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Pros and Cons of Democracy

Democracy has always been viewed as the most ideal system of government; in fact, it is widely held as the most popular form of governance as it opposes the archetypal tyrannical and dictatorial rule. It is the type of government in which, while the minority always have their say, it is fundamentally the majority who generally have the last say provided there is a rule of law. The minority may, for instance, pick a leader to rule, but it is often the majority who decide whether they will be ruled by that leader or not. This form of governance is typically influenced by the people’s liberty to institute the said democracy. Historically, it has always been the most efficacious form of governance given that it always confers rule and authority to make a choice, into the hands of the majority.

Much can be said about the myriad of positives that democracy portends. It, for instance, ensures equal and impartial justice for everyone. In a dictatorship regime, inequality is often rampant as it is the dictator imposed by a few, who chooses the people he/she would give preference to. A democratic regime on the other hand gives the people the opportunity to, through a transparent vote and driven by their personal obligation, choose their leaders. It also gives people different freedoms and rights such as that of religion, equal opportunities, and cultural appropriations, among others, in turn stimulating a feeling of participation. With democracy, there is room for the implementation of reasonable policies as it is the citizens who play a key role in formulating and articulating these policies. Democracy further distributes power by decentralizing it so that key decisions are made by the majority rather than by a few who could plunge the government into chaos in an effort to placate their desires. In one of his commentaries, former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Andrew Napolitano, who is now the senior legal analyst at Fox News Channel argues that individual rights (enabled by democracy) are the reason for the United States’ fear of success in the Western world. These rights, he points out, are never discretionary.

Despite these ideals, democracy has its downsides. It presents difficulties in decision-making because it involves many individuals with divergent opinions who come up with one decision. This comes with costs and delays in implementing important resolutions. In turn, it minimizes public participation in making the decisions, resulting in skewing of intended outcomes in favor of those perceived to rank highly in the society. Some decisions in this form of the regime also tend to be made based on emotions rather than reason especially in a situation where the majority is in favor of a decision that will negatively impact the minority. Then there is the predisposition to venality in governance due to the impression that those elected to power have a feeling that they may not make it to that powerful position again.

Making reference to 18th-century American cleric Reverend Mather Byles, who warned of dangers that may come with too much democracy, the Princeton University and the Notre Dame Law School educated Andrew Napolitano seemingly holds that while democracy is right it should, to an extent, be moderated or it could be soiled and used unsuitably; views that he also holds in his books.

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