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Defining Democracy Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

Baback Nabidavoodi
Dr. Harder
English 1B
30 January 2014
Defining Democracy
Democracy began in ancient Mesopotamia and continued on through classical Greece and Rome then towards the rise of Islamic civilization to the modern day in the United States. It has gone through its trials and tribulations to become what it is today and continues to change and grow. Democracy is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections " Also has been defined as a government "Government of the people, by the ...view middle of the document...

A vital test for a strong and functioning democracy is the handover of power from one party to another. For example, according to Guardian news and media late last year the country Azerbaijan was denied the right for their citizens to assemble and debate. There were also claimed discrepancies that included ballot-box stuffing; harassment of monitors, and the announcing of the winner via smartphone before voting had even started. This is a perfect example of an election that is not fair or free and when that is taken away the people will rebel and disobey the government. Moreover, what must be included in a free and fair election is to make sure that all eligible voters are able to register to vote, that casting a vote isn’t hard to do, and making sure all citizens are able to partake in the voting process. Also ensuring that voters are not forced in making their choices, citizens can participate in political debate over who will be the right leader, and there is a system that is created to ensure that votes are counted honestly and accurately.
Participation of the citizens is highly important for a democracy to thrive and grow. As Thomas Jefferson said in the federalist papers "We in America do not have government by the majority.  We have government by the majority who participate." This means that without the precipitation of the people a government would never exist. Participation can involve campaigning or voting for a political party, running for a position in the political office, debating issues that become a problem in society, attending community meetings, and protesting. Another form of participation comes through involvement of non-governmental organizations that are called civil societies. These organizations represent an array of interests and beliefs from doctors to religious believers. A recent example from the New York Times shows a lack of participation in Algeria where the largest Islamist party is boycotting this year’s presidential election because “conditions weren’t right for a free choice for Algerians.” This means there was a lack of candidates for the citizens to vote on. Since this event is so recent all we can do is predict what happens next. Democracy is dependent on how much the citizens participate. But participation must not cause trouble and stir up war between the citizens.
Human rights are undeniable and in a democracy there has to be a protection of these rights by the government. They should never bee taken away from a citizen unless that citizen committed a crime and was found guilty by the courts. Human rights are the rights for all human beings under a democracy no matter what race you are or what language you speak there can be no discrimination for these rights. Some of these rights are the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom of speech, and right to a fair trial. Protecting human rights leads to the development and sustainability of a democracy. These rights are instrumental in a society to...

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