Elements of Democracy with Definition
Known as the noblest idea of the government system, democracy, at least the idea of democracy, is established upon the interests of the mass people of a country. The primary motto of a democratic government is to ensure the best possible scenarios for all the people of the country.
From the state of nature to the development of civil society, humans have assumed the role of either the governing or the governed. When humans realized that there’s a need of government to maintain peace and ensure the security of their property, in return, they surrendered their liberties. This gave rise to tyrant rulers under the totalitarian system. Then when people took in that they should rise for their rights, they got human rights recognized and got their freedoms back which gradually gave birth to democracy.
What does democracy mean?
Democracy is the government of the people, by the people for the people. It is based on the principle that leaders are merely the representatives of people where the ultimate rule belongs to people. It’s the system of a free state in which people get the authority to elect their leaders. So, under democracy, the tables have turned and people are the rulers now.
Essential Elements of Democracy:
There are four essential elements which are present in a democratic form of government:
- Choice of people
It’s the political system which allows the people to choose the members of the government by means of elections. The election is a process by which the people who are on the electoral roll or those who are eligible to vote, participate in the balloting and cast a vote for their preferred person and eventually the person who gets the majority of the votes wins the battle. Democracy is the only form of government where people are given free choice in picking their leaders.
- Participation of people
In democracy, people are not treated as subjects of kings, rather they are meant to rule. The supreme preference is given to public welfare. Hence, they are invited to participate in politics and public jobs. The ordinary people from no royal background are designated on higher positions on the basis of merit.
- Fundamental Rights
The most important prerequisite of democracy is recognition of fundamental rights in the constitution of the state. Fundamental rights are the basic human rights that are incorporated in the supreme law of the state. They are inviolable and inseparable and cannot be suspended, which means that nobody can strip people of their basic rights whatsoever. Some of the rights and liberties which are guaranteed in a democratic system are as follows:
- Right to life
- Right to education
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of profession
- Freedom of religion
- Right to a fair trial
- Protection from unlawful detention or illegal detention
- Right to acquire property etc.
Read: What are the basic human rights?
- Rule of Law
Democracy doesn’t mean arbitrary rule of people. There are three organs of a democratic state: 1. Legislature 2. Executive 3. Judiciary
It is responsible to frame laws which require strict adherence.
The executive branch ensures the laws are followed for example police force is a part of the executive.
In case the laws are violated, judiciary comes into play. It involves the local courts, high courts and supreme courts which take the criminals to the task to deter crime. Another function of the judiciary is to interpret the laws that are framed by the legislature. Lastly, if the aforementioned fundamental rights are denied to the citizens by any public functionary, the aggrieved persons can come to the court to seek relief.
All three branches of government ensure the perpetuation of public welfare.
Read Also: Democracy vs Dictatorship
Facts about Democracy:
- The word "democracy" has derived from the Greek word "demos" that means "people."
- Athens, the capital of Greece, had the first democratic government in the history of the world.
- The top 25 of the richest countries have democratic (not perfect though) government.
- There are many forms of democracy prevalent in different countries. The democracy of each country is unique though the principles are identical.
- The United States is now known as the best practitioner and preacher of democracy.
- The direct voting system is the most popular and common choice for establishing the government in democratic countries.
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