XXXXXX XXXXXXXX IRLS 300 Midterm 4 August 2013

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The governing styles of states have varied and shifted throughout the years. Some states have mirrored others due to occupational influence and others have consolidated bits and pieces of governmental structures in order to attempt to create a more perfect union. These variations of influence have ranged from republics, dictatorships to democratic based institutions. Although some may argue for the superiority of specific methods others remain in favor of conflicting methods of governance. While some states or organization may be against the implementation of democracy, both arguments prove intriguing toward gaining a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of a democratic system. “A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; Protection of the human rights of all citizens; A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.” (“What is democracy”, 2004). Through these key characteristics the proper function of government should work in the peoples best interest and for the people. Yet this governing style under democracy is not always as black and white as many may like to think. Democracy is a form of government, which has proven magnificent at times and/or corrupt or dysfunctional at other times. “Plato (Republic, Book VI) argues that democracy is inferior to various forms of monarchy, aristocracy and even oligarchy on the grounds that democracy tends to undermine the expertise necessary to properly governed societies. In a democracy, he argues, those who are expert at winning elections and nothing else will eventually dominate democratic politics.” (Democracy, 2.1.2).

XXXXXX XXXXXXXX IRLS 300 Midterm 4 August 2013 Although an argument which raises the question of the superiority (or lack of) oriented toward democracy is surely not answered simply but is generated individually through individuals which may or may not have not been influenced by democracy looking negatively or favorably upon this form of governance and regulating it as a whole. The irony is the function of democracy is reliant upon these individuals (which form the majority), the intelligence of these individuals (which for the majority), and the

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elected officials chosen by these individuals (which form the majority). Yet, the potential for corruption generated from a deteriorated democratic system can be seen, as Plato pointed out, in the later functioning of this government. Further, Friedman has raised the issue of democratic elitism: “If the future of democracy depends on elites citizens are largely reduced to bystanders, and the consolidation approach is entirely compatible with „democratic elitism‟ which sees democracy as a means of regulating competition between elites rather than a system which enables vigorous citizen participation in public debate and decision-making.” (Friedman, 4). The balance of democracy can be compromised (such as any other form of governance) but perhaps more so in the aspects of reliance upon the intelligence or ignorance of the majority, which determines the outcome in government. Yet, what separates the already implemented forms of a working democracy from a non-functioning introduction through implementation of democracy into new regions? Friedman suggests the societal majority, which does not accept democracy due to cultural, religious, traditional, etc. beliefs can impair the progression of or function of a democracy: “The assumption that democracy has a „natural‟ endpoint might set back progress in new

XXXXXX XXXXXXXX IRLS 300 Midterm 4 August 2013 democracies by encouraging us to take for granted that which democracies can achieve only after long and painful effort, and, therefore, to see conflicts which produce democratic gains as setbacks. There is nothing normal or natural about the democratic idea that political power-holders should accept limitations on their power imposed by the

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electorate, courts or the media. This becomes rooted in society, if at all, only after a series of tests in which power-holders have faced restraints on what they may do, resist them, but then agree to accept them, often after bitter battle.” (Friedman, 10). The future of democracy is one, which relies on the strength, voice, demands, and regulation/involvement of the people within a balanced government and never on the people‟s reliance on the government. Unfortunately, due to the number of citizens within a democracy this is not always the case and increases the potential corruption and deterioration of the people‟s rights and sovereignty. It is impractical and threatening to individual‟s rights, freedoms, and liberties to allow global democratization generated from globalization and the potential of corrupt government officials infringing upon the rights of citizens and the constitution which (certain) states are bound to by law. This potential for reversal have been raised by Huntington‟s third wave theory: “Weak democratic values in key elite and public figures; Severe economic setbacks w/social conflict which authoritarian elements argued they could fix; Social and political polarization brought on by socialist governments; Conservatives & upper class groups keeping populist & leftists & lower class from power; Breakdown of law & order resulting from terrorism or insurgency; Intervention by non-democratic foreign power.” (Bach, 4). The idea of democracy is a great one yet the implementation and the power

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which generates it is something that can deteriorate quickly causing imbalance and taking away the rights of the people. All forms of democracy do not have to be threatened by imbalance or deterioration of power of the people and for the people. An example of a functional democracy is that of a representative democracy and not a direct democracy. The United States has a representative democracy, which has proven a productive way of implementing balance within the republic under the constitution and regulated between the three separate branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial). The interpretation and establishment (as stated earlier) can vary significantly from state to state. However, democracy can be functional as long as it is balanced and not a direct or sole form of governance. When unitized as the sole source of government there is a potential for corruption, imbalance, and a deterioration of the peoples rights. The future of democracy should be one of balance and should never be determined as the only means of governing. With global regulation concerning new forms of international regulation and unbiased access to education, democratization generated through globalization should never threaten the fundamental and/or constitutional values of a state and the people of that state.

XXXXXX XXXXXXXX IRLS 300 Midterm 4 August 2013 Work Cited “Democracy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).” 2006. July 27. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/democracy/ (accessed 1 August 2013) Bach, Stephen. 2013. Week 2 Democracy: What is it? https://edge.apus.edu/portal/site/220279/page/eb6f06dd-8fcc-4b97-a3a514bedb3845ec (accessed August 1, 2013). Friedman, Steven. 2011. "Beyond 'Democratic Consolidation': An Alternative

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Understanding of Democratic Progress." Theoria: A Journal Of Social & Political Theory 58, no. 126: 27-55. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed 1 August 2013). “What Is Democracy?” 2004. http://www.stanford.edu/~ldiamond/iraq/WhaIsDemocracy012004.htm. (accessed 1 August, 2013).