In this essay, I am going to express my views on whether “Democracy creates stability in a society”. First of all, I will give an overview of what democracy is.
Basically, democracy means a government in which supreme power is vested to the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. In other words, it is a system of government in which everyone in the country is equal and has the right to decide and vote to elect its members. Nowadays, democracy is often used as an ideal which promises to bring peace, prosperity and happiness to all.
In addition, democracy includes the following aspects; citizen participation, equality, political tolerance, accountability, transparency, regular and fair elections, economic freedom, control of abuse of power and bills of rights.
In my opinion, I support the statement that democracy creates stability in a society. Firstly, I think that the greatest advantage of a democratic system is that it provides for changes of government without violence. Instead of power transferring to the group with the greatest number of soldiers prepared to fight and die for a cause we submit to the ideal that the number of votes will suffice in substitute.
Secondly, I think that another important advantage of democracy is that since the majorities of people living under a democratically elected government are happy with that government or at least participated in its rise to power, they will also have to shoulder part of the blame for its failings. Thus, if the policy which the majority supports, people will not tend to blame others as it was their choice in the first place thus minimizing conflicts.
Thirdly, most conflicts such as riots or strikes happen due to differing opinions between politicians and the common people. Thus, with democracy, since everyone’s opinion can be heard by the government and policies will be molded to their opinions, conflicts will be greatly minimized.
An example of a successful democratic nation would be Singapore. Whilst it is not pure democracy per Se, it is a mixture of Authoritarianism and Democracy, also known as Authoritarian Democracy. Singapore has been widely hailed as a good example of Democracy, “a developed nation with a growth rate of a developing nation’s”. This could only be due to a successful political system, resulting in a stable society.
However, democracy also does not always guarantee success. I think that democracy sometimes “elects” dictators into power. In the past years, there have been many cases of democracy gone wrong. For example, in Africa the government threatened not to give resources to the people who do not vote for them. Thus everybody, including the poor and oppressed, have no choice but to vote for these corrupt and cunning dictators. They cannot vote for a potential candidate who is willing to champion their cause and help solve their plight. Thus this generates a lot of strife and unrest in the country which amounts to anger and the people who feel oppressed may stage riots. When the people feel that they are not heard, they will take matters into their own hands and the situation may turn very ugly and the change can be very fast.
Thus, from this case study I can say that democracy cannot ensure stability in a society but it can surely act as a good cover for the dictators in power. These dictators hide behind a facade of democracy and say, “we are legal! We are democratic!” They are totally “covered” by the process of voting and they will say that they have been voted into power but actually have been using underhand and hardball tactics to achieve their position. Thus, the dominant party controls almost everything and if voting really changed anything, they would not allow us to do it. Thus this does not ensure stability in a society as this will cause poverty and strife in a country. This also may generate anger and violence which is bad for the economy and the overall stability of the country.
Democracy is a lot about one’s own personal choice. But sometimes people are not given much choice. The uninformed who vote are very easily swayed during an election campaign. The dominant party usually exploits this and tries to use their fat budget and almost unlimited resources during the elections to dangle “carrots” in front of the people’s faces and try to sway votes during a crucial time during an election. However, this may happen to the naive and emotional group of people. Thus, we are in deep trouble if the majority is composed of such people.
One bad aspect of democracy is that the majority gets whatever they want and thus the minorities may feel oppressed and this also leads back to the problem of a potential candidate feeling pointless to champion their cause because of the insignificance of their votes. These minorities may find that they are not given much attention and thus stage a protest to voice their concerns themselves. This can lead to clashes with the police and violence will erupt, which shows that democracy can also create instability in a society.
Thus, in conclusion, I think that a democratic nation can minimize conflicts and create stability in a society provided that fair elections are held and the different political parties must be honest and “go by the book” and not use any under hand or unscrupulous means to get votes.