30 August 2015

Chapter – 6 Political parties

CBSE NCERT Class X (10th) | Civics

Chapter – 6 Political parties

Outcomes of Democracy

How Do We Assess Democracy's Outcomes?
Democracy is preferred over dictatorship because it:
  • Promotes equality among citizens
  • Enhances the dignity of the individual
  • Improves the quality of decision-making
  • Provides a method to resolve conflicts
  • Allows room for correction

Democracy is followed differently across the world on the basis of their social situations, economic achievements and cultures.

Outcomes out of every democracy:
  • As a political outcome of democracy, we expect an accountable, responsive and legitimate government.
  • As an economic outcome, we expect that democracies produce economic growth and development, and reduce poverty and inequality.
  • As a social outcome, we expect democracy to accommodate the social diversity in a society, and provide dignity and freedom to all citizens.

Democracy is just a form of government; it can only create suitable conditions for us. As citizens, we have to take advantage of those conditions and achieve our goals.

Political Outcome

As the decision-making process is based on norms and procedures, citizens have the rights and means to examine the decisions. Thus, the government is accountable to its citizens. The government needs to be attentive to the needs of its people and be free of corruption. The expected political outcome of democracy is an accountable, responsive and legitimate government.

Measures of accountability are:
  • Regular, free and fair elections
  • Open public debate on major policies and legislations
  • Citizens’ right to information about the government and its functioning

Democracies have displayed a mixed record on each measure. The Right to Information (RTI) Act is a law enacted by the Parliament of India giving citizens the right to access the records of the Central government and the state governments. Under the provisions of the act, any citizen may request information from a public authority, who is required to reply expeditiously or within 30 days.

Democracies are often non-responsive to its people. A democratic government is a legitimate government, the people's own government. Democracies often ignore the needs and wants of its citizens.

Democracy is the most preferred form of government based on its political outcome of accountability, responsiveness and legitimacy, despite its shortcomings. 

Economic Outcomes

When we compare the growth rate of all democracies and dictatorships, it shows that democratic countries have underperformed as compared to dictatorial.

Within democracies there exists a high rate of economic inequality. The poor constitute a larger proportion of the voters and every party focuses on them while campaigning. Yet, the problems of the poor are never addressed.

People in several countries depend upon the rich countries even for their food supplies. Though democracies cannot remove inequality completely, the degree of disparity can be minimized by progressive planning. Democracies have not fulfilled the expected economic outcome of democracy – economic growth and development, and reduction of poverty and economic inequality.

Social Outcomes

Democracy is best suited to produce the social outcome of accommodation of social diversity.

To achieve this social outcome, a democracy must fulfil two conditions:
  • The majority needs to work with the minority to help the government represent a general view of all citizens.
  • Rule by majority does not mean rule by a certain religion, race or linguistic group that is in majority.

Majority rule means that in every decision or election, different persons and groups can form a majority. Democracy also stands superior in the second social outcome - promoting dignity and freedom of the individual. All citizens should be equal before the law, and have equal access to power.

One of the chief elements of a democratic society is respect to and equal treatment of women. In a democracy, the disadvantaged and discriminated castes can also claim their right to equal status and equal opportunity.

Democracy has been largely successful in transforming people from mere bystanders into responsible citizens. Democratic regimes are more successful than non-democratic ones in promoting dignity and freedom of the individual. Democracy has been successful in transforming people into responsible citizens.

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