With the help of definition, characteristics and types explain the idea of democracy.
Definition of Democracy
The term ‘Democracy is derived from the Greek word as ‘demo’ means people and ‘cracy’ is referred as rule. The concept of democracy in its Greek term comes from “demos and “kratos” meaning “people” and “rule. Thus the term democracy is Rule by People.
Democracy is one of the most important and well debated topics in the world since the beginning of the Twentieth Century and it has creased. importance in the Twenty-first century. The concept and practice of Democracy in the Modern period evolved in Britain, although it’s ancient concept and practice was in Ancient Greece. The spread of Democracy in began in the world in different countries from the beginning of the Twentieth-century.
Characteristics of Democracy
a) Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule, along with individual and minority rights.
b) The right of the people to demand the Government they elected and the duty of the Government to be accessible and responsive to their needs and demands is the main function.
c) One of the primary functions of Democracies is to protect such basic Human Rights
i) Equality before law
ii) Equal protection before law
iii) Freedom of Speech
iv) Freedom of Religion
v) Right to organize and participate fully in the political, economic and cultural life.
d) Democracies conduct regular free and fair elections open to all citizens.
e) Democracy ensures that all citizens receive equal protection under the law and that their rights are protected by the Legal-constitutional system.
f) Democracies are diverse political systems, reflecting each nation’s unique political, social, and cultural life.
g) Democracy ensures the citizens to participate in the political system.
h) Democracy is a system of government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all citizens, directly or through their freely elected representatives.
Types of Democracy
Democracy by its function has different scope and importance.
i) Political Democracy
Political democracy feature’s the popular participation of citizens in government by which citizens elect their representatives to the Legislature of the state. The elected representatives are accountable to the citizens who elected them. As a political system of government, Democracy works either as a function by the direct involvement of the citizens in making laws and the elected legislators would introduce it in the Legislature. This is known as the process of Popular Initiative. Similarly, when the legislators elected by the people frame legislation, it is approved by a popular vote that is based on popular acceptance of the laws. This is known as Popular Referendum.
The second type of Democracy is the Representative system of Democracy in which the elected representatives of the people (representative democracy)are elected for a term of office who determine public policy on behalf of the people. Political Democracy by Representative system of democracy is the dominant form of Democracy all over the world, whereas the Direct Democracy is practiced in the Federal Republic of Switzerland.
ii) Social Democracy
Social Democracy is a combination of social, economic and political ideas that supports economic and social policies. It promotes social equality and social justice giving strength to economy and representative and participatory democracy. Social Democracy is based on the principle of Social equality in all aspects of gender, status, beliefs, values and customs. Social Democracy believes strongly in Equality of opportunity and equality in freedom as the basis of human rights and life in a Democracy.
iii) Industrial Democracy
Industrial democracy is defined. as the means to promote democratic principles in industry and labour by the provision and protection of Labour Rights and Responsibilities in the workplace.
Industrial democracy encourages the participation of labour in decision making along with the management. Industrial democracy enables the workers participate actively in the process of building both community and individual interests for the collective good of the society and state. Industrial democracy empowers workers as partners in the industry calling for their joint efforts to build community interests and welfare.
vi) Economic Democracy
Economic democracy is defined as the process of creating democratic conditions of economic productivity. minimising the rich-poor gap and socio-economic differences, promoting affordable economic development and the ideal of creating greater equality among various classes.
v) Totalitarian Democracy
Totalitarian Democracy is known as populist democracy or mass democracy in which Citizens after electing the representatives have no voice in decision making, but the elected representatives decide for the entire country. Totalitarian Democracy elevates the ruler, party and the elected legislators over the voting citizens and captures power through democratic means but runs as dictatorship. The political ideology of the ruler, party and the legislators becomes dominant over people interests. Totalitarian democracy in the name of people’s rights would use internal terror against certain sections of people and also speech restrictions to keep the population under its complete control.
Totalitarian democracy would have complete control of the economy of the state and would use it to control the population.
vi) Radical Democracy:
Radical Democracy was proposed by M.N.Roy a leading Indian political thinker who believed in “real rule” of the people for the term of office to which the legislators are elected. Radical democracy supports the idea of direct accountability of the legislators and executive to the people during the term of office. Radical Democracy believed in the humanism. of the people who are the real masters of political authority and power and not. the elected legislators. Radical democracy brings into Democracy the real sense of people’s participation, accountability of the elected and the power of the people to change the government.
vii) Plebiscitary Democracy:
Plebiscitary Democracy is defined as the process of a direct voting by the people of a candidate, or party or a public issue or the adoption of a new constitution of a state or to determine the association of the province with the state known as national self-determination. The voters have the choice to accept or reject the choice.
Plebiscitary democracy gives the citizens the right and power to collect a sizeable number of signatures on a petition to draft a law or a public policy programme and put the proposal or draft law to vote by the citizen population
Plebiscitary democracy can by a collection of signatures could result in the recall of the elected representative because of failure to represent the real interests of the people.