International Relations: Why Some Countries Are Democratic and Others Are Not
Equality of rights and privileges has been the quest of many countries since time immemorial. Countries have been changing structures of government to have their citizens exercise their basic rights. Democratic spirit emphasizes on equality and justice among all people. In a democratic country the supreme power should be vested in the people and ought to be exercised by the same people or the freely voted agents. Sir Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried”. The same people have the rights to choose their representative through a free electoral system. There are various form of governments; monarchy, dictatorship, federal, communism and democracy. Democracy has been the dominant ideology since the catastrophic Cold War. The world governments have craved for democracy. People need freedom. As a result, many countries have succeeded adopting the mode of governance-they are democratic. However, others have not yet achieved the mileage. The democratic government is the most preferred by people since rights are fully exercised. The paper will explain the reasons why some countries are democratic while others are not.
Democracy is not easy. Many people will agree to the slogan. Some democratic countries like Egypt are still struggling to instill democracy. The already democratic countries have indicated that democracy requires time. The non-democratic countries may thereof criticize the form of government. It ought to be clear that democracy is easy and takes time. The successful countries have elaborated the need of polishing every sector of government to effective their plans. The people who vest the power also need to be well informed. Social equality is essential for democracy to prevail. In the western world, democracy is the most preferred form of government. People choose the form of government they want. Freedom of choosing leaders and passing rules strengthens democracy. Some countries are said to be democratic yet such rights are not enjoyed by the citizen. Such reason disqualifies a country of being a democratic country. Various electoral challenges have been experienced in various countries like Pakistan that has led many to question whether the country is democratic as claimed. It is hence important to understand the common features of a democratic country in order to differentiate it from no-democratic country.
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A democratic country is a country of freedom, total exercises of freedom by its people. In such countries power is derived from citizens. Leaders elected in such form of governments are the choice of people. The elections of such leaders must be competitive yet very fair. A country is fully democratic is it fulfills the willing of its people. The law should be supreme and binding to any individual in that particular country. The government itself should respect and uphold the law. This is what lacks in many countries. In democratic countries the leaders will never consider themselves to be above the law. Any crime committed by the leaders should be subjected to equal penalties like common citizens. Since many people, especially leaders feel to be more superior to normal citizens, democracy has been compromised.
Openness and access of information also characterizes a democratic country. The media has been the source of information to many citizens. In democratic countries media ought not to be controlled by the government. There should be no restriction of information to public. It will help the people understand the normal working of the government. The media plays a role of watchdog to the people in democratic countries. Division of power may be adopted where necessary in a democratic country. Democratic government should act independently without coercion. The economic freedom among other criteria portrays a good democratic country. These are few features that have not been fulfilled by non-democratic countries.
In many countries democracy is not the form of government. The behavior of the government or the ruling party demonstrates its failure to adhere to democracy. In non democratic countries there is less commitment to democracy and democratic processes. In such countries elections are not democratic and leaders are not the best choice of people. The political rights of people are not protected or respected. In non democratic country women and the interest of the society are not respected. People are denied their rights. War is started and the government may be reckless to fight the terrorism. Corruption has been a disgrace to most non democratic countries.
A democracy has its own challenges. As mentioned earlier in democratic government people are given chances to vote for their leaders. In some cases the people will not participate in the elections. As a result, people will great financial power may use their financial muscle to get the public position. It is very essential for citizens to participate in voting process for the right representatives who will instill democracy. In such countries where there is less public contribution in matters of country’s interest democracy is highly compromised. Democracy should recognize the three arms of government (executive, legislature and judiciary). The three arms of government should not be contravened. In some countries like United Kingdom the executive and the legislature are merged, this inhibits better performance of the great pillars of democracy. The historical context is very influential on effectiveness of democracy. Most of the present democratic countries are those countries that had invested a lot of time to form a national identity. Many countries in Europe and North America are good examples of countries that took time to reshape their identity. Democracy requires enough time for its formulation.
Diversity existing in various nations affects the effectiveness of democracies. Most African countries with large number of ethnic groups find it difficult to implement democratic rulings. Such nations are in dilemma. Moreover, such countries have a history of colonialism which probably was followed by dictatorship. Countries arising from dictatorship have not spent substantial time to evaluate the implement the democracy. The ethnic tensions in such countries also contribute to restraints of the authoritarian rule. Corruption and other unjust favoritism emerges which hinders the democracy. Corruption has been the major reason why some countries are not able to adopt democracy. The ruling ethnic group may not treat the latter in fairness.
Many poor countries are unable to implement effective democracy. Democracy requires enough government resources for its sustenance. Manpower is also very essential for this form of government. Democracy requires proper analysis of the system of government. The integration of power involved requires that the leaders understand how the democracy is exercised. In countries where democracy is effective, democracy is taught in schools. It helps create awareness of the rights of citizen as young as school kids. Some countries may not be democratic since majority of the people are not aware of their rights. Democracy is not emphasized in such countries through education. Democracy ought to be understood by every citizen. Nevertheless, democracy is government for the people. The leaders with traditional ways of governance are not flexible enough to deploy new forms of governance. The rigidity of leaders and sticking to traditional kind of governance may inhibit the realization of democracy to some countries.
Lack of transparency and openness has been a predicament of democracy. For an effective democratic government system, leaders’ must have faith in the systems and act honestly in discharging their duties. Many countries do not encourage the contribution of the public about matters of the nation in public debate. As a result, the democracy is not maintained. Public should be allowed to give opinions, compliments are challenge the ruling of the government. In successful democratic nations the general public is involved to participate by giving their opinions to the government for its improvement. Dictatorship must be discouraged. Coups and militia has been deteriorating democracy in many countries. Civilian control has not been effective in some countries that had made them non-democratic.
The past occurrences of wars and political instabilities have resulted to mistrust of effectiveness of the democracy. In such countries democracy may not be effective. Some countries may never be democratic since the media is not allowed to communicate the operations of the government. Democratic countries usually provide the public with the necessary information about the proceedings and resource usages by the government. Decisions made by the government should be transparent to the public. This requirement for a democratic country requires a long procedure which is not achievable easily. As a result of such technicalities some countries are not yet democratic.
Terror and war scares people. It causes less participation of people in national activity like voting. It undermines democracy. As a result of terror attacks the government is forced to come up with strict rules which are harsh to the citizens. The tactic may be helpful to the nation but undermines the democracy.
Democracy may not be effective in countries having difficulties in inclusiveness. In various countries media has failed to inform the truth to the citizens. Important issues are not disclosed to the general public. Media plays a great role of communicating the processes of the government. It inhibits misuse of power by elected representative. Media may however be corrupted and gagged from telling the truth. Where these cases occur, the leaders may misuse power since they are aware that no one is watching them. Media manipulation and misuse remain to be an issue to democracy. In many countries moguls uses media to have their agendas disseminated to the majority group. Countries where media have been owned by certain politicians may never achieve democracy.
Competitive fundamentalism is an enemy to democracy. Cases of human rights violations are common in some democratic countries. As a result, the democracy in such nations is questionable. The conflict that exists within the society can never allow democracy to prevail. Trust has faded in most societies since the level of enmity between the individuals and the government has been castigated by personal gain. The rich has tried to win elections through rigging. The manipulation of people through corruption has tarnished democracy. In these present times, representatives believe in money power to have them heard. The democracy has given people the right to vies for any governmental seats, the freedom has been misused by people their self gain.
The role of money and campaigning has compromised many countries governmental systems. People have been “selling” their freedom cheaply. The influence of money has led many countries be governed by unperformed leaders. Actually, many people who have enough money can push their own agendas to media. The financial difference in various countries has denied democracy in various countries. The class of the wealthy people has engulfed the leadership seats out of their power of money. Democracy requires equality; here equality is breached. The aspirants with enough money to convince the public for votes will win the elections. Political influence has deemed the political organization as unfit for democracy. Many countries are governed by leaders who were elected out of their vehement campaign or influence of money. In such countries democracy may not prevail.
In democratic countries, democracy is controlled by people and not the political organizations. Judgments and public treatment is hence done on basis of money. Political strength may negatively influence the governance since various political parties’ fights for their interest. In non-democratic countries the political organizations makes the whole agendas. Some countries have not implemented forums for citizens’ contribution towards law making. Debates are very helpful in maintaining democracy as people gives views on the performances of the government. The richest people have been blamed to have hijacked the democracy. Moreover, the group is composed very few people, probably one percent, who control the political organizations. Such interferences cause the infringement of laws. The laws made are biased and aims to protect only a certain group of people.
Economic status also plays a great role in cementing democracy. Some countries have less economic freedom. There is unequal distribution of resources. As a result, some regions feel unsecure and may be resentful to agree to terms of democracy. The past governments may have not distributed the resources equally. The history may be very irritating to some group of people and that may inhibit the democracy. People from different ethnic groups may opt to choose leaders who they believe that they will consider their interest. The divide to rule strategy has been most common in developing countries and hence democracy has not prevailed. Diversity may hinder democracy. Countries with religions differences find it hard to involve and convince the both parties of the importance of togetherness. In such countries disputes will always arise which result to tension. Countries that were colonized also incur such problems.
Intimidation and threats of violence is common in various countries. Countries where certain group of people threats the minor groups if the leaders they prefer are not elected will never be democratic. Militia violence affects the electoral systems. The leaders are never fairly elected, such countries are not democratic. Election corruption is therefore is a challenge to democracy.
At these present times, democracy has been the desire for all countries globally. It is no longer a “western thing”. However, many countries are not democratic as they claim to be. It is important to note that militia, wars or coups can never bear democracy. A democratic country is a free country. It is a country where the government agendas are made by the people and for the people. The main agendas are raised through public participation. Society equality is the main key for a democratic country. International relations are upheld in democratic countries. The arms of the government are not corrupted. In most democratic countries constitution is supreme and respected by the government.
In conclusion, intimidations and equal sharing of resources are common in democratic countries. In most countries, some groups of people are marginalized and others appear to be above the law. It is hence difficult for such countries to be democratic. Democracy should be safeguarded. A country that aspires to be democratic must ensure that the rich and the poor get the same treatment. Money should not be the attribute of good leaders. The independence of electoral systems is also vital for democracy. Moreover, people need to understand what democracy is. Most are times people are not aware of their role in government. Proper education and community education can be of paramount importance in turning a country to be democratic. A democratic country offers the best environment for economic growth.