability to vote for them.
Democracy empowers the people and allows them to participate in decision-making, which is why it is the best form of government. Besides power, democracy also allows the freedom of speech and that allows a nation to improve and progress. Democratic nations allow citizens to criticize leaders, their policies and laws. Being open to criticism allows leaders to listen to opinions of the citizens and understand what the citizens truly needs. This allows policies to be improved and the nation to progress better.
By silencing the people and censoring any constructive criticisms, citizens will gradually stop thinking critically and start to follow laws blindly. This will be detrimental to the innovation and creation of ideas in a nation. Allowing criticisms can ensure that citizens think critically of how policies and laws will affect them, constantly sharpening their thoughts. Having a population that thinks critically is vital to the progress of a nation, and a democratic government that allows the freedom of speech can allow the nation to improve and progress, thus being the best form of government.
As mentioned earlier, democracy is a not perfect form of government. Citizens of a country have never received any training and do not possess any skills needed to face and solve the problems that a state faces. Also, the masses are easily manipulated and tend to act according to their feelings. For example, after the 911 terror attacks in New York, many citizens of America pushed for the use of nuclear technology against Middle East. If America were a full democratic country, it would have already been engulfed into another nuclear war, and the consequences are heavy.
As such, expecting the people to elect the “best tools for the job” is unrealistic. Government from above can see, by virtue of its position and advantages, what is a better solution for problems. Therefore, democracy may not be as effective in certain situations as other forms of government. Furthermore, real, effective leadership must come from above and not from below. The government should give orders, make laws and not take orders from the people. Democracy functions on the unrealistic assumption that all citizens are as capable as the leaders and is able to make the best decision.
This is what makes democracy imperfect and ineffective. In conclusion, democracy is, to a large extent, the best form of government. The best form of government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves. However, if man were angels, no government would be necessary. Hence, a balance should be striked between governing the people and allowing them to make decisions themselves, and democracy is the only form of government where such a balance can be found.