Democratic government is a structure, in which all citizens have equal impact in the country’s decision-making procedures. All policies and laws should reflect the will of the people. Through democracy procedures, all citizens are allowed to participate equally. Such participation could be direct or through elected officials. Democracy allows equality from the rights perspective through the creation of laws that are agreed upon by all citizens. A democratic government is the opposite of a government that reserves power to a group of wealthy individuals who make laws and rules for the minority. The structure and idea behind democracy is the stark contrast of dictatorship. This is because the democratic government gives the people all the powers and opportunities to elect the leaders of their choice. Those leaders are expected to act to advance the interest of the people in their decisions.
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The democratic government not only allows self-governance and a uniform government, but also affects the lives of the citizens equally. This implies that the government is ruled or directed by the will of the citizens. Democracy can be as direct and representative. The first involves direct and active involvement of the citizens in the decision-making procedures of the government. The second allows the citizens to exercise sovereign power while the political power is only reserved for the elected officials-representatives.
American democracy is based on the rule of the majority at the expense of the minority. The majority can be likened to a giant that imposes its will on the small people (minority). The rule of the majority refers to the idea that making of pubic decisions is only reserved for the government. Despite the government reserving the right to decide on behalf of the population, the minority individuals expect the government to uphold and maintain the rights of the minority. The government operations and policies need to safeguard the rights of the minority. One of the composing characteristics of a democratic government is the minority rights and capability to alter the majority who are the representatives through elections. This ensures that the majority do not abuse power in the form of violating the rights for the minority. As it is evident in American democracy, the rule of the majority prevails. The administration has been seen to execute drastic policies despite overwhelming opposition by a section of citizens. The United States invaded Iraq despite street protests and public outrage on the move. The majority felt that the move was crucial in defending the nation from terrorists.
The minority needs to have a full trust in their government that will protect the rights of its citizens and safeguard their self-identity. This confidence is realized when they are considered in policy making and all government operations. The minority individuals are defined through religious backgrounds, level of income, geographic location, and ethnic background. It is also the ‘portion’ that loses the election or a referendum.
Some of the rights that the democratic government should uphold include freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and beliefs. Additionally, equal protection of the citizens who represent the minority by the government is also an expectation of the democratic government. Furthermore, freedom to speak out and the freedom of participation in issues especially those that affect the well-being of the citizens are also rights that should be fulfilled in a democratic government. For example, the recent legislation of gay unions is a liberal move by many states. Such liberal populace has endorsed gay unions much to the chagrin of conservative Americans. However the minority that comprises of conservative Americans cannot do much as they helplessly watch the erosion of family values.
The US democracy has been praised in upholding freedom and the will of citizens. However, the US administration operates at the expense of the minority. Ironically, the minority comprises of the masses with low paying jobs. The administration acts like a giant when it promotes the interests of the elite. The elite influence policies such as tax cuts for corporations and conglomerates. However, the average American is heavily taxed and struggles to earn a livelihood. Social welfare programs that benefit the poor are cut to reduce government spending. These decisions are endorsed by the elite who are not mindful of the problems that are faced by the masses. Average American is bound by the rules passed by the administration. They stand to benefit from increased government spending on healthcare, education and social welfare. Instead the administration has cut on all of these programs and increased the budget on military spending.
American democracy appears as a sham upon evaluation of the government’s stand on pollution. Many Americans propose the implementation of sustainable green technologies in a bid to minimize pollution. Americans are conscious of the adverse health effects of pollution. However, the administration is yet to ratify the Kyoto protocol. The administration feels that the protocol will harm industry and hinder country’s economic development. Thus, the administration emerges as a giant that imposes its will on Americans.
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